If you take an interest in health, chances are you’ve heard the word “probiotic” repeated over and over again every time you consider how you can improve your gut health. Here are some facts on what probiotics actually are, how they can improve the way you feel, and what foods you should be eating to make sure you consume them.
What Is a Probiotic?
Often referred to as “good” bacteria, probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are thought to help restore the natural balance of bacteria in your gut after it’s been disrupted. This can happen after taking a course of antibiotics or after you’ve suffered from a nasty bout of food poisoning. Probiotics are thought to improve the effects of diarrhea, to protect the health of premature babies who are at the risk of developing the gut disease, necrotising enterocolitis, and to help people who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, reducing bloating and flatulence. Certain probiotics can also help to reduce symptoms of lactose intolerance.
What Do Probiotics Do?
Probiotics can help food pass through your gut more peacefully thanks to their ability to affect nerves that control gut movement. This means that anyone with a bowel condition like IBS, diarrhea caused by antibiotics, and inflammatory bowel disorder might be helped.
What Are the Different Types of Probiotics?
There are two groups of probiotics. The first is lactobacillus, which is found in fermented foods. It can help with diarrhea and digesting lactose. The second is bifidobacterium, which can help people with IBS.
Do They Have Side Effects?
Sometimes taking probiotics can result in a mild stomach upset for the first few days.
What Foods Can Probiotics Be Found In?
Yogurt is one of the best probiotics sources because it’s made from fermented milk. Make sure that you choose a yogurt with active or live cultures that isn’t full of added sugar. Other fermented foods like soybean product tempeh, unpasteurized sauerkraut and the spicy Korean dish, kimchi also contain plenty of probiotics. Kombucha is also becoming increasingly popular. A black or green tea drink, it originated in Asia and is fermented with bacteria and yeast. You could also choose to take a probiotic supplement.
Probiotics can help anyone suffering from a sensitive stomach or a mild bowel condition. Although you should always make sure you do your research before adding them to your diet, they will almost certainly make you feel less bloated, gassy and uncomfortable.
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