I’m sure that between the popularity of probiotic food items like Greek Yogurt, Kombucha, Kefir, and Kimchi and the mention of probiotics at your doctor’s office or pharmacy, you’ve been wondering what the big deal is about probiotics. The term “probiotic” comes from the Greek work “for life”. Probiotics are a “good bacteria” that occur naturally in our bodies shortly after birth. These friendly bacteria tout a long list of accomplishments and abilities. Let’s take a look at the resume of the probiotics in your gut and find out why they are so important to our overall health.
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We each have over 1,000 strains of bacteria in our guts which help to balance us out against bad bacteria that can sneak into our bodies through food or drink. Unfortunately, the types of bacteria in your gut can be killed off through the use of antibiotics leaving us susceptible to becoming sick if bad bacteria travels through our bodies. Antibiotics can kill off the flora in our digestive tracts that helps us to digest our food. This is why many antibiotics list digestive side effects like diarrhea and other gastrointestinal distress. Doctors will often prescribe a probiotic alongside any antibiotic they need you to take. This is because when your body is full of probiotics, these is nowhere for the bad bacteria to attach onto your intestines, forcing the bacteria to exit your body and preventing you from becoming sick.
Improved Urinary Health
We already know that probiotics can help to offset the dangers of the use of antibiotics, but they can also help to increase your overall urinary health. Probiotics have been proven to help stop the occurrence of Urinary Tract Infections (UTI’s)by creating a party of good bacteria which prevent the bad bacteria from attaching to the tract itself.
Better Health “Down There”
Yeast infections and Bacterial Vaginosis are two super common issues in women. Did you know that there is a surefire way to prevent these uncomfortable problems? You guessed it, probiotics! Keeping the good bacteria populated in your lady parts gives the bad bacteria less room to survive. Probiotics have been found to not only prevent infections, but also to help to manage active ones.
Aid in Weight Loss
A recent study noted that people who are obese tend to have differences in healthy gut bacteria from those of people of average weight. The research is quite preliminary, but it seems that adding probiotics to your diet would be an easy change and would only act to help your overall health, so why not try it? There is also some evidence that probiotics have helped postpartum women to reduce the inches around their abdomen.
Probiotics are a tiny organism with a big job–to keep our bodies happy and healthy! With so many probiotic rich foods on the market, do yourself a favor and make a habit of incorporating these magical (okay, not really) organisms into your diet!
Do you have a favorite probiotic food or supplement? Tell me about it in the comments!