You may have heard of probiotics and may be wondering how they can be of benefit to your health. The benefits are numerous, but before we get to them, let’s talk a little about what probiotics are.
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are simply friendly bacteria that are found throughout your gut. They line your entire gut by the millions and their main function is to fight off inflammation. If you ingest something that contains harmful bacteria, probiotics will meet these bacteria and they will be destroyed.
Sometimes, for a number of reasons (naturally, taking antibiotics, illness and many more), these bacteria are reduced in numbers. That leaves you open to disease and inflammation. The most common will be gut problems: you will get diarrhea, bloat, abdominal cramping, and pains in the stomach and it may even get worse than that. You may have taken a course of antibiotics and noticed how after you were done, you got lose stools and stomach cramping, loss of appetite, or bloat. In women, sometimes it manifests as vaginal thrush. These signs are your body telling you that your friendly bacteria level is down and you need to do something about it.
In recent years however, it’s been discovered that you can introduce these live bacteria into the body through either supplements or certain foods. The supplements are easily available Online. The foods that contain probiotics include yogurt, garlic, cheese, buttermilk and sour cream.
To know just how beneficial they are to your body, here are some of the things that probiotics will do for you:
- They increase nutrient absorption, especially the B vitamin range, as well as calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium and many others.
- They will reduce inflammation in your stomach naturally. If, for instance you have diarrhea, and you take probiotics, likely chances are that it will ease off.
- If you suffer from lactose intolerance, probiotics will help you to digest milk and milk products with much less discomfort. They contain specific strains of bacteria that release the enzyme lactase that is required to break down the sugar found in milk and its products.
- If you suffer constipation, especially if you are elderly, they will help you become more regular. Try them if you do suffer constipation and are not elderly – they may just work.
- Sometimes bile can turn carcinogenic once in the colon – rare but it does happen. If you are regularly on probiotics, you can prevent this from happening.
- You have generally enhanced immunity since you have an army of friendly bacteria that attack any unfriendly ones that may pay you a visit. The result is better overall health.
- If you suffer frequent yeast infections, probiotics are known to work almost 100% of the time (unless you have an autoimmune disorder). Women who get frequent thrush attacks should take probiotics regularly. Yeast infections can also manifest on the tongue as a white residue. Take lots of yoghurt and eat garlic, then brush your tongue and you will get rid of that white layer.
- Sufferers of IBS should take probiotics on a regular basis. As the name suggests, it’s an irritable bowel. Line your gut with friendly bacteria so that you can minimize sensitivity. They will attack and ward off any bacteria that cause diarrhoea, bloat and cramping.
- You have chances of decreasing your cholesterol levels by taking probiotics regularly.
- This last one is one that many people don’t know about. If you suffer bad breath, it may be that your colon needs a cleaning. Probiotics will go in there and do the job. Your colon, once cleansed will stop causing you to have bad breath. If you have bad breath and have tried solutions that haven’t worked, try probiotics.
Probiotics are considered safe to take since they occur naturally in your gut anyway. Depending on how badly you need them, you can choose between the supplements or taking in foods that contain them, but the best way to make sure that you are always armed in your gut is to include probiotic loaded foods in your diet.