Did you know that your body is loaded with bacteria? In fact, there are more bacteria in your body than there are cells. Located primarily in the digestive system, most bacteria are harmless. When you have enough of the right bacteria in your body, your overall health is improved. This is why many resort to the “good bacteria” known as probiotics for improved digestive health. When consumed either in supplement or food form, they help to colonize health-boosting microorganisms.
What are Probiotics?
Best defined as tiny microorganisms, probiotics can be found in supplement or food form. When ingested, their bacteria-like attributes provide a plethora of health benefits to your body. Though probiotics can be found in certain foods, it can also be found in pills or dietary supplements. The live organisms are believed to help balance gut bacteria and improve your health.
What are the Benefits?
There are many benefits linked to the regular consumption of effective probiotics. Some of those benefits include:
- Balancing of Gut Bacteria – the gut or stomach is filled with both good and bad bacteria. When the gut becomes imbalanced, it ideally means that there are more bad than good bacteria present. There are a lot of reasons this could have occurred including medication, poor eating habits, or illness. When consumed, probiotics help to balance bacteria in the gut for improved digestion.
- Prevents and/or Treats Diarrhea – If your stomach starts rumbling and your bowels are loose, chances are you’re dealing with a case of diarrhea. This is a sign that your gut bacteria is off balance. Taking probiotics can help to restore levels of good bacteria which help to reduce the severity or completely stop diarrhea.
- Improves Mood and Potentially Treats Mental Health – There are increasing studies that probiotics can help to improve your mood and treat mental health disorders like depression. New studies suggest that consuming certain types of probiotics will not only clear up any gut issues, but the good bacteria has been reported to improve the mood. Though it could simply be that fewer stomach problems make for a better mood, it can’t hurt to consider it as a solution or part of your treatment.
- Improves Heart Health – There are certain strains of probiotic, specifically, lactic acid-producing strains, have been known to help improve heart health. Essentially, it helps to break down bile in the gut which can lower cholesterol. In aiding to break down the bile, the probiotics prevent the stomach from reabsorbing them and having it enter the bloodstream as bad cholesterol.
Adding Probiotics to Your Diet
Now that you’re aware of how beneficial probiotics can be to your health, how can you add more of it to your diet? Outside of taking a dietary supplement daily, you can also add these foods to the menu:
- Fermented cheeses like parmesan, cheddar, and swiss
- Fermented vegetables like pickles, sauerkraut, and miso
Who knew that bacteria could actually be a good thing for you? If you’ve been suffering from digestive trouble, mental health disorders, high cholesterol, or other bacteria related illnesses and conditions, you may be able to benefit from consuming more probiotics daily. Consuming the recommended amount every day helps to balance bacteria in your gut and resolve a host of other problems.