What Are Probiotics and Why Do I Need Them?

 

Probiotics are a bit of a trend these days. As more research into their benefits comes out, more people are adding them to their diet. What are probiotics and why are they beneficial? Keep reading to find out.

What Are Probiotics?

Probiotics are live microorganisms that improve your gut health. Gut health is connected to health in other areas, making probiotics a viable way to improve your overall well being.

A variety of different probiotics can be found in food and supplements, but the most common are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Colonizing your digestive system with these friendly lifeforms is simple, and can lead to a number of benefits. 

How Do Probiotics Impact My Health?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, one of the biggest impacts of probiotic use is improved digestion. More specifically, there is strong evidence that probiotic supplementation treats diarrhea associated with antibiotic use. People who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease, and ulcerative colitis may also see improvement in their symptoms through regular probiotic use.

Interestingly, there also appears to be a strong link between probiotics and weight. People who are obese tend to have different bacteria in their gut than those who are not. Some strains of probiotics may help support weight loss efforts, particularly in the loss of belly fat.

What goes on in your gut can have a huge impact on what goes on in your mind. Improving gut health through probiotic supplementation can have a positive impact on mood disorders like anxiety and depression.

Many other benefits of probiotics are currently being researched. Supplementation may have a positive impact on inflammation, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, skin health, and even immune function. While research in these areas is still ongoing, there is clear evidence that probiotic use is an effective complement to an overall healthy lifestyle.

How Do I Add Probiotics to My Diet?

Interested in adding more probiotics to your diet? You have a few options.

  • Probiotic foods: You'll find probiotics in two main areas of food - fermented foods and dairy. Stock up on sauerkraut, kimchi, and dairy items with live cultures to get your probiotics through your diet.
  • Supplements: Pill-based probiotic supplements are an easy and effective way to introduce more healthy bacteria to your gut.
  • Greens powder: Powder-based supplements give you access to the probiotics you want alongside the nutrients found in raw greens. Add to shakes and smoothies, or simply dissolve in water for a simple and delicious way to supplement a healthy diet.

With all of their benefits, it's no wonder that probiotics are gaining popularity. Add them to your diet to see the difference a happy, healthy gut makes.

Tags: Probiotics