We all want to be as healthy as possible, and we’re bombarded with ideas about what we should be doing, what we shouldn’t be doing, and what we might want to do at some point in the future, in order to obtain that overall health and wellness status. One subject that you will almost certainly have heard plenty about is probiotics.
Firstly, we should state that whilst there is a lot of evidence to suggest that probiotics are very useful for health, and can be beneficial in lots of different areas, health professionals are still quite on the fence about how to use them, how not to use them, and so on. More research is going into dosages, any possible side effects, and whether there are any contraindications. Warning over however, let’s talk about why probiotics might be a great addition to your diet.
What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are actually different strains of bacteria, but good bacteria. Your stomach needs a healthy balance between good and bad, in order to work properly, and to starve off any potential illness. When the good stuff is in short supply, you become ill, and you experience side effects, such as stomach problems.
Now, probiotics can be taken either as a supplement, or you can try and get them in via your natural diet (yoghurt is one of the best and easiest to find). Many people find it hard to get enough probiotic content through diet alone, which is the reason why the probiotic supplement market is certainly booming. There are countless different types of probiotics, so it’s vital that you do your research and find the best one for you. If you’re not sure, have a chat with your doctor, to get some expert advice.
What do Probiotics do?
Aside from keeping that healthy balance between good bacteria and bad, probiotics also help your gut health overall. This is the main focus of probiotics, as well as helping you with a better functioning immune system.
The good bacteria affects the nerve signals in your gut, basically signalling that it’s time to move that food thought your digestive system, and let nature take its course. When your food doesn’t move at the right pace, you begin to suffer with side effects, such as diarrhoea, constipation, bloating, gas, etc. None of that is pleasant. You also might suffer from conditions related to the gut area, such as IBS or inflammatory bowel disease. Probiotics have been shown to help reduce the effects of conditions like these.
Aside from gut health and your immune system, probiotics have many other reputed benefits. More research needs to go into this for confirmation, but probiotics are widely through to have the following advantages:
- Can help with certain allergies, including skin conditions like eczema
- Can boost your energy levels
- Can help with recurrent UTIs in women, and yeast infections (thrush)
- May help with oral health, e.g. reducing bouts of oral thrush and tooth decay
- May help to reduce belly fat, therefore aiding weight loss
- Boosts the immune system by keeping that balance between good bacteria and bad bacteria
- May help with depression and anxiety conditions
There is certainly a lot of noise about probiotics on the health market, and it may just be time for you to give them a try for yourself. Remember to check things out with your doctor first, and to shop around for your ideal product, to give you the best chance of grabbing those benefits.