Inside Out: How Probiotics Help Your Body Function at Its Best
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, particularly your digestive system. Our gut is home to trillions of microbes, most of which are bacteria. The bacteria in our gut plays a pivotal role in various bodily functions and processes, including digestion, immunity, metabolism, and mental health. Having a healthy and diverse gut microbial community is essential to support these crucial functions.
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are defined as live microorganisms that are beneficial to their hosts. They are frequently referred to as “friendly” bacteria. Probiotics aren’t all the same, and each strain has a unique effect on the body. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are two of the most common probiotic strains.
Probiotics work by restoring the natural balance of microorganisms in the gut. There are various ways through which these microorganisms can be disrupted such as following an unhealthy diet, stress, antibiotics, and other medications. Probiotics help to replenish the healthy bacteria in the gut and promote a healthy microbiome.
How Probiotics Help Your Body
Probiotics have been found to be beneficial for numerous body functions and systems. Here we will discuss some of the primary ways probiotics can help your body:
Improved Digestion and Metabolism
Probiotics can aid digestion by breaking down food and enhancing nutrient absorption. Individuals who consume high-fiber diets and consume probiotics regularly are less likely to experience digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. Probiotics may also help regulate the metabolic rate, assisting in weight loss and better maintenance of a healthy weight.
Probiotics have been demonstrated in multiple studies to boost immunity. According to research, consuming probiotics on a regular basis can reduce the occurrence of respiratory and gastrointestinal infections. Probiotics can also increase the body’s natural defenses against pathogens.
Better Mental Health
More recent studies suggest that the gut-brain axis exists and that a dysregulated gut microbiome can have consequences on mental health. Probiotics have been found to have a positive impact on stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms.
Probiotics can reduce inflammation, which has been linked to a variety of diseases, including obesity, depression, and heart disease. Probiotics have been found to have anti-inflammatory effects that may help reduce systemic inflammation throughout the body.
Sources of Probiotics
There are various natural and artificial sources of probiotics. Below are some of the primary sources:
Yogurt and Kefir
Yogurt has been regarded as one of the primary sources of probiotics. Certain types of yogurt contain live bacteria, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, which are beneficial for gut health. Kefir is another fermented milk drink that contains probiotics and may be an excellent alternative for those who are lactose intolerant.
Pickles and Sauerkraut
Both pickles and sauerkraut are fermented foods that contain live bacteria. They are rich in probiotics and can help improve your gut health.
Probiotic supplements are readily available and are an excellent alternative to natural sources. They offer a concentrated dose of probiotics and may provide consistent and standardized amounts of bacterial strains.
Probiotics have become increasingly popular in recent years, thanks to their numerous benefits. They are a simple and efficient approach to improve your health from the inside out. While there are numerous sources of probiotics, it is essential to choose the one that fits with your diet and preferences. Incorporating probiotics into your diet can help you enhance digestion, boost immunity, improve mental health, and reduce inflammation.