Is probiotic good for you? Probiotics are the good bacteria that can be found in our bodies. Probiotics are defined by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) as the live microorganisms administered in adequate amount which confer some health benefits to the host.
The word is coined from Greek words pro meaning “promotion’’ and biotic meaning “life.” The father of probiotics Elie Metchnikoff has the stipulation that by manipulating the intestinal microbiomes with host-friendly bacteria found in sour milk health and longevity can be enhanced.
Other scientific research has supported this claim, how probiotics can benefit our health and prevent diseases.
Why do we need probiotics?
Environmental influences, poor hygiene, emotional stress, poor diet, lack of proper sleep all tends to favor bad bacteria which affect overall wellbeing. Naturally, our body has good or beneficial bacteria and bad or harmful bacteria, maintaining a correct balance between these bacteria become a necessity to promote good health. Therefore, we need to introduce favorable bacteria either through fermented food or supplement.
Some probiotics foods are fermented foods, like yogurt, kimchi (made from fermented cabbage), kefir (a yogurt-like beverage), kombucha (made from fermented black tea), tempeh and miso (made from fermented soybean).
When choosing probiotics is always better to go for food-based because of its natural state but there are some bacteria that are not available in a food source, then a supplement will be the next option but choose the strain that meets your requirement.
Read also: Best Probiotics For Digestive Health
- Aids Digestion and Maintain Gut Health
At the right levels, probiotics aid digestion and improve nutrients absorption. It helps supports the cell in the gut lining to prevent bad bacteria through consumed food and drink from getting into the blood. These types of probiotics occur naturally in fermented food and cultured milk (yogurt).
When choosing supplement the following genus Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, or Saccharomyces boulardii are recommended to be considered with at least 1 billion colony units.
- Shows Significant Results in the Prevention and Treatment of Diarrhea
Taking an appropriate amount of probiotics balances the bacteria in the gut and helps prevent any form of diarrhea.
Researchers found that probiotics can help reduce antibiotics-associated diarrhea, traveler diarrhea. The strains most likely to help with diarrhea are Lactobacillus reuteri, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, and strain of yeast probiotics Saccharomyces boulardii which might be helpful.
- Enhance Healthy and Radiant Skin
Probiotics on skin help keep a good balance of bacteria, which can help improve skin conditions in so many ways to give clear and radiant skin. Prevent wrinkles, reinforces skin natural barrier against bad bacteria, balance skin pH level, reduce the severity of certain skin allergies and eczema, decrease signs of aging, and may even protect against cancer of the skin.
Strains of probiotics that have been found to be effective in the treatment of acne are Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium.
- Support Immune System
Probiotics inhibit the growth of harmful gut bacteria and may boost immunity. The major role of the immune system is to protect us against harmful bacteria. And the beneficial bacteria we refer to as probiotics play a major role here.
When the number of beneficial bacteria exceeds the harmful ones, the immune system responds positively by inhibiting the survival of harmful bacteria, prevent autoimmune diseases and infections, may suppress tumor growth and cancer regenerations.
- Balance and Improve Microflora of the Intestine
Present of beneficial bacteria in the gut tends to improve the microflora of the intestine. Help to strengthen the gut wall, facilitate digestion, and maintain smooth bowel movement.
Irritable bowel syndrome which is characterized by abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation can be treated with the use of probiotics.
Read also: Best Probiotics For Digestive Health
- How to Build a Healthy Gut
The gut is biome or home for bacteria, and a healthy gut signifies a balance in the microorganism which impacts our overall health. The best way to live a healthy life is to keep the gut in the best state, and feed the gut healthy bacteria (probiotics) with their food (prebiotics).
Prebiotics are fibers and natural sugars that stimulate the growth of good bacteria in the gut and their activities. Prebiotics are found in foods like whole grains, banana, greens, garlic and onions, artichokes, and soybeans.
While the above listed are natural prebiotics that help stimulates the growth and activities of the natural probiotics in the gut, dietary supplements containing probiotics and prebiotics are much available in stores.