The word probiotic comes from two Greek words. Pro signifies promotion of and biotic means life. A probiotic is any living microorganism that has a health benefit when ingested. When the weather changes a lot of people start getting sick.
Probiotic Health Benefits
Probiotics can reduce upper respiratory infections. Even children, when given a probiotic with their milk, remained healthier than children who did not.
One of the main functions of healthful bacteria is to stimulate the immune response. By eating probiotic-rich foods, you can help maintain a healthy immune system.
Some of the best unpasteurized probiotic rich foods are plain unflavored yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, miso, pickles, tempeh, whole grains, bananas, onions, garlic, honey, artichokes, kimchi and kombucha tea.
Studies have shown that probiotics can help obese people who have lost weight maintain their weight loss.
Best Way to Take Probiotics
There are two ways in which you can take probiotics. You can either use a probiotic supplement or eat food products that naturally contain probiotics.
Probiotic Supplements – It’s important to pay attention to the specific probiotic strains included in the supplement. Make sure that the packaging and expiration dates are within the use date. It should be noted that most probiotic supplements won’t colonize in your stomach, so its effects may be temporary.
But if you take a high-quality probiotic supplement then you can ensure that the probiotics that it contains will be much more effective.
Also, with a probiotic supplement, it should be taken on a consistent basis. Your digestive tract is a volatile environment, so daily probiotic use will ensure that you are keeping your system at its optimal state.
Probiotic Foods – There are certain foods that contain probiotics. Some of the most beneficial probiotic foods are kefir, sauerkraut, yogurt, kombucha, and apple cider vinegar.
Eating probiotic foods on a daily basis can help improve a lot of digestive issues that you may be experiencing. These beneficial bacteria will go to work in your gut providing you with many health benefits.
It’s a common practice for people to combine probiotic foods with probiotic supplements to ensure they are getting the proper amounts of probiotics in their diets.
Probiotics: How do They Work?
Probiotics help break down food and absorb nutrients. Everyone of us has over 1,000 different types of bacteria that live in our digestive tracts. When we take antibiotics to kill bacteria, it also kills the healthy intestinal flora that helps us with digestion.
When this happens you usually experience diarrhea or some other form of gastrointestinal distress. This is why it is important to take a probiotic to help repopulate healthy bacteria within the digestive tract.
There are other issues that probiotics can help you with. Many suffer from irritable bowel syndrome. IBS can cause abdominal pain, cramps, bloating, diarrhea and constipation. There has been evidence that probiotics can also help those who suffer from urinary tract infections.
Taking probiotics regularly can help prevent bad bacteria from invading the urinary tract by maintaining a higher population of healthy bacteria. Urinary tract infections are very common, especially in women.
Generally, antibiotics are prescribed to treat the infection. They kill the infection but about 30% will experience a return of the infection. This is why it is important to also take a probiotic.
In women, the vagina relies on a balance of good and bad bacteria. When the balance is off that can lead to vaginosis and yeast infections. Taking a probiotic can help keep these levels in balance and prevent such infections.
Poor oral hygiene is associated with heart disease and diabetes. The probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri kills the bacteria that can cause tooth decay.
If you experience bleeding gums and tooth loss, it’s a good idea to start taking a probiotic. Those who suffer eczema which is a condition that causes dry, itchy rough patches of skin can see a signification reduction in redness by taking probiotics.
Best Probiotic Bacteria
Different forms of probiotics are as follows: Lactobacillus bulgaricus can be found in yogurts and soft cheeses. It helps to convert lactose and other sugars into lactic acid. This is ideal for those who are lactose intolerant. Streptococcus thermophiles is a friendly bacteria also used to make yogurt and soft cheeses.
They assist Lactobacillus bulgaricus by making nutrients that assist with growth. Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus casei both convert lactose into lactic acid. This is also helpful for those who suffer from lactose intolerance. They also can help reduce cholesterol levels.
Bifidobacteria prevents and treats various gastrointestinal disorders that include infections, irritable bowel syndrome, and constipation.