How Probiotics Are Good For You
They might lower the number of “bad” bacteria in your gut that can cause illness or inflammation. They can also replace those problem germs with good or helpful bacteria.
Researchers are studying when and how probiotics might best help. There’s more research for some illnesses than others. They might help people with:
- Diarrhea, especially when it’s linked to specific antibiotics. Probiotics also might help with infectious diarrhea, especially in children.
- Inflammatory bowel diseases including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Some probiotics might keep ulcerative colitis in remission and prevent Crohn’s disease from relapsing and getting worse.
- Irritable bowel syndrome. Probiotics can sometimes help ease symptoms, including stomach pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation.
Probiotics also are being studied for many other conditions. There isnât as much research yet, but some people say that probiotics have helped them with:
- Decreasing inflammation, such as from rheumatoid arthritis
Probiotics: How To Make Your Own
If you have access to a television, chances are you have seen the commercials for the yogurt that claims to make you more regular. You might wonder how a yogurt can have this effect on the body. The answer? Probiotics.
Until modern times, most cultures incorporated some sort of fermented, probiotic food into their diet as a matter of course. Unfortunately, as we became more modernized, we learned about bacteria and, in fear, began sterilizing everything we come into contact with in our first world lives. We also began to shy away from foods that have been fermented, even though they had been eaten without a problem for generations. Maybe it was a matter of health concern, or perhaps it was a matter of convenience. After all, modern first-world eating often relies on shelf-stable foods that are highly processed and, as a result, lifeless. Removing the beneficial probiotic foods has left many people unarmed in the fight against bad bacteria and other flora in the gut. Yogurt products and others like them are an attempt to add probiotics back into the diet and get more healthy gut flora to help win the battle for good health.
Adding probiotics into the diet is one way to balance the good/bad bacteria ratio in the gut. When the good bacteria are on the winning side, the gut tends to function more normally. Additionally, the immune system is strengthened and often upper digestive issues can be alleviated without the use of antacids or prescription drugs.
Keep It Clean
What Is The Best Probiotics Made In Usa
Sorry if youre perplexed. I know its not an easy choice! But its one of the most crucial choices youll ever make. If youre still unsure which type of best probiotics made in usa is best for you, I recommend comparing the characteristics and functionalities of the best probiotics made in usa listed above. Each has advantages and disadvantages.
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Great Probiotic Foods For Better Gut Health
Are you getting enough probiotic-rich foods in your diet? Chances are youre probably not. Probiotics are a form of good bacteria found in your gut which are responsible for everything from nutrient absorption to immune health.
Not only are probiotics are essential for digestion, but did you know there are hundreds of other health benefits of consuming probiotic-rich foods that you might not be aware of? According to a review in the journal ISRN Nutrition, probiotics could also help people lower cholesterol, protect against allergies, aid in cancer prevention and more.
In most cases, getting more probiotics in your routine doesnt require you to buy expensive pills, powders or supplements. In fact, there are a number of probiotic foods out there that are delicious, versatile and easy to enjoy as part of a healthy, well-rounded diet naturally.
In this article, well cover the extensive list of all probiotic foods you should consider adding to your food routine and how they can benefit you. Plus, well look at some tips for how to fit these fermented foods into your meals to maximize the gut-boosting benefits of probiotics.
Which Foods Are Probiotic
A high quality, plain yogurt with live cultures can be a fantastic addition to your diet if you want to add beneficial bacteria.
Fermented foods are another great option, as they contain beneficial bacteria that thrive on the naturally occurring sugar or fiber in the food.
Examples of fermented foods include:
- other pickled vegetables
If youre going to eat fermented foods for their probiotic benefits, make sure theyre not pasteurized, as this process kills the bacteria.
Some of those foods can also be considered synbiotic, because they contain both beneficial bacteria and a prebiotic source of fiber for the bacteria to feed on.
Some examples of synbiotic foods are cheese, kefir, and sauerkraut.
Probiotic foods naturally contain helpful bacteria. Many of these foods can be made at home or purchased at a grocery store.
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What Do Probiotics Do
There are many benefits of probiotics, but most notably, they are used to treat GI health conditions as they help balance out the good and bad bacteria in the gut. Probiotics can:
- Play a role in the synthesis of some vitamins, including vitamins B and K.
- Produce short-chain fatty acids , which help regulate T-cells.T-cells strengthen the immune system and act as anti-inflammatories.
- Improve symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease , Crohns disease, and ulcerative colitis.
- Reduce oral candidiasis and yeast infections by promoting healthy pH balances
- Combat obesity and improve weight loss .
- Treat a variety of diarrheas and GI issues, such as infectious diarrhea, clostridium difficile, and pouchitis.
- Improve skin conditions like atopic dermatitis .
- Help soften stool and potentially help with constipation, though they do not increase the number of bowel movements.
