What Are Probiotics? Supplements, Foods, Benefits, More
“Gut health is the key to optimal health”
Most people are not aware that gut health is connected to the immune system. Poor gut health leads to a weakened immune system, but a healthy gut means stronger immunity.
Probiotics are the live good bacteria in your body which play a major role in gut health. So yes, not all bacteria are bad.
What are these good bacteria for? When you have an infection, more bad bacteria come into your system. The good bacteria help ward off the bad bacteria to restore the balance in your system.
There are two ways to boost the good bacteria in your body: through probiotics-rich foods and probiotic supplements. Learn more about them, plus the benefits of probiotics to your overall health as you read further.
What are probiotics for?
Probiotics are yeasts and live beneficial bacteria, combined to help support your body’s immune system and gut health. They also counterattack the bad bacteria (if your body has too much of it) so you can feel better, and to help your body function well.
In short, probiotics neutralize and maintain a healthy balance in your body. The more good bacteria your body has, the stronger immunity you’ll have.
More benefits of probiotics
Aside from stronger immune system and healthier body, here are more benefits of probiotics:
- Prevent bad bacteria from overgrowing which can make you sick
- Provide more vitamins
- Aid in effective digestion and absorption of nutrients from the food you eat
- Prevent common digestive problems due to bad bacteria from food consumption
- Absorb and breakdown medications properly and more effectively
Food rich in probiotics
There are plenty of probiotics-rich foods that you can include in your daily diet so you can increase the good bacteria in your body. Here are some of them:
- Yogurt - one of the excellent sources of probiotics that also contributes to bone health, reduces the chances of constipation, helps relieve IBS, and is best suitable for those who are lactose-intolerant.
- Sauerkraut - is that fermented, shredded cabbage from lactic acid bacteria. It is rich in iron, fiber sodium, potassium, vitamins C & K, and contains live, good bacteria.
- Kimchi - most people love kimchi. Consider yourself lucky if you’re one of them because you enjoy eating one food that makes your tummy healthy. Since kimchi is made from cabbage (or other veggies like radish or cucumber), it is rich in riboflavin, and other vitamins and minerals.
- Miso soup - Japanese love this soup! And this is also one reason why they live longer and healthier. Miso soup is made of fermented soybeans that consist of numerous live and good bacteria.
- Cheese - do you love eating cheese too? If yes, then another point for your tummy! There are plenty of cheeses that are rich in probiotics such as cottage, swiss, provolone, and gouda. But it’s best to eat the soft cheeses that are made from raw, unpasteurized milk because they contain more active microorganism cultures that boost your gut’s microbiome.
- Pickles - if you hate pickles on your burgers or sandwiches, now’s the best time to love them. Because pickles are gut-friendly food that feeds the growth of your body’s good bacteria. It’s best recommended to buy one that is naturally fermented-made (soaked in saltwater), and not processed from vinegar.
- Buttermilk - buttermilk is a common ingredient in baking. Most people wonder why it is called buttermilk. Does the milk have butter in it? Well, yes. It is formed during the process of butter-making, resulting in lactose sugars and lactic acid from milk. It is definitely thicker than milk, but creamier and rich in probiotics.
- Kefir - a fermented milk beverage that has a similar taste to yogurt, but has more liquid texture. Kefir contains colonies of bacteria from a cow's or goat’s milk. And the microorganisms that are present in it turn lactose into lactic acid - an excellent source of probiotics.
- Kombucha - a fermented tea from black or green tea. An effervescent tea that’s made by fermenting either black or green tea, along with symbiotic cultures of yeast and bacteria. It is also sold in different varieties of fruity and herbal flavors.
- Natto - a popular and healthy fermented soybean fish from Japan. It has a distinctive and odd smell but is very healthy for your gut and packed with loads of nutrition. The bacteria it contains were gathered from different vitamins, amino acids, and enzymes.
On a daily basis, especially if you’re a very busy person, it may be difficult to incorporate all the probiotics rich-food into your diet or meal. Some of them are hard to find, but we can find others in your local grocery store.
If you want to increase your nutrient absorption so you get the most out of your meals and keep your good bacteria well-fed at all times, a probiotics supplement will help give your digestive system the superior protection it needs.
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