There are some very important benefits of probiotics that you should know.
Probiotics are all the rage — from Kombucha to Kefir, we’re seeing this mysterious word pop up more often than ever.
There’s also a growing body of research that suggests that taking live-active cultures like probiotics can treat and prevent a host of health problems.
But what exactly are probiotics, and what do they really do?
What are Probiotics?
Your body is home to trillions of bacteria — both good and bad. This is referred to as your ‘microbiome.’ The good bacteria (also known as ‘gut flora’) keep your GI train running smoothly, as well as supports your immune system and regulates inflammation in your body. But certain things are good bacteria killers.
Among these include antibiotic prescription medication, high levels of stress, and excess sugar consumption.
Avoiding the above is not always possible, and that’s where probiotic supplements step in to help keep your body’s gut flora in balance. But that’s not all they can do. Consider the following benefits of probiotics (and which strains can help carry out those benefits!).
What are the Benefits of Probiotics?
1. Weight Loss
According to the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, clinical studies supported claims that regularly taking a probiotic supplement contributed to an overall lower BMI (body mass index), improved blood sugar levels, and a decreased risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. If you’re looking to lose weight, keep an eye out for probiotics that contain the strains: B. Brevis, B. Lactis, L. Acidophilus, L. Gasseri, L. Rhamnosus GG.
2. Stronger Immune System
Because probiotics are a type of bacteria, they can prevent bad bacteria that can cause you to get sick, from infecting your body.
3. Improved Digestion and Relief from Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Your colon needs good bacteria to function properly, and probiotics step into combat gassiness, bloating, and diarrhea. Probiotic supplements also contain digestive enzymes that can help break down your food and make it easier for your body to process.
4. Fewer Seasonal Allergies
Due to their anti-inflammatory properties, clinical studies have seen that people who regularly take probiotics with the strains L. Casei, L. Rhamnosus, Paracasei have decreased symptoms of seasonal allergies.
5. Reduced Anxiety
Stress and anxiety wreak havoc on your body, and your microbiome is no exception. Alterations to your gut flora can improve your body’s stress response, reducing anxiety and boosting your mood and cognitive ability.
Take Action: What Should You Do Now?
All those health benefits sound great, but how do you actually take advantage of them? If you’re new to probiotics, here’s where to begin:
- Start gradually. To avoid experiencing side effects, start slow and build your dosage up when your body gets used to it.
- Eat a healthy diet. No supplement can replace a nutrient-rich diet, so make sure you’re eating whole fruits and vegetables to allow the probiotics to do their job!
- Consistency is key. Taking your probiotics on a regular schedule can keep you regular as well, as well as allow you to take advantage of the countless other benefits!