Some Amazing Health Benefits Of Probiotics
Probiotics are being used more frequently throughout normal diets in North America, and although the benefits have been well known for quite some time in other countries throughout Asia and Europe, it’s only a recent revelation within the United States. Probiotics can be found in a multitude of foods including yogurt, kimchi, soy milk, miso soup, sauerkraut, and even dark chocolate. In fact, some foods that don’t contain these microorganisms naturally and are actually being infused with probiotics. And there many quality probiotic supplements on the market making it possible to choose from more and more options to gain the benefits of this helpful bacteria.
Better Nutrient Absorption
Probiotics are known for a myriad of benefits, but one that’s not quite as well known is that they actually help your body, to not only digest the food that you eat, but to get more out of it as well. There are plenty of nutrients in fruits, vegetables, proteins and grains, but your body isn’t always able to process them appropriately, which means that much of the vitamins and minerals taken from them aren’t being used and get flushed out of your body with the waste.
“Do you want to get the most nutritional value from the foods you eat? Taking a probiotic has been shown to optimize the synthesis of vitamins and minerals in the foods we eat. For example, probiotics are especially effective for helping the body absorb calcium and B vitamins.” – Active Beat
By incorporating more probiotic-infused ingredients into your meal plan, you give your body a better chance at receiving all of the vitamins and nutrients that it requires, in a much larger and purer quantity. Of course, it’s possible to make up for lost nutrients by taking a multivitamin, but your body will make far better use of the stuff that comes out of natural whole foods, rather than chemically altered substitutes.
As mentioned above, digestion is one of the most well-known reasons for making probiotics a regular part of your diet. There are hundreds of natural bacteria floating around in your body, and most of them live in your gut, and are being used to break down foods and help get them through the digestive track. Probiotics can also increase the number of healthy bacteria that are able to carry out these duties when something goes wrong in your body.
“Each of us has more than 1,000 different types of bacteria that live in our digestive tracts, helping us to break down food and absorb nutrients.” – Food Matters
When you’re ill with an infection, the antibiotics that your doctor prescribes to you are designed to kill bacteria lurking in your body. This is because most infections are caused by bad bacteria that shouldn’t be there, unlike the natural good bacteria that helps your digestive track function. Taking probiotics gives your body an extra boost to help keep your digestion working properly while your body heals with the help of antibiotics.
Probiotics help keep you healthy by fighting off constipation, diarrhea, nausea, and even by helping to build up your immune system. The way that probiotics aids in stomach issues has led scientists to believe that these microorganisms also have the ability to decrease cramping during PMS as well as stave off bloating.
“Probiotics may also be useful in unexpected ways. A study published in 2010 suggests that probiotics may lower the risk of common childhood illnesses such as ear infections, strep throat, and colds.” – Web MD
Currently, there are studies underway on the relevance of probiotics in pregnant women and the possibility of less severe allergies in children. Specifically these tests are aimed at the discovery of whether or not eczema can be eradicated in newborns and small children, if probiotics are present during the prenatal period.
Other Medical Treatments
Although most medical treatments revolve around intestinal troubles, there are other scientific findings that prove probiotics may serve a purpose in other regions as well. Another type of natural bacteria that are found in your body is yeast, but when this becomes overactive, it can cause problems, specifically for women in the occurrence of a yeast infection. Of course, there are treatments on the market that can help relieve the itching and discomfort of this condition, but eating more probiotics may actually prevent it from occurring in the first place.
“Probiotic treatment that restores the balance of microflora may be helpful for such common female urogenital problems as bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection, and urinary tract infection.” – Harvard Medical School
The effects of urinary tract infections may also be prevented through the use of probiotics, or at the very least you could find that your antibiotics are aided by the addition of these good bacteria.
In 2006, there were findings in the medical world claiming that those suffering from obesity had a different kind of bacteria in their systems from those who had regular BMI readings. This news came out of Stanford University, and was a catalyst in the realization that bacteria, especially those kinds that live in your stomach, play a large role in our weight. This brought on the realization that probiotics, which is a healthy form of bacteria, could possibly assist those who had lost weight to keep it off, while also helping larger people lose their extra pounds.
Whether it’s safeguarding against infection, treating one, or assisting in the digestion of foods so that you can lead a healthy life, probiotics certainly pay for themselves in terms of what the average person will spend on them in the grocery store. With such a large assortment of available ingredients and flavors it’s also possible to find foods that will suit any different tastes and lifestyles. Some of the foods require mixing and cooking, while others make for great grab and go snacks, or breakfast companions. Choosing sources of probiotics when you know you’ll be somewhere that you may not get all of the daily required nutrients from other foods is a good idea; an example of this might be when you’re on the road or traveling by plane. You can order foods that you know have probiotics so that upset stomachs and travelers diarrhea doesn’t become an issue.