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What Are Probiotics – Do They Really Work?

What Are Probiotics

We often hear about products, and why we should use the products. Often it is nothing more than a fad that is eventually replaced by something else. Probiotics are in an entirely different category. When you learn more about probiotics, you will want to make them a part of your life.

What Are The Probiotics And Why Are They Important For Us?

Probiotics are live microorganisms. They balance the bacteria in your body, primarily in your digestive system. While both “good” bacteria and “bad” bacteria are naturally found in your body, probiotics increase the good bacteria so you can enjoy optimum health.

Probiotics In Food

Probiotics can be found in food as well as dietary supplements and skin care products. However, when you choose to obtain probiotics from food, you will have additional benefits. As a wide variety of foods contain these microorganisms, you will also have all of the other nutritional benefits when you eat certain foods.

There are different types of probiotics, as well as different strains. What all probiotics have in common is they benefit your health. Probiotics can have positive effects on your immune system, skin, mental health, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and your ability to lose weight.

There are a number of ways you can include probiotics in your diet. Some fruits and vegetables are good sources. Apples are at the top of the list. Other examples include mango, onions, and bananas.

A second approach is to eat fermented foods. Sauerkraut, tempeh, kimchi, miso, kefir, and pickles are some examples.

Dairy products can also be a good source of probiotics. Cottage cheese, buttermilk, yogurt, and Greek yogurt are popular examples. However, not all of the products you find in the dairy aisle at the grocery store are useful, because they do not all contain live bacteria. You need to read labels when you want results. Look for words like acidophilus or live, active cultures on the labels.

If you are considering cheese, there is an important point to keep in mind. Although there are many soft, aged cheese that do contain probiotics, the benefits are only present if the product is unpasteurized. You may want to talk to your doctor if you have concerns about unpasteurized foods.What Are Probiotics

The Best Probiotics For Skin

There are many ways probiotics can be good for your skin. They can improve your overall skin health by making your skin barrier strong, and hydrating your skin. They can be helpful if you have inflammatory skin conditions such as acne, eczema, or rosacea.

The antioxidant effects of probiotics also produce anti-aging benefits. Studies show these foods can help skin heal after it has been exposed to UV rays. As this can reverse the visible signs of skin damage, you can have fewer wrinkles and smoother, more youthful skin. The benefits to your skin cells and collagen can improve your skin’s tone and texture, too.

The live culture in yogurt makes it an excellent choice for healthy, beautiful skin. You will love the delicious taste, too. Make sure the yogurt you buy for this purpose contains active or live cultures. There are other yogurts that do not provide these benefits, because processing eliminates the good bacteria. All you need to do is take a minute to read the labels.

If you enjoy fermented foods, you can find a number of options in this category. You can try a Japanese dish known as kimchi, a Russian dish called kefir, a Japanese dish called nato, or the well-known favorite sauerkraut.

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How Often Should We Use Probiotics?

Most people can take probiotic supplements every day without experiencing any complications. However, this is another reason to obtain probiotics through your diet. While there is minimal risk of side effects from dietary supplements, the risk does not exist at all when you eat food with probiotics. You can enjoy the foods every single day.

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How Probiotics Work

There are different types of bacteria in your intestinal tract: good bacteria and bad bacteria. A variety of factors can influence the balance of these bacterias, including the foods you eat. When you eat foods containing probiotics, or take probiotic supplements, it creates a healthy balance of these bacterias.What Are Probiotics

If probiotics are not a part of your everyday routine, bad bacteria can increase and cause illnesses and diseases. In contrast, regular use of probiotics can reduce the amount of bad bacteria, increase good bacteria, and help you stay healthy.

Probiotics are also good for digestion, and help your body absorb nutrients. You will gain optimum nutrition from everything in your daily diet.

Downside Of Taking Probiotics

Before you rush to the store to buy dietary supplements or foods, take some time to consider possible disadvantages, as well as how to avoid unnecessary problems.

Like any other product, it is important to exercise common sense. You should not use large quantities, regardless of whether you prefer supplements or foods. If you want to try probiotic supplements, read the labels. Follow the instructions for when and how to take the supplements.

Similar to supplements, more is not necessarily better when you want to try new foods. Slowly introduce the foods into your diet. Start with small amounts of one or two foods. When you become familiar with the results, you can add more.

While most people will not have serious complications from probiotics, side effects can occur. You may experience abdominal discomfort, gas, loose stools, acid reflux, or bloating. In most cases, side effects will disappear when your body becomes accustomed to probiotics. It is a good reason, though, to not start with too much, too soon. Unless you have a rare allergy to a specific product, the benefits will outweigh the short-term discomfort.

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How Often Should We Take Probiotics?

It is always a good idea to consult with your doctor before trying new supplements or making changes to your diet. If you do not have any serious medical conditions, probiotics can greatly improve your health.

If you prefer supplements, you will find instructions on the label. Most supplements are meant to be taken once per day. If you prefer to obtain probiotics through food, add a small serving to one of your daily meals.

After you are accustomed to probiotics, you will start to notice the benefits. You will be less likely to become ill, and you will have better overall health. Whether you obtain probiotics from supplements, food, or both, you will be glad you made this decision.

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8 Comments
  • Ola,

    I learned long ago that reading labels is the only way to know whether you’re getting what you’re paying for, so to say. I’ve never taken probiotics as a supplement, always in the food form myself. I don’t really trust the vitamins or supplements, since they’re alive and in a pill, they may not be. I’ve always been keen on eating kefir as a way to boost them, but that’s typically after taking antibiotics. I eat enough of the other foods on a regular basis to not need to boost them. Sauerkraut is one of my faves, and only the good stuff from Germany!

    Many people just don’t understand how beneficial they are for us. But honestly, they’re necessary for proper digestion.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Katrina

  • Hi Ola,

    I’m glad to read that I regularly eat some of the foods that have natural probiotics, like bananas, mango, and onions. Sometimes I also eat sauerkraut and I love miso, but I don’t get the last one that often. Do onions have to be raw in order to get the full probiotics or do they still retain some when they are cooked or fried?

    • ola.young

      Hi Christine, Sauerkraut and miso are a good source of probiotics, well done. Cooking can significantly reduce the probiotics, raw food is preferable for sure. If you cook at a low temperatures, you should still retain a large amount of these probiotics.

  • Shaun

    I’ve heard of probiotics before but didn’t really know exactly what it was. This post cleared up everything for me. When I eat yogurt I usually eat vanilla-flavored yogurts. Would these flavored ones have any probiotics? Also what other cheeses other than cottage cheese generally contain probiotics? I mostly buy cheddar cheese but I think these are aged.

    • ola.young

      Hi Shaun, I hope that you have learned some new information here. The best way to learn if there are any is to read the label. Cheddar is actually a cheese that contains some amount of probiotics. Go for Gouda, there are more probiotics in this cheese.

  • Hi Ola,

    Loved this article! It’s good to know that I have been regular in my probiotic intake through common foods that you’ve listed. Will definitely consider to read the labels better and look out for acidophilus. Maybe there are better options to choose from.

    Cheers.
    SAM

    • ola.young

      Hi Sam, I am really happy to hear that you’ve enjoyed the reading. Exactly, it’s a step forward to be a little bit more cautious about what we eat to reach to a healthy balanced diet.

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