A recent trend in both the health food industry and nutritional dialogue has been the immense benefits derived as a result of adding probiotics to your daily food regimen. Probiotics are live bacteria cultures that are commonly present in many types of yogurt. The distinctive and recognizable sour flavor of yogurt is caused by the effect that these bacteria have on milk. While consuming bacteria doesn't sound like a good thing thanks to the negative reputation associated with the bacteria, the body is actually filled with helpful bacteria that improve many bodily functions. Ingesting probiotics regularly can have a number of beneficial effects on the human body.
Improve Digestive Regularity
Many consumers are incorporating yogurt with live and active bacteria cultures in their daily diets because probiotic bacteria can help regulate the digestive system. A healthy GI tract and digestive system will result in regular bowel movements that occur about an hour after each meal is consumed. Individuals without healthy digestive systems may experience a variety of negative and uncomfortable effects, including:
- Pain associated with bowel movements
- Hemorrhoids caused by too much straining
- Weakness or nausea
The balance of healthy bacteria in the digestive system can be thrown off due to illness, antibiotic consumption or other environmental factors. In these instances, consuming probiotic bacteria can help to restore digestive function to its ideal state. Probiotic bacteria can help to promote digestion and absorption of nutrients and to process foods which are not always easy to digest such as the lactose in dairy products.
Enhance the Immune System
Taking a daily probiotic supplement can help enhance the immune system. Probiotics, also called friendly or "good" bacteria, have been shown to improve the functionality of the immune system, assist with detoxification of the human body and drastically lower the risks of contracting viruses or diseases. The digestive tract and the body's immune system are directly linked. The health of the digestive tract has a direct influence over whether or not the immune system can function in a healthy manner. Probiotics can restore a balance to the digestive system and increase the effectiveness of the immune system.
Promote Healthy Weight Loss
Probiotics are often consumed through foods such as yogurt with live bacteria cultures or through supplementation because of the interesting weight loss effects that these bacteria can have on the human body. When the digestive system is functioning at full capacity, nutrients that help to jump start the body's metabolism can be effectively absorbed and activated. Without these probiotics to boost the immune system and promote regularity in digestive function, nutrients may pass through the body without being utilized. Consuming probiotics on a regular basis can help boost the effects of a weight loss routine.
Alleviate Digestive Issues and Negative Symptoms
Many consumers take probiotics regularly because of their ability to help combat some of the unfortunate side effects associated with an imbalanced digestive system. When the digestive system is affected by antibiotics or other environmental factors, the body may begin to experience uncomfortable side effects such as gas, bloating, cramps, nausea, diarrhea or constipation. All of these side effects can be attributed to an insufficient amount of healthy bacteria in the digestive tract. If the intestines do not have enough healthy bacteria, food will not be effectively digested and harmful gases and other substances may be released. Probiotics help to restore the balance of the digestive system and prevent or alleviate these unpleasant side effects.
Prevent Vaginal, Bladder and Other Infections
Probiotics are also used to prevent the development of infection in the vagina or bladder. Infections are often caused by the presence of yeast, which reacts to a moist environment and can cause itching and burning. Similar to athlete's foot, an infection that grows on the feet of many athletes, yeast can find a hospitable environment in either the bladder or the vagina. However, probiotics feed on yeast and can eliminate these infections or prevent them from occurring altogether.
Consuming probiotic bacteria may seem like a strange nutritional decision. Many consumers associate bacteria with sickness or other health problems. However, the body needs bacteria in order to survive, and the good bacteria known as probiotics can help to improve the body's overall health.