One of the most overlooked aspects of healthy eating is incorporating probiotics into one's diet. The fact that probiotics are technically a form of bacteria tends to turn people off. However, there is bad bacteria and good bacteria, and probiotics are the latter. By recognizing that they are good bacteria and having a better understanding how probiotics work, you will see how useful they can be for your overall health. Here is a closer look at five of the many benefits of making probiotics a regular part of your diet.
1. Soothes Indigestion
Probiotics have been shown to play a role in preventing and relieving various types of indigestion and abdominal pain. Those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome or have frequent bouts with gastroenteritis have found that taking certain probiotics can help lessen both the frequency and severity of symptoms. Probiotics play a major role in the digestive process, helping to breakdown dairy products and carbs that can sometimes lead to indigestion, making it easier for you to eat such foods without regretting it later. There is also evidence to suggest that probiotics can help to counteract some of the negative side effects of antibiotics, including diarrhea, which is common some medications.
2. Pregnancy Friendly
Probiotics are not only safe for pregnant women, but they are potentially quite helpful in relieving many of the negative side effects pregnant women often endure. The nausea and indigestion many pregnant women feel can be reduced with the help of probiotics. The regular consumption of probiotics can also reduce the chances of their baby having complications like eczema, asthma, diabetes, and even premature birth.
3. Child Development
Once a baby is born, probiotics can be helpful in his or her development during the first few years of life. For instance, putting a healthy dose of probiotics in a baby's diet can expedite the development of both their immune and digestive systems. This, in turn, will help reduce potential food allergies like milk and soy. If a baby is better able to digest such foods, they can avoid conditions like colic, increasing the likelihood that the baby will be both healthy and happy.
4. Lose Body Fat
Certain probiotics have shown to be associated with the loss of body fat. One research study showed that use of the probiotic lactobacillus gasseri over an extended period of time led to a reduction in belly fat, only to have the body fat return once the subjects stopped taking the probiotic. Other research studies suggest that probiotics can help play a role in weight management, particularly with women who just gave birth and are trying to lose the weight they gained during the pregnancy.
5. Vaginal Health
Probiotics have been shown to help balance out the bacteria in the vagina and urinary tract, much like they do in the digestive system. Potential problems like yeast infections, urinary tract infections, and bacterial vaginosis can be remedied or prevented with the help of probiotics. Regularly eating foods that contain probiotics can help prevent the occurrence of urinary tract infections of yeast infections. Probiotic supplements can also be used in conjunction with medications prescribed for yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis, as they can help balance out the bacteria and prevent any side effects of the prescribed antibiotics.