There is a lot of speculation over the effectiveness of probiotics because there is limited research. For example, systematic reviews have shown little to no beneficial effects of probiotics on the common cold and urinary tract infections. This is because probiotics come in so many varieties with many different strains, and its yet to be seen if all variations of a particular strand would produce the same benefits.
How Does Food Affect The Gut Microbiota
The food you eat plays an important role in the balance of good and bad gut bacteria.
For example, a high sugar and high fat diet negatively influences the gut bacteria and may contribute to insulin resistance and other conditions (
One of the things your good gut bacteria do with prebiotic fiber is turn it into a short-chain fatty acid called butyrate.
Studies suggest that butyrate production in the colon cannot be maintained without adequate intake of prebiotic fiber .
Prebiotics are types of fiber that humans cannot digest, but your gut bacteria can. These types of fiber provide nutrients to the bacteria that support healthy digestion and immune function.
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How To Get More Probiotics
There are two ways to get more good bacteria into your gut: fermented foods and dietary supplements. Fermented foods are the most natural source. Probiotic supplements, which are typically sold over the counter, are reserved to treat specific ailments as suggested by your doctor, and not recommended for everyday use. Plus, supplements do not have the same FDA oversight as medications do.
So, a big question remains: How many probiotic foods do you need? That’s not easy to answer.
There is no recommended daily intake for probiotics, so there is no way to know exactly which fermented foods or what quantity is best. Therefore, the general guideline is to just add as many fermented foods to your daily diet as possible.
Why fermented foods? Fermenting is one of the oldest techniques for food preservation. Mankind has been fermenting foods and drinks like beer and wine for centuries. Foods that are fermented go through a process of lactofermentation in which natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food, creating lactic acid. This process creates an environment that preserves the food and promotes beneficial enzymes, B vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as various species of good bacteria.
Another way to look at fermentation is that it takes one type of food and transforms it into another kind. For instance, cabbage becomes sauerkraut, cucumbers become pickles, soybeans turn into miso, and milk can be made into yogurt, cheeses, and sour cream.
Importance Of Microorganisms For Your Gut
The complex community of microorganisms in your gut is called the gut flora, gut microbiota, or gut microbiome .
The gut microbiota includes bacteria, viruses, fungi, archaea, and helminths with bacteria comprising the vast majority. Your gut is home to a complex eco-system of 300500 bacterial species .
Most of the gut flora is found in your colon, or large intestine, which is the last part of your digestive tract.
Surprisingly, the metabolic activities of your gut flora resemble those of an organ. For this reason, some scientists refer to the gut flora as the forgotten organ .
Your gut flora performs many important health functions. It manufactures vitamins, including vitamin K and some of the B vitamins .
It also turns fibers into short-chain fats like butyrate, propionate, and acetate, which feed your gut wall and perform many metabolic functions (
Probiotics and prebiotic fibers can help correct this balance, ensuring that your forgotten organ is functioning optimally .
Your gut flora consists of hundreds of types of microorganisms. These microorganisms perform numerous important bodily functions.
Probiotics are widely researched for their effects on digestive health .
Evidence suggests that probiotic supplements can help cure antibiotic-associated diarrhea .
When people take antibiotics, especially for long periods of time, they often experience diarrhea even long after the infection has been eradicated.
These unknowns include :
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Diy Probiotic #: Milk Kefir
Even though theres plenty of confusion around the different names used for ferments, this one is fairly straightforward. In this case, were talking about the traditional process of incorporating cow, goat, or sheep milk with kefir grains. Kefir grains are really strands of Streptococci bacteria , Lactobacilli bacteria , and various kinds of yeasts. They are often referred to as yeast or bacterial starters. The bacteria use the lactose sugar in the milk to survive and thrive.
Its especially easy to make your own. You can purchase a package of powdered starter, buy kefir grains online , or even get some starter from someone you know. It only takes 24 hours to culture. Once you have your first batch of kefir done, you can then use that as a starter and continually have a fresh supply of kefir on hand. You can expect to be drinking between 30-50 healthy probioticsno excuses as to why we shouldnt all be drinking probiotic-rich kefir every day!
What About Yogurt And Lactic Acid Based Probiotics
You may include organic and non-organic yogurt, kefir, or kombucha to your diet in hopes of maintaining a healthy weight and microbial balance. Lactobacillusacidophilus and Bifidobacteria, the bacterial genera and species typically found in yogurt and traditional probiotic supplements, do not have the naturally protective shell inherent to all spore-forming bacteria, so they cannot withstand gastric acids. These strains are not bad for you and can be helpful, however, you may find them to be less effective and not the best for achieving optimal gut health. While these types of bacteria can have intended benefits, unfortunately very few of these organisms ever reach the lower intestine.
