Probiotics are live organisms that improve health and wellness. Either in the form of bacteria or yeast, probiotics can be naturally occurring in food or taken as a supplement. Although it may seem odd to purposely ingest bacteria, their presence in the body is vital to good health.
Actually there are more than 500 types of bacteria present in the digestive system. They keep the intestines healthy and help to properly digest nutrients in food. Interestingly, bacteria also help boost the immune system.
Through the questions and answers below, discover how probiotics work to increase health and wellness.
How do probiotics work?
Probiotics help improve how the intestines work by increasing the natural flora and keeping a healthy bacterial balance in the gut.
What are some examples of probiotics?
- Lactobacillus bulgaricus
- Steptococcus thermophilus
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
- Lactobacillus casei
How can probiotics improve the immune system?
After taking an antibiotic to treat an illness or living in a society with very good hygiene, the immune system, which exists predominately in the intestinal tract, can be disrupted. The immune system can be enhanced by introducing friendly bacteria in the form of probiotics.
What are some foods that contain probiotics?
- Soft cheese
- Dark chocolate
- Kombucha tea
What should I keep in mind when choosing probiotics?
Make sure when you buy any food containing probiotics, or if taking it in supplement form, that it contains live and active cultures. Also, foods should not be pasteurized, which kills the beneficial bacteria.
Are there any precautions I should take concerning probiotics?
People have been eating food naturally teeming with probiotics for centuries, so it is generally safe for everyone. However, probiotics may be dangerous for those with weakened immune systems, are experiencing a serious illness, as well as the elderly and young children.