What Are Probiotics and Their Role in Our Health?

what are probiotics

Most times, we think microorganisms and bacteria cause the body more harm than good. However, the bacteria found in probiotics are beneficial to your body, especially your gut. When you consume the right amount of probiotics in your food, harmful microorganisms or bacteria cannot attack your body system.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are live microorganisms that have beneficial effects on human health. Probiotics may contain various microorganisms, and the most common are bacteria that belong to groups called Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. They can be found in fermented foods, yogurt, dietary supplements, and even beauty products.

These live microorganisms are healthy bacteria that help in preventing and treating some health issues. They also help in promoting a healthy gut, and boosting a healthy immune system.

Probiotic foods for a healthy body

Even though probiotics are naturally found in the body, they are also found in food and dietary supplements that we consume. Foods containing probiotics include yogurt, cheese, suaerkraut, buttermilk, sourdough bread, kefir, kimchi, miso soup, kombucha, fermented pickles, and natto.

SEE ALSO: How Food Affects Your Mood: The Gut-Brain Axis

Why you need probiotics in your body

Probiotics contains good bacteria that keep your body healthy. They have shown to help the body in so many ways such as preventing bad bacteria from attacking the body system. Here are more reasons why you need probiotics in your body;

Improves heart health

Several studies have shown that probiotics may promote a healthy heart. When you take the right probiotics, it optimizes the heart health by lowering blood pressure modestly and reducing harmful cholesterol levels. In addition, certain lactic acid-producing bacteria probiotics may help break down bile, thus preventing it from being reabsorbed into the gut not to enter the heart as cholesterol.

Prevents and treats diarrhea

Probiotics can reduce the risk and severity of diarrhea from a number of different causes even though effectiveness varies depending on the type and dose of the probiotic taken. Strains such as the yeast Saccharomyces boulardii, Lactobacillus rhamnosus have been found to reduce the risk of diarrhea.

Helps fight irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome is a disease that causes chronic abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation. It’s also known as spastic colon or mucous colitis. Signs and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome include changes in bowel habits. When you take probiotics, they help reduce or eliminate bloating, constipation, gas, and stomach pain. They can also reduce the risk of severe fatal bowel conditions in premature infants.

Improves symptoms of mental health disorders

Mental health disorders symptoms include stress, anxiety, and depression. However, research has found that supplementing with bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus strains for 1–2 months can improve anxiety, depression, memory and even obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Treats common female urogenital problems

Probiotics helps in treat urogenital issues such as bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection, and urinary tract infection. While the vagina contains Lactobacilli strains that make it too acidic for microorganisms to survive, factors such as antibiotics and birth control pills can affect the balance. These good bacteria then step in to restore this balance and to maintain urogenital health.

Protects the immune system

Your immune system protects the body against germs, or bad bacteria. If the body does not function properly, you may suffer from allergic reactions and even autoimmune disorders. These live microorganisms may help in maintaining the correct balance, which helps the body to prevent these ailments. 

Reduces risk and severity of certain allergies

Probiotics can reduce allergies such as eczema in infants. As studies have shown, infants fed on probiotic-supplemented milk showed a reduction in their eczema symptoms compared to those fed on non-probiotic milk.

Fights obesity

When you add probiotics to your diet, it naturally stimulates weight loss by boosting your system functions. Some good bacteria prevent the absorption of dietary fat in the intestine, and the fat is, in turn, channeled and excreted through feces as opposed to being stored in the body.

In conclusion, adding probiotics to your diet helps keep your body healthy while functioning efficiently.

Hey Joyfreshers, what probiotic foods do you take for easy digestion? Share with us below!

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