What Are Probiotics and How Do They Work?
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeast found in your digestive system. They are very good for your health. We typically think of bacteria as something which causes harm, but the fact is there are good and bad bacteria found in your body. The bad bacteria in the wrong place causes problems, but the right or helpful bacteria in the correct place have benefits. In this case, we consider probiotics as good bacteria since they aid in keeping your gut healthy. Although there are good bacteria currently in your body, you need to maintain and/or replenish probioitcs through dietary supplements, foods, and even beverages.
What Are The Benefits of Probiotics?
Probiotics provide huge health benefits. Not only are probiotics helpful in relieving digestive issues such as digestive upsets, constipation and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), but they also support mood, immunity, urinary health, and vaginal health.
Probiotics are one of the ideal supplements for women, especially if you have issues with urinary and vaginal health. Lactobacillus species and Bacillus Coagulans are the most common types of the bacteria in this region of the body. These two bacteria are very prolific producers of the lactic acid, hence helping to maintain the PH level of the urinary tract and vagina. This is essential for women’s health since yeast, and other unwanted bacteria have a hard time thriving in the acidic environment.
Ways Probiotics Are Killed or Affected In Our Systems
Fermentation – Fermentation happens when the friendly bacteria are taken over by disease-causing microbes including the Candida fungi. These bacteria eat away at the wall of your gut making it porous. Hence, allowing toxins and waste to leak into the bloodstream which eventually makes you sick.
Deficiency – Deficiency happens when a number of the helpful bacteria in the gut starts to dwindle. This tends to happen with the use of antibiotics.
Putrefaction – Putrefaction is the rotting of the poorly digested food and usually happens when you eat foods high in protein, high in fats, and low in fiber. A diet such as this only encourages harmful bacteria to thrive causing an increase in development of tumor-causing particles.
How To Get More Probiotics Into Our System
Here are some foods you can eat to increase probiotics in your body:
Yogurt comprises helpful bacteria including the streptococcus thermophiles, L.acidophilus, and Lactobacillus bulgaricus. Research shows that yogurt contains positive effects on your gut microbiota and is associated with reduced risk for the gastrointestinal disease.
Kefir is very similar to yogurt. This fermented dairy product is a combination of fermented kefir grains and milk, but since it’s fermented with yeast and more bacteria, it tends to be higher in probiotics.
It is slightly tasty and fizzy liquid which results when the sweet black tea is fermented with the mushroom-like colony of the bacteria known as a SCOBY. Its primary health benefits are increased energy, digestive support, and liver detoxification.
Cultured Vegetables – Sauerkraut and Kimchi
It is made from the fermented cabbage and other vegetables. Sauerkraut is high in organic acids that provide food its sour taste and support the growth of the good bacteria.
Probiotic filled miso is usually used to prepare a salty soup that is low in calories and high in B vitamins as well as protective antioxidants.
Other Foods That Increase Probiotics in Your Body:
- Aged soft cheese
- Sour pickles,
- Sourdough bread,
- Khalpi (fermented cucumber)
- Sinki (indigenous fermented radish taproot food)
- Apple cider vinegar
Depending on your taste preference, budget and health needs probiotic capsules may be an option.
Side Effects of Probiotics
For most individuals, taking foods that consist of probiotics or probiotics supplements normally do not experience any side effects other than better digestive health and higher energy. But for some, especially if your gut bacteria and yeast has been out of balance for quite some time, there might be a transition period when existing issues like bloating and gas, get aggravated.
Bloating refers to the feeling which your stomach is swollen, tight or full. It can be associated with a pain which sometimes might be sharp and mistaken for the pain in the appendix, or heart. Bloating can be persistent and unpleasant.
Another side effect is the allergic reactions from the fermented foods especially the commercial ones – which contains biogenic amines which may cause a headache, depression, migraine, stomach problems, itching, and other symptoms.
Burping is very common while consuming probiotics, particularly when starting. When the probiotics bacteria enters your gut, they tend to encounter waste and harmful microorganism. And gas is yielded as the side effect when the helpful bacteria tend to improve the gut environment.
Other side effects include blood pressure changes, constipation, heartburn, and others.
Regardless of what probiotic consumption method you are thinking about, talk with your physician to discuss what method may be right for you.
For Your Health – Get Your Gut Out of a Rut.