Probiotics are living microorganism, that can be consumed through fermented food or supplements. The most common probiotics bacteria are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, which may boost your health when consumed in adequate amounts. Probiotics are often found in yogurt, aged cheese as cheddar, gouda, or mozzarella, kefir, kimchi, miso, kombucha and tempeh. You can also take probiotics as tablets or powders that contain the bacteria in dried from.
Here are the five health benefits of probiotics:
1- Balance gut bacteria
Probiotics may restore the composition of the gut microbiome and introduce beneficial functions to your gut. An imbalance gut flora is linked to numerous diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, colorectal cancer and depression. Probiotics can help correct this balance, ensuring that your gut is functioning optimally.
2- Prevent and treat diarrhea
According to the latest studies probiotics may help treat and prevent different type of diarrhea, including antibiotic-associated, infectious, and traveller’s diarrhea. Prebiotics can help by restoring the balance of bacteria, may aid your intestines to fight pathogens, and ensure a proper absorption of nutrients.
3- Prevent heart disease
Probiotics may help protect your heart by reducing bad LDL cholesterol levels, and lowering blood pressure. Probiotics can bind with cholesterol in the intestines and stop it from being absorbed.
4- Boost the immune system
Probiotics may help boost your immune system and protect you against infections. They promote the production of natural antibodies in the body, and may boost immune cells such as T lymphocytes and natural killer cells. Probiotics have shown to reduce urinary tract and respiratory infections.
5- Help with depression
Many experts believe that there is a strong connection between your gut and your brain. Microorganisms living in the gut, including probiotics, may reduce inflammation in the body which can contribute to depression, and may also affect cognitive function and response to stress.
Although probiotics may offer a wide range of benefits, more studies are needed to understand which dosages or types of food can deliver the best results matter nutrition.Written by Mariam Fadlallah, Kcal Nutritionist