It might seem strange to take supplements and eat foods that contain bacteria, but not all bacteria are bad. In fact, we need good strains of bacteria in our body to help promote the health of our microbiome, which has affects on our health overall. A healthy microbiome can aid in proper digestion, boost the immune system, create improved mental health, and keep diseases at bay.
It even helps with weight loss! So what exactly are the benefits of incorporating probiotics into your diet? Let’s look at 2 areas of your health that probiotics can help to support.
Taking probiotics can greatly improve your digestive health, including lessening symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and gas. It can be helpful in treating Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and ulcerative colitis.
Studies have shown that Lactobacillus GG can help lessen eh duration of diarrhea in infants and children, and help to decrease the amount of antibiotic-related diarrhea in adults.
The opposite problem of diarrhea, constipation, can also be treated with probiotics. Researchers have shown that taking probiotics can slow the “gut transit time,” which helps to create softer stools and more frequent bowel movements.
Studies have shown that certain strains of probiotics can help to prevent ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease from returning once treated. These diseases are difficult to treat, so patients are typically given several strains of probiotics to see which ones are helpful.
Probiotics have been shown to greatly benefit urogenital health in women. Just like the intestine, the vagina contains an ecosystem of balanced bacteria that needs to be nurtured. Typically, Lactobacilli strains make it hard for harmful bacteria to survive in the vagina, but the system can be disrupted by several factors, including antibiotics, birth control pills, diet, and spermicides. Using probiotics to boost vaginal health can help to restore the balance of bacteria in the vagina, which can treat problems like bacterial vaginitis, yeast infections, and urinary tract infections.
In order to reap the benefits of probiotics for vaginal health, women consume yogurt, fermented foods, and Kombucha, as well as include a probiotic supplement. Some women even insert the yogurt into the vagina in order to treat yeast infections. Taking probiotics both orally and vaginally, especially the strain Lactobacilli, has been shown to treat bacterial vaginosis as well. Make sure to speak to your doctor about, though, because vaginosis must be treated with convention medicine as well since it can be dangerous for women who are pregnant.
How to Get Probiotics
Probiotics are readily available in the United States in supplement form. Make sure to find a supplement that’s high quality from a credible company that you trust. IT’s best to consume probiotics that are live, which means they arrive cold and must be refrigerated.
You can also get probiotics from food sources. Yogurt and kefir contain a lot of good healthy bacteria, as do fermented foods like Kombucha and sauerkraut. Even consuming everyday produce like onions, garlic, mango, and sprouted grains can help to feed the good bacteria in your gut and get rid of the bad.