Probiotics Are Good For You

Posted by on Jun 30, 2018 in Health | 0 comments

When we normally think of bacteria, we think of germs and the diseases they cause. But some bacteria is good for you, and it is an essential part of our digestive systems. In recent years, the bacterial populations of the human gut have been recognized as having tremendous positive effects for the body’s health, and the lack of bacteria in the intestines has been linked to mood disorders, certain diseases, and other gastrointestinal problems. Probiotics come from the foods we eat, and they can reinforce the body’s natural populations of bacteria that help break down foods.

The problem for some people comes after years of antibiotic use. Antibiotics can be administered by a physician to fight bad bacterial infections, used in surgeries to reduce the risk of necessary treatments, and they can also be found in the processed meat we eat. However, antibiotics kill all forms of bacteria, including the good. Eating sugar-rich foods and not getting enough fiber can have a negative effect on the healthy bacteria populations as well. When the good bacteria diminish, it leaves more room for bad bacteria to take over, and your body begins to suffer. You may notice weight-inducing inflammation, a lower metabolism, a struggling immune system, and a foggy mind. Did you know that all of these things can be corrected with probiotics?

Gut Microbes

Research has identified ways in which gut microbes contribute to the way our bodies regulate health and weight, and they may play an even bigger role than we realize. One way to reintroduce probiotics to the digestive tract is by eating fermented foods and avoiding simple sugars. That’s because fermented foods contain cultures of bacteria that create an environment where the good types of bacteria can thrive. Here are some of the healthiest foods for getting probiotics:

  • Dark chocolate – The American Chemical Society claims that dark chocolate with 70 percent cocoa content or higher is a good source of probiotics and prebiotics. Prebiotics are compounds that feed good bacteria, helping them to develop and grow strong.
  • Sauerkraut – As a form of fermented cabbage, this acidic dish is full of probiotics, antioxidants, and can even help you lose weight. Sauerkraut has even been proven to boost the body’s immune system.
  • Kimchi – This fermented salad can be made using lots of different vegetables, and its taste is unique. Studies have shown that kimchi is linked to reduced weight gain and can be helpful in fighting cancer. 
  • Olives – Olives are salty, tasty, and they are a great source of probiotics. When green olives are soaked in a salty brine, they naturally undergo the fermentation process. The acidic byproduct that is produced by the cultures of bacteria in the olives can help decrease bloating and reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Kefir – It may look like yogurt, but the bacteria in kefir are much more likely to colonize the intestines. The best part is, if you are lactose intolerant, kefir may still be okay to eat. Ohio State researchers found that kefir reduces the unpleasant side-effects of dairy consumption by nearly 70 percent.

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