Staying healthy these days requires plenty of good quality food, exercise, the right amount of sleep, and taking care of yourself. In addition to protein, healthy fats, fiber, and antioxidants, introducing some probiotics into your diet can be beneficial for your health. Probiotics are healthy microorganisms (predominantly bacteria) that help keep your body and gut working well.
Probiotics can come from food like yogurt or cottage cheese. Fermented drinks like Kombucha are a popular method of increasing probiotic intake as well. But sometimes, taking