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What's The Deal With Probiotics?

You have no doubt heard about probiotics before. You know that they are commonly found in most yogurt and kefir products, and you know that they are good for your body and digestive tract…for some reason. If you’re confused about what exactly probiotics are, and why they are so essential for keeping your gut and body healthy, read on. As a huge yogurt fan myself, I’ve done plenty of research on the benefits of probiotics, and in particular, there was a post by Authority Nutrition that really cleared up a lot of points for me that I’d like to share with you.

Essentially, probiotics are live bacteria cultures and yeasts that are great for maintaining the health of your body and especially your digestive tract. When most people learn that probiotics are a type of bacteria, they understandably get a little concerned. After all, isn’t bacteria bad for you? Isn’t bacteria the stuff that causes colds, flus, and painful infections in all parts of the body? Well, yes, some bacteria does have that effect on us – but not the bacteria found in probiotics.

Probiotics are known as good or helpful bacteria, since they are so important for keeping your gut healthy. Having an abundance of the right kind of bacteria in your body can have a multitude of health benefits, from promoting weight loss to strengthening the immune system, to even improving digestion and clearing up your skin – all while also working to combat many diseases. The most commonly found groups of probiotics found in food sources are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.

In addition to getting adequate amounts of probiotics from yogurt and kefir, you can also get these helpful bacteria from tofu, kimchi, tempeh, and sauerkraut. The probiotics found in these foods can work to eliminate everything from diarrhea to constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, gas, and bloating. This is because the good bacteria in probiotics works to kill off bad bacteria inyour gut that may be irritating your digestive tract and harming your health overall.

Probiotics also have anti inflammatory properties, which can make them ideal in combating such conditions as Crohn’s disease as well as ulcerative colitis. Be sure to add a cup of yogurt or some type of probiotic drink such as kefir into your diet, preferably as a morning alternative to breakfast. Additionally, you may also want to add more tofu to your soups and stews.

Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Bad Reichenhaller

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