Probiotics are the “good” microorganisms beneficial to our body that can be consumed through fermented foods or supplements. They are the same, or similar, to the bacteria naturally present in our digestive tract. In fact, there are a greater number of bacteria in the intestines than there are cells in our body!
Studies have demonstrated that the balance of bacteria in your digestive system is linked to overall health and disease. Probiotics help by promoting the healthy balance of gut bacteria.
Yoghurt is a good form of natural probiotics
Good verses the bad bacteria Not all of the bacteria in the body are good and having too many of the "bad" and not enough of the "good" bacteria in our digestive system can affect your health.
Some diseases, a diet high in fats or not enough fruit and vegetables, drinking alcohol, smoking, physical inactivity, antibiotics and ageing can all disrupt this balance.
The imbalance can lead to:
constipation or diarrhea
various chronic health conditions.
What are the dietary sources of probiotics?
Sauerkraut is a popular probiotic
Probiotics are naturally found in some foods, including:
Lactobacillus milk or kefir
fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut
Make this sauerkraut remedy for gut and skin issues (recipe link below)
Should I consider taking a probiotic dietary supplement? A probiotic dietary supplement can aid your health in a variety of ways and is beneficial if you are unable to consume them naturally in foods.
Lactobacillus, Bifidobacteria, Saccharomyces boulardii and Bacillus coagulans are the most common bacteria used in probiotic dietary supplements. Each type and strain within each type can have a different effect in the body. It is important to investigate which is the best probiotic for your health concern.
Starting with probiotics that contain the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families is a good immune boost, as these strains are normally found in the human gastrointestinal tract.
How can a probiotic dietary supplement affect my health? The right type and amount of a probiotic can help keep the digestive system healthy and effective. They can:
reduce gastrointestinal symptoms such as constipation, diarrhoea and irritable bowel syndrome
boost a healthy immune system
improve blood cholesterol levels
reduce blood pressure
support a weight management program
improve blood glucose tolerance and diabetes control.
If you are lactose intolerant make sure you use a dairy-free probiotic!
Do you naturally consume probiotics or have a supplement?