Did you know that you should be eating more bacteria every day? Most people try to avoid bacteria, but certain kinds of bacteria called probiotics are very good for your health.
Probiotics assist with digestion and keep the harmful bacteria at bay. They can be obtained in concentrated pill form or by incorporating fermented foods, such as yogurt, kefir and kombucha, into your diet. Here are six of the biggest benefits you can gain by using probiotics on a daily basis.
The most well-known benefit of probiotics is increasing colon and bowel health. Probiotics can keep your bowel movements regular, help you recover from diarrhea and prevent bacterial infections like clostridium difficile and food poisoning. Probiotics may also reduce your risk of colon cancer by helping waste travel more quickly through the colon, which can prevent polyps and cancer cells from forming.
Probiotics are effective for treating some cases of acne, rosacea and eczema that are caused by inflammation. When a bacterial imbalance exists in the gut, a condition called leaky gut syndrome can occur, which results in small particles leaking from the digestive tract. The immune system then attacks these particles, creating inflammation in other areas of the body including the skin.
Leaky gut syndrome is also a culprit when it comes to seasonal allergies. The particles leaked from the digestive tract trigger the immune system, which increases the allergic response. Probiotics may also reduce the severity of food allergies, but it is still important to keep an EpiPen on hand and to avoid the allergen if you have a severe food allergy.
Gynecologists often recommend eating yogurt to prevent recurring yeast infections. Yeast infections, which are caused by overgrowth of a fungus called candida, are not just a woman’s problem. They can occur on the skin, mouth, nose and other areas in addition to the vagina. Probiotics can prevent yeast infections and, when combined with an anti-fungal medication, help treat them by choking out the fungus and preventing its growth.
Probiotics are great at attacking bacteria and viruses, which makes them the perfect partner to help you fight off cold, flu and other common illnesses. Regular consumption of probiotics during cold and flu season can reduce your risk of getting sick in the first place. Freezing yogurt or kefir into popsicles is a great way to soothe a sore throat and fight off the infection at the same time. You can also drink kombucha tea or add kimchi or sauerkraut to your chicken soup when fighting off a cold or flu.
The same leaky gut inflammation that leads to skin disorders and allergies can also lead to weight gain. One study found that women who incorporated probiotics into their daily routine lost twice as much weight as those who did not. A diet high in fat and low in fiber leads to an imbalance of intestinal bacteria over time, creating a leaky gut inflammatory response that leads to more weight gain. Adding pro-biotics to replace the lost good bacteria aids in weight loss by reducing inflammation and increasing satiety.
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