Probiotics are a healthy kind of bacteria that live naturally in your gut. They work to counteract the bad types of bacteria that can make you sick. However, the balance between the good and the bad can sometimes get wacky, which is when you should be boosting your intake. You can find probiotics in fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir and pickles. By incorporating these items into your meal plan, you can increase your good bacteria so the bad doesn’t compromise your health. Here are all the health benefits of probiotics.
1. Get Rid of Diarrhea and Digestive Upset
Diarrhea can happen for a variety of reasons, including food poisoning or simply eating something that doesn’t agree with you. When you eat foods that contain probiotics, you can help ease the symptoms by squashing the bad bacteria that is causing the issue. Many research studies have found that probiotics have a positive effect in treating diarrhea, no matter why you have it.
2. Treat Your Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a digestive condition that can lead to diarrhea, but it’s not the same as when you just have an upset stomach. IBS is a chronic condition that flares from time to time. Research shows that probiotics can help by soothing your intestines and helping keep digestive symptoms at bay. When you build up your supply of good gut bacteria, it can help control the bad, helping you feel better.
3. Control Your Urinary Health
People who take a lot of antibiotics for urinary tract infections may benefit from eating foods that contain probiotics. Antibiotics can kill off the good bacteria in your digestive tract, so after taking them, you could wind up feeling icky. The probiotics help keep this from happening. Anytime you take antibiotics, talk to your doctor about also adding some probiotics to your routine.
4. Probiotics Are Good for Women’s Health
Your lady parts rely on a certain balance of yeast and bacteria for good health and probiotics can help things stay healthy and normal. For ladies prone to yeast infections, probiotics can really help prevent them and keep you feeling clean and fresh all the time.
5. Boost Your Immune System
Your immune system relies on certain nutrients to keep it working properly. Those include vitamins A and C, as well as antioxidants. Research finds that probiotics also have their place in your immune health. Studies show that probiotics can help increase lymphocytes, which indicates a positive immune response.
6. Ward off Allergies
Allergies can really make you feel crappy and uncomfortable, but it turns out that probiotics can help. The research is limited, but preliminary studies find that women who take probiotics during pregnancy can cut down on the possibility of allergies in their children. Obviously, that won’t benefit you, but you could find that adding probiotics to your diet can help ward off the symptoms.
7. Probiotics Might Maintain Weight Loss
Obese people who have had weight loss surgery may have more success keeping the pounds off by ensuring that their probiotic intake is healthy enough. Other research shows that women trying to lose belly fat were more successful when they ate foods that contain probiotics.
8. Keep Your Mouth Healthy
Sounds gross, but your mouth is a storehouse of yeast and bacteria. That’s only a problem when the balance gets out of whack. Probiotics can help keep that delicate ratio where it needs to be for good oral health.
9. Skin Issues Might Respond
People who have skin conditions like eczema might find the relief they’re looking for when they start getting more probiotics. Like other conditions, unhealthy ratios of good and bad bacteria can alter the health of other parts of your body, including your skin. Simply eating more yogurt or similar foods can help.
What’s your favorite source of probiotics? If you don’t like any of them, talk to your doctor about a supplement. Which of these health issues are you hoping to treat with probiotics?