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You probably asked this question to yourself or those around you, ‘is probiotics good for you?” when you first heard of probiotics. Not many people are aware about the probiotic benefits. If you’re wondering what are probiotics good for, read on to find out!
What are probiotics?
When you hear the word ‘bacteria’, most of you would automatically think that it’s bad for you. Nope, that’s not the case at all! There are actually both good and bad bacteria in our body, and probiotics help to increase, or rather maintain a healthy balance of the good and bad bacteria in your gut.
In other words, probiotics are good bacteria which helps support and improve your digestive system or overall health.
The most common type of bacteria strains found in probiotics would be Bifidobacterium, which is meant to combat digestive issues such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) or improve your mental health while Lactobacillus helps to improve your immune system and regulate your blood sugar levels along with reducing the risk of getting infections.
You can find probiotiocs in supplement form found in pharmacies or medical centres as well as in your every day food and drinks such as kefir, yogurt, kombucha.
Benefits of Probiotics: what are probiotics good for?
Once you’ve understood what in the world are probiotics, you would want to know more about the benefits of probiotics. There are various probiotics benefits, but essentially, you only need to know the important ones such as the benefits listed below:
1. Improve mental health
Did you know the good bacteria in your gut are able to produce ‘happy hormones’ such as dopamine and serotonin? One of the probiotic benefits is how it manages to reduce the overall stress levels while improving your cognitive functions at the same time.
This is because the good bacteria is linked to the nervous system which in return, regulates your overall mood.
2. Reduce skin conditions such as eczema or allergies
A fun fact: your skin is filled with bacteria all over! The major probiotic benefits is how they don’t just work inside your body, but also on the outside – which is your skin. Our skin has its own microbiome, thus, probiotics affect the skin similar to the microbiome in our gut.
The common skin issues that most people seen results (including while pregnant or even infants) would be eczema. Besides that, if you experience inflammation when you have dairy or milk allergies, you will notice it gets reduced.
3. Improve immune system
A good immune system contains ample amount of antibodies which is what probiotics are good for too. When consumed on a daily basis, it will help boost your immune system and promote growth of good bacteria.
This also includes the fact that your infection rates will reduce as well such as respiratory or urinary tract infections.
4. Help you to lose weight
Been wanting to shred a few pounds? Losing weight is actually one of the probiotic benefits and it has been proven to help many people too. The fat in our intestine will not get absorbed, but rather excreted through our poop (so it will not be stored in our body).
Besides that, thanks to the increase in levels of certain hormones (ie. GLP-1), probiotics will make you feel full for a longer period of time. If you are looking to reduce belly fat, probiotics would help you with that too! But to lose belly fat, look out for the probiotics which includes the bacteria called Lactobacillus gasseri. Certain probiotics which contain bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus will cause weight gain, so do take note of the type of bacteria included too.
5. Prevent diarrhea
When you taking antibiotics, you will naturally have diarrhea as it is one of the side effects. You should be able to notice that the occurrence of diarrhea is reduced after taking antibiotics. Furthemore, probiotics are said to also reduce the risk of getting any sort of infectious diarrhea too.
Don’t be confused – diarrhea is one of the side effects when you just start to take probiotics. However, it will subside overtime for about a week or so once your body adjusts to taking probiotics on a consistent basis.
Look out for the types of bacteria such as Lactobacillus casei or Lactobacillus rhamnosus which is widely known to reduce the risk of getting diarrhea.
6. Maintain good digestion
We all know that is it important to maintain a good balance of micreobiome in our gut. With the help of probiotics, you will be able to maintain a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria. On top of that, if you experience several digestive disorders such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), you will find that taking probiotics help to reduce the symptoms or completely prevent it from occuring.
Other than that, if you take antibiotics, the amount of good bacteria will reduce because it kills them off. Taking probiotiocs will replenish the good bacteria in your gut and bring back the suitable balance.
Benefits of probiotics for women
Yes, there are specific benefits of probiotics for women too, including the best women probiotics made to serve every need or requirements! That’s how amazing probiotics are. Women tend to go through various health complications or changes, hence why when it comes to what are probiotics good for, without a doubt there are several benefits for the female body.
1. Help to prevent or rude vaginal infections
Getting vaginal infections such as UTI (urinary tract infections) is not fun. That’s where probiotics come in handy! Due to the fact that the microbiomes in the vagina is filled with more bad bacteria than the good ones, probiotics will help maintain a healthy balance while reducing the painful symptoms that come along with it.
The type of bacteria strains which works best for vaginal infections would be the Lactobacilli.
2. Good for pregnancy
It has been said that when mothers experience eczema or other type of skin conditions, when they take probiotics, it will prevent the likelihood of passing down to their child while pregnant. Besides that, pregnant women regularly experience constipation. The major probiotic benefits is how it helps prevent constipation too.
3. Improves fertility
When you’re trying to get a baby, apparently, taking probiotics on a frequent basis help to increase the chance of pregnancy too. But it depends on the type of bacteria strain as not all of them helps to get you pregnant. Therefore, reach out to your OBGYN or seek professional medical advice to find out which probiotic to take when you’re trying to get a baby.
Are there any side effects of probiotics?
Generally, there are a couple of common side effects when it comes to probiotics such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, to name a few. But you shouldn’t worry too much about them because it will go away after a short while. However, if you notice these symptoms persist, get yourself checked with a professional because you might be taking probiotics which aren’t suitable for you.
You should be able to learn a thing or two about the benefits of probiotics after reading this article. It is safe to say that consuming probiotics on a frequent basis would do no harm to your body – instead, you will be on your way to maintain a healthy gut.