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Basic Milk Kefir Recipe
4 c. organic milkwhole, part, or skimmed1 package milk kefir starter1 quart-sized mason jar
Place milk starter in a clean 1-quart mason jar. Gently warm the milk in a ceramic, glass, or stainless steel pot on the stove until finger hot. Pour the milk into the jar. Stir to dissolve the powder with the handle of a clean, wooden spoon. Cover with a dish cloth or paper towel, secure with an elastic band, and let sit in a warm area of your kitchen for 24 hours. After 24 hours, the kefir will have the consistency of buttermilk, or a thin, runny yogurt. Its ready to drink! Add kefir to smoothies or use to make creamy salad dressings like ranch and dill.
Notes: 1) If you are making kefir with kefir grains , youll have to strain out the grains using a plastic fine mesh sieve before consuming the liquid. 2) To make a fresh batch of kefir, place 1 cup of kefir in a 1-quart mason jar to use as your starter. Gently warm 3 cups milk and pour over the starter. Stir to combine with the handle of a wooden spoon. Cover with a dish cloth or paper towel, secure with an elastic band, and let sit in a warm place in your kitchen. Done in 24 hours!
So What Are Probiotics
Probiotics are live microorganisms that offer several health benefits to the body. According to the Mayo Clinic, probiotics can occur both naturally in your body or are available in the form of dietary supplements. They can also be present in certain foods like yogurt, kombucha and sauerkraut.
Kimchi, which is a popular Korean side dish, is a common vegetable probiotic. It is made by fermenting vegetables with ginger, garlic, salt, chili powder and onions for a period of two days up to a week. Research shows that kimchi can reduce the incidence of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and even improve immune function when consumed regularly.
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Obesity And Metabolic Syndrome
The gut flora has also been implicated in obesity and metabolic syndrome due to the key role it plays in the digestive process the Western pattern diet appears to drive and maintain changes in the gut flora that in turn change how much energy is derived from food and how that energy is used. One aspect of a healthy diet that is often lacking in the Western-pattern diet is fiber and other complex carbohydrates that a healthy gut flora require flourishing changes to gut flora in response to a Western-pattern diet appear to increase the amount of energy generated by the gut flora which may contribute to obesity and metabolic syndrome. There is also evidence that microbiota influence eating behaviours based on the preferences of the microbiota, which can lead to the host consuming more food eventually resulting in obesity. It has generally been observed that with higher gut microbiome diversity, the microbiota will spend energy and resources on competing with other microbiota and less on manipulating the host. The opposite is seen with lower gut microbiome diversity, and these microbiotas may work together to create host food cravings.
Just as gut flora can function in a feedback loop that can drive the development of obesity, there is evidence that restricting intake of calories can drive changes to the composition of the gut flora.
Is It Okay To Take A Probiotic Every Day
Since probiotics are typically sold as supplements and not drugs, the FDA does not have to regulate the health claims. However, research shows that daily use of probiotics is safe.
While there are usually not many side effects associated with using a probiotic, people may feel occasional bloating/gas or differences in bowel movements when they first start taking a probiotic, Del Borrello says. It usually goes away with time.
It is also important to get the correct dosage of probiotics for full effectiveness. Probiotic dosages are given in colony-forming units or CFUs. Children are recommended to take 5-10 billion CFUs a day and adults are recommended to take 10-20 billion CFUs per day.
When starting probiotics, it is possible that you will develop loose stool for the first few days. Because probiotics are live bacteria, it is important to check the sell by date on the supplement.
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How Do Probiotics Work
The main job of probiotics, or good bacteria, is to maintain a healthy balance in your body. Think of it as keeping your body in neutral. When you are sick, bad bacteria enters your body and increases in number. This knocks your body out of balance. Good bacteria works to fight off the bad bacteria and restore the balance within your body, making you feel better.
Good bacteria keeps you healthy by supporting your immune function and controlling inflammation. Certain types of good bacteria can also:
- Help your body digest food.
- Keep bad bacteria from getting out of control and making you sick.
- Create vitamins.
- Help support the cells that line your gut to prevent bad bacteria that you may have consumed from entering your blood.
- Breakdown and absorb medications.
This balancing act is naturally happening in your body all of the time. You dont actually need to take probiotic supplements to make it happen. Good bacteria is just a natural part of your body. Eating a well-balanced diet rich in fiber every day helps to keep the number of good bacteria at proper levels.
Benefits Of Taking Probiotics
Not all probiotics are the same. Different strains of the bacteria have different effects. For example, one strain may fight against cavity-causing organisms in our mouths and don’t need to survive a trip through our guts.
Research has been promising for these friendly critters. Potential benefits of probiotics have been seen in the treatment or prevention of
- H. pylori
- vaginal infections
- infection of the digestive tract caused by
- eczema in children.