Probiotics are live microorganisms consumed through fermented foods or supplements. They are a mix of beneficial bacteria and yeasts that live in your body naturally. Our bodies contain both good and bad bacteria. While bad bacteria makes you sick or saps your energy, good bacteria keeps your body working well and healthy! Probiotics are known to promote a healthy gut bacteria balance, and are linked to many health benefits that affect your gut, mouth, urinary tract, skin and lungs, among other fun parts. Let’s explore the benefits of introducing more probiotic foods to your diet.
Health Benefits of Including Probiotic Food on Your Diet:
If you’ve had milk, sourdough bread, cottage cheese or sauerkraut, you’ve already been eating probiotic foods! The issue might be that you aren’t eating enough of them, as probiotics can be destroyed by stomach acid before they even reach your gut. Probiotics also come in drink, capsule, powder or liquid form, and are a great source of good bacteria that promotes and maintains gut health and even mental health. It’s important that you consume adequate amounts of probiotic foods to really see the benefits. What are those benefits? We are so glad you asked! Let’s explore a few of the major benefits of a probiotic diet.
- Balance The Friendly Bacteria in Your Digestive System
An imbalance of good and bad bacteria in your gut could lead to digestive issues, allergies, mental health issues and obesity, just to name a few. Balancing the good bacteria in your digestive system is proven to relieve uncomfortable or painful diarrhea or constipation, and is also proven to reduce the effects of Crohn’s disease or irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS. Ulcerative colitis patients have also had great success using probiotics foods to balance their internal bacteria, and reduce symptoms of the disease.
- Reduce the Severity of Certain Allergies in Children and Infants
An easy way to introduce probiotics into a child’s diet, is to give them things like yogurt and cottage cheese with fruit, snacks children love, that include the good bacteria their bodies need. A recent study of infants with eczema found that those fed probiotic-milk fared far better than those who were fed milk without probiotics. Women who took probiotics during pregnancy had a significantly lower chance of their infants developing eczema in their first 2 years.
- Improve Some Mental Health Conditions
There are an increasing number of studies into the link between gut health and mental health in both animals and humans. Probiotic supplements or foods are proven to improve some mental health issues like anxiety, depression, OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), memory and even autism. One specific study of 70 chemical workers found that those who ate 100 grams of probiotic yogurt per day, or took probiotic supplements, experienced less general anxiety, depression, stress, and were generally in a better mood!
- Help Keep Your Heart Healthy
Heart health is vital, and certain probiotics are proven to lower bad cholesterol and blood pressure. Probiotics break down the bile in your stomach that helps with digestion, thereby reducing cholesterol that may attack your heart valves. Those who suffer from high blood pressure will be happy to know that probiotic supplements are proven to reduce blood pressure, something 29% of Americans with high blood pressure, will be happy to hear.
- Reduce Candida Infections In Different Organ Systems
Candida infections are fungal infections that cause a wide range of uncomfortable symptoms including exhaustion, brain fog, white coating on tongue, bad breath, joint pain, UTIs and digestive problems like gas and bloating. SIBO symptoms (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) are much the same as Candida infections, but luckily, probiotic-rich foods are proven to reduce these symptoms! Incorporating more probiotic-rich foods or supplements into your diet means you will have more energy, feel better, and live longer to enjoy more probiotic-rich and delicious foods!
Probiotics are naturally occurring in dairy products like yogurt and milk, and are also found in fermented foods like pickled veggies, miso, kimchi, and soy products. You can also choose to take probiotic supplements, which can be found in most health food stores or easily on the Amazon marketplace. Adopting a probiotic-rich diet is endless, and easy on your wallet and lifestyle. Make the smart choice, and choose probiotic-enhanced gut health for both you and your family today!