A Gut Feeling: How Probiotics Can Boost Your Overall Health

Probiotics – this name is all the rage at the moment. These are live microorganisms present in pills, yogurt & other fermented foods. Probiotics are the good bugs that needs to thrive to counterbalance bad bacteria in our gut. The question is are you getting enough of this good bacteria? Read on to discover the sources of probiotics & how they boost your health.

What are Probiotics?

Probiotics are live bacteria that live in our digestive tract. Whenever we swallow, we ingest bacteria into our system. Some of them may be beneficial, some are simply innocuous & some are harmful. Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria, which takes care of many things, one of which is crowding out the harmful bacteria in order to clean your gut. As gut represents almost 70% of our entire immune system (1), it’s highly imperative to keep it healthy.

Prebiotics & Probiotics: What’s the difference? 🤔

Prebiotics & Probiotics are the reigning topics of nutrition these days and are collectively known as gut flora or gut microbiota. Even though they sound similar, they’re poles apart when it comes to the impact they have on our bodies. Both prebiotics & probiotics are vital for overall human health, where probiotics are live microbiota found in certain foods. They support in providing various health benefits. On the other hand, prebiotics are the substances that come from fiber, which our digestive system can’t digest and this becomes food for the beneficial bacteria in our gut. Intake of balanced amounts of both prebiotics & probiotics ensures in improving overall health.

Impact of Probiotics on Gut Health

Exposing our bodies to antibiotics for longer periods may cause diarrhea, because antibiotics kill the good bacteria in our digestive tract. This allows bad bacteria to thrive, thus creating an imbalance in gut & results in bloating, constipation, gastrointestinal diseases. Probiotics – the good bacteria, flushes out the bad guys & combat irritable tummy upsets, and other above mentioned symptoms, thus restoring gut health (2).

Effect Of Probiotics On Weight Loss

There are thousands of microorganisms in our digestive tract – majority of them are friendly & produces vital nutrients. Alongside, the good bacteria breaks the fiber that our body can’t digest and turns it into a beneficial chain of fatty acids.

Study shows that normal-weight people have different gut bacteria than obese people. Some research reports support the claim that certain probiotic strains can aid in weight loss & belly fat reduction. The result of one such study concludes that more than men, women showed impressive outcomes & accentuated weight loss with supportive diet (3). However, it’s important to perceive that not all probiotics can aid in weight loss & more studies are needed to support the affiliation of probiotics & weight loss.

Gauging The Safety & Side Effects Of Probiotics

Apart from short-term side-effects like mild gas & bloating, probiotics are deemed safe for healthy people. However in people with compromised immune system (AIDS, Cancer & transplant patients), probiotics projected a greater risk (4). If you’re an immunocompromised or seriously ill or pregnant avoid using probiotics unless, your doctor gives a wave of approval.

Probiotics In Food

Healthy digestive system & strong immune system usually mean a good overall health. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that improves gut health; as gut covers 70% of immune system, probiotics also boosts immunity. But are supplements only the source for probiotics? No! Probiotics can also be found in foods, which you can include in your diet. Here’re a list of super healthy probiotic foodswhich are easily available.

  • Yogurt
  • Kefir/Yakult  – fermented probiotic milk drink
  • Kimchi – fermented cabbage korean dish
  • Sauerkraut – Shredded cabbage fermented in lactic acid bacteria
  • Cheddar Cheese (5)

Conclusion:

Maintaining a healthy gut is way more important than adding probiotics in your lifestyle. Healthy diet & day-to-day workout too shows beneficial impact on your gut health. Even though probiotics offer varied health benefits, they come with a few side effects. Moreover, many more studies are required to understand probiotics & its affect human health. If you’re healthy and are looking are interested in improving gut health probiotics are worth a shot.

Disclaimer

This content, including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. Onthebuzz does not claim responsibility for this information.

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