Probiotics are naturally occurring good bacteria in the gut that helps in promoting better health. According to Harvard Medical School, good bacteria helps in treating diarrhea and other gastrointestinal issues.
Under certain circumstances, the number of these good bacteria may reduce and invite various health issues. Let’s take a look on the benefits of probiotics and how to maintain a good health by adding them to your diet.
Why you must include probiotics in your diet
Earlier bacteria were supposed to be bad for health but studies suggest that a number of bacteria present in our gut are highly beneficial for the digestive system and can promote health in many ways. Here is a list of benefits gut bacteria may present in healthy individuals.
1. Treats Diarrhea
Diarrhea is a common digestive problem and can result from a number of causes such as an infection and use of antibiotics. The best way to treat the symptoms is to consume probiotics and help maintain the gut flora for a better digestion. Diarrhea tends to strip away more bacteria from the gut and prevent the absorption of the nutrients from the food. Adding good bacteria to your system helps in retaining its natural environment and prevents the condition.
2. Relieves Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS is another digestive problem that can be addressed well with probiotics. The symptoms include recurrent abdominal cramping, bloating, constipation and diarrhea. IBS needs special care and is sometimes hard to treat. To treat the symptoms, patients are often supplemented with the specific bacterial strain of Bifidobacterium infantis. It improves gut flora and prevents intestinal discomfort.
3. Prevents Urinary Tract Infections
Probiotics have an added advantage in maintaining urinary health. It not only improves the health of digestive tract but prevents infection of the urinary tract. According to University of Maryland Medical Center, urinary tract infection can be treated with antibiotics but 30 to 40 percent tend to return over time. The best way to get rid of the condition is to consume probiotics to reduce the invasion of bad bacteria from the track.
4. Improves Vaginal Health
Women may find probiotics highly beneficial for maintaining vaginal health. Since the vagina needs a balance of good and bad bacteria, a reduction in good bacteria may bring in a number of issues including common infection, yeast infection and bacterial vaginosis. A regular dose of probiotics may help in reducing the symptoms as well as aid in preventing such conditions.
5. Boosts Immune System
Good bacteria plays a vital role in maintaining and boosting the immune system. It helps in reducing the bacterial infection and prevents them from invading your body. Studies show that consuming foods rich in probiotic may increase the production of lymphocytes thereby boosting immunity.
6. Prevents Allergies and Eczema
Allergies can be prevalent due to a number of reasons, where probiotics were found to be useful in most of the cases. A healthy gut flora prevents inflammation and allergies in all age groups and reduces the occurrence of allergies. Such supplements are also useful in treating food allergies and intolerance. An absence of good bacteria in the system may cause poor immunity, which may lead to eczema. Lactobacillus rhamnosus may help in treating eczema and can be given to pregnant women to reduce the risk of eczema in the newborns.
7. Improves Brain Functioning
According to UCLA, changing the microbiota in the gut may largely affect brain functioning [http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/changing-gut-bacteria-through-245617]. Various studies reveal that people consuming yogurt on a regular basis showed a change in brain functioning from those who did not. It also helps in alleviating stress and anxiety.
How to include probiotics in your diet
With so many benefits, it becomes important for anyone to add probiotics in their diet. Here is a list of food that can be added to improve your gut flora.
* Raw Cheese
Besides adding the above foods to your diet, you may also take a probiotic supplement to ensure a healthy microbiota in your gut. Make sure you check the label for specific strains before buying. Choose the one with a variety of strains for maximum benefits. Go for reputed brands and always check the number of bacteria present in each supplement. Get the one with a higher number of bacteria that ranges from 15-100 billion.
In a nutshell, probiotics are beneficial for everyone and promotes overall health in many ways. Since a healthy digestive system is crucial for the entire body as well as the mind, it is essential to lay emphasis in its better functioning.
Probiotics are 100% safe to consume, although you must always consult your health care provider to be more certain about which strain to choose. In rare cases, diarrhea is seen as a side effect that may result due to consumption of a high amount of probiotics. Experts suggest starting with small amounts and gradually increasing the quantity as you improve your health through it.