Everyone wants to live a long, happy, and healthy life, and when it comes to being healthy, having the right diet is absolutely key. “You are what you eat” is a phrase that dates back to the early 1900s, but there’s still so much truth in those words, as the foods we choose to eat each day can have a direct and tangible influence on how we feel: including probiotics.
Those who consume nothing but ‘junk’ or processed foods, for example, may find that they feel tired, lose concentration easily, gain weight, struggle with physical exercise, and are at a higher risk of various health issues, including heart disease and cancer. Meanwhile, those who eat well tend to be fitter, leaner, more focused, and can even experience mental health benefits too.
As far as healthy diets are concerned, fruits, veggies, and lean meats are always listed as essential items, and it’s not uncommon to see probiotics listed among the ‘must eat’ items too. Found in the likes of yogurt, kefir, kimchi, tempeh, kombucha, and buttermilk, probiotics are living organisms, often referred to as ‘good bacteria’ that can help with gut health and contribute various benefits to the body.
One of the main benefits of consuming probiotics is the way in which they can balance out the bacteria in the digestive system. This is key for helping the digestive process run smoothly and allowing the body to process and make the most of the other foods we eat.
The balance of gut bacteria is so important, as too many ‘bad bacteria’ can lead to negative reactions and effects such as bloating, digestive problems, and weight gain. Getting more good bacteria into your body via probiotic sources can reduce your risks of these problems.
Many people struggle with their weight and will try to find any means necessary to shed a few of those extra pounds, burn off excess calories more quickly, and get the body shape and size they crave. Probiotics have been proven to help with weight control.
Alongside a healthy diet and regular exercise, consumption of probiotics can assist you with losing weight and excess fat. They help to prevent the absorption of fat in the intestines, as well as making you feel fuller for longer, reducing the risks of snacking.
The immune system is such an important part of your body, serving as your best line of defense against infections of all kinds. Well, some studies have shown that probiotics can help to strengthen the immune system by reducing the growth of bad bacteria in the gut.
Certain studies have also shown that those who consume probiotics on a regular basis are more likely to have higher numbers of important immune cells like T-lymphocytes and natural killer cells, and other studies have linked probiotics with a reduced risk of respiratory disease too.
There are many different digestive disorders that people can suffer from, including the likes of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and others.
Research is ongoing, but studies have so far been promising when looking at how probiotics can help people with some of these disorders. Certain forms of probiotics, for example, have been proven to reduce the symptoms of colitis in certain individuals, as well as soothing the pain and discomfort connected with IBS.
Allergies can be very difficult to live with, triggering uncomfortable, painful, and sometimes even life-threatening reactions in sufferers when they are exposed to certain stimuli. Probiotics, once more, may be able to help with this.
Some studies have shown that certain types of probiotics, when given to young children, in particular, can reduce the likelihood of allergic developments and reactions. More research is needed to really discover the links between these types of bacteria and allergies, but initial findings have been promising.
The heart is one of the most important organs in the body, and it’s vital for anyone wanting to live long and stay healthy to do everything they can to protect their heart. Probiotics may be able to boost heart health in some unique ways.
Certain studies have shown that some probiotics are able to actually lower cholesterol levels in the body by digesting bile. This, in turn, can help to reduce blood pressure, improve heart health, and lower a person’s risk of heart disease or a heart attack.
Mental Health Probiotics offer a range of physical benefits, as we can see throughout this list, but one of their more surprising characteristics is their ability to provide a mental health boost too. Indeed, some studies have shown that people who consume plenty of probiotics can have more positive moods and lower stress levels.
It’s possible that this may be because certain strains of bacteria have been proven to be effective at treating some mental health disorders, reducing anxiety, depression, OCD, and more, while also helping with memory and promoting a happier mood.
Many people struggle with diarrhea throughout their lives, and a common cause of this is due to imbalances in gut bacteria and other digestive problems that can be soothed and solved with probiotics. Studies have shown that people who take probiotics often are less likely to have diarrhea.
This is especially true in people who are following a course of antibiotic treatment; probiotics can be taken as a complementary measure to reduce the chances of antibiotic-induced diarrhea. They can also help to keep your digestive health in check when traveling too.
These are just some of the many benefits associated with probiotics, and countless studies are still ongoing around the globe in order to discover even more positive effects and potential uses of these helpful micro-organisms.
It’s clear to see, with so many great benefits, that probiotics can absolutely be recommended as an integral component of any diet, helping to promote digestive health, heart health, emotional health, immune system health, and much more besides.