We would like to make a case why it is important to include naturally rich probiotics foods in your diet. Instead of plainly tell you – it is very important to include naturally rich probiotics foods in our diet (hoping you will believe us and just do it), we would like to tell you a story (a series of blogs) hoping you will arrive at that same conclusion yourself after reading our articles and be more likely to try it out (or so research says).Here is the first set of information to help us familiarize ourselves with what probiotics are, how they work, how to get them, etc.
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are live microorganisms also known as microbial food ingredients. Probiotics have beneficial effect on the human health when consumed in adequate amounts. They have good, live bacteria strains that are either the same or very similar to the bacteria already found in the human body. Probiotics also have yeasts strains. Yeast are single-celled microorganisms.
What are some example of probiotics strains?
- Saccharomyces boulardii
Lactobacillus family, mainly found in the small intestine, and Bifidobacterium family, mostly found in the large intestine (colon) are an excellent probiotics sources of good bacteria. Those strains are normally found in the human gastrointestinal tract. Yogurt is a great natural source of those strains. Saccharomyces boulardii is a non-pathogenic yeast strain.
How do probiotics work?
Different probiotics can act in different ways in the human body. Probiotics generally:
- Produce vitamin B12 and vitamin K2
- Help to turn fibers into short-chain fats such as butyrate, propionate and acetate, which feed the gastrointestinal wall and perform many metabolic functions
- Help maintain a desirable community of microorganisms
- Stabilize the digestive tracks’ barriers against undesirable microorganisms
- Product substances that inhibit microorganisms’ growth
- Aid the community of microorganisms in the digestive tract to return to normal (see ways in which we can disturb the digestive system’s environment)
- Compete with unfriendly microorganisms
- Stimulate our immune system
Why care about probiotics?
Probiotics is composed of good bacteria and yeast which has different strains that provide different health benefits. Researchers suggest that the bacteria that live on and in our bodies can profoundly influence our health. Microbes populate the gut, urinary tract, and lungs and live on our skin and in our mouths. They help shape our immune systems, keep away infections, regulate our weight, and even potentially influence our emotions and moods. In fact, there are so many health benefits of probiotics that we have dedicated an entire post to cover some of the most well-known benefits. Read more on probiotics benefits. Read more on health conditions where probiotics consumption can help.
What causes “good” bacteria decrease?
The human body can be thrown of imbalance and shortage of “good” bacteria due to many reasons such as:
- Poor diet full of processed foods
- Taking antibiotics and medications
- Sugar and GMO consumption
- Kidney stones
- Lack of sleep
- Surgeries and procedures such as colostomies
- Gastrointestinal disorders such as:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Urinary tract infection
- Crohn’s disease
What are some possible signs of NOT having enough “good” bacteria?
- Weight gain
- Skin conditions
- Gastrointestinal conditions such as
How do I get probiotics to my body?
There are 3 main ways to get probiotics which we will briefly touch on.
1. Food such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut to name a few
At be Healthy be Happy, we believe getting probiotics to your body through eating naturally rich probiotics’ foods such as yogurt, kimchi, kefir, kombucha is the way to you. Read more why it is best to consume foods rich in probiotics as opposed to taking probiotic supplements.
2. Dietary probiotics supplements
We suggest talking to your doctor or health care provider if considering taking dietary probiotics supplements. There are so many different strings, with different functions, and brands that it might take a trial and learn process until you find what works best for you. Read more about side effects and if it is safe to consume dietary supplements.
3. Skin creams
Probiotics can help skin conditions such as eczema. Again, we suggest consulting with your health care provider(s) should you consider using creams rich in probiotics.
- Pasteurization kills the live bacteria
- Make sure the yogurt is not pasteurized after the live bacteria has been added as that will kill the good bacteria.
- Make sure that if you are buying yogurt from the store it says that there is “Live and Active Cultures”.
- If buying vinegar, ensure it is raw and unpasturized
- Read more to see which foods are naturally rich in probiotics
* Information and statements made by be Healthy be Happy are for education purposes only and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. be Healthy be Happy does not provide medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by be Healthy be Happy are not to replace conventional medical service. Any choices and decisions you are making are at your own risk. If you have a medical condition or health concern, contact your physician.