Probiotics: What Are They and Why Should You Take Them?

Probiotics: What Are They and Why Should You Take Them?

Exercise, eating well, exposure to sunlight, and a good night’s sleep all contribute to your body’s health and well-being. But there’s one other factor that many tend to forget about: probiotics. But what are probiotics, and why should you take them?

Defined, probiotics are miniature armies of beneficial bacteria that help your body stay healthy and balanced. For example, when you are ill, bad bacteria invade your body. Probiotics help by eliminating these bad bacteria and returning your body back to normal.

The Benefits of Probiotics

In addition to restoring and maintaining balance in your body, the benefits of probiotics are many. These helpful bacteria support your immune system and aid in the digestive process. They also create vitamins for your body to digest. In addition, probiotics help medications break down properly and absorb into the body. These benefits are just some of the reasons why you should add probiotics into your diet.

Types of Probiotic Bacteria

Two of the most common probiotic bacteria are lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Some probiotics are made up of a beneficial yeast called saccharomyces boulardii. It doesn’t matter whether a probiotic is made from bacteria or yeast—both are effective.

Common Maladies Helped by Probiotics

Due to their potent nature, the helpful bacteria and yeast present in probiotics may help the body heal from a variety of maladies. Some conditions that adding probiotics to your diet can improve include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
  • Yeast infections
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Gum disease
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Sepsis (particularly in babies)

How To Add Probiotics to Your Diet

In addition to asking what probiotics are and why you should take them, many want to know how to incorporate probiotics into their diets. You can ingest probiotics through food or by taking supplements. Some of the foods that are rich in probiotics are:

  • Yogurt
  • Pickles
  • Kombucha
  • Kefir
  • Sourdough bread
  • Sauerkraut

Probiotics and Skincare

Believe it or not, probiotics are great for the skin. When applied topically, probiotics soothe the skin barrier with a wave of helpful bacteria. The bacteria also help by improving communication between cells, improving the body’s immune response, and defending against free radicals.