What do you think of when you hear the word ‘Probiotics’? Many people think of yoghurts and may even think that they are a sort of sales gimmick and not really something beneficial to our health.
However, research does show that these nice and friendly bacteria can not only help with, but also prevent many ailments.
Not only may they keep at bay something called Antibiotic Associated Diarrhoea (AAD) but they can also boost the immune system and improve health, even helping with obesity.
But why are they called ‘probiotics’?
‘Pro’ comes from the Greek word that signifies promotion and ‘biotic’ meaning life, in other words, any type of live microorganism that has a positive impact upon health when eaten.
Probiotics come in many forms; yoghurt, Kefir, Miso, Kombucha tea, apple cider vinegar and fermented foods such as sauerkraut. But how do they help our body?
How probiotics can improve health
Probiotics can help with:
• Digestive Health – with more than 1000 sorts of bacteria in our gut, we need them to help us digest food and take the nourishment out of it in the right way. The problem is, if you are taking antibiotics, they kill not only the bad bacteria but also the good. The end result? Very often diarrhoea or something similar. Probiotics help by putting back the ‘good’ bacteria that has been destroyed. They can also help if you suffer from IBS.
• Urinary Health – they can help to stop bad bacteria getting into the urinary tract, thereby causing infection. Again, if your doctor prescribes antibiotics to eradicate a urine infection, you may need to boost your diet afterwards with some foods rich in probiotics.
• Allergies – initial research indicates that eczema may be reduced as well as seasonal allergies such as hay fever.
• Vaginal Health – just like every other part of the body, the vagina also needs a balance of good/bad bacteria. When the balance is off, yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis can show themselves and probiotics taken as a vaginal suppositories have appeared to help.
• Immunity – a great way of boosting your immune system, adding fermented milk or some other form of probiotic to your diet can increase the production of lymphocytes. These are markers of the immune response within the body so the more you have, the better your immune system.
• Obesity – researchers found out that overweight people had different bacteria in their gut. Whilst it is not totally clear how probiotics help weight loss, if you ingest them via a low calorie food or drink then there is certainly no harm in trying them!
Get some probiotic foods into your diet
So as you can see, there are many possible health benefits gained by ingesting probiotics. With more and more types of probiotic foods and drinks containing them coming onto the market frequently, it is easy enough to find something that you like. Last but not least, taking a good quality supplement is also a possible way to get more probiotics into your body. Build some probiotics into your diet on a regular basis and check out the benefits.
If you think someone else may benefit from the information here, don’t hesitate to Share it with them via the links below.
If you would like to receive regular updates especially relevant to the over 50s, why not sign up to our free newsletter The Best of Friends via this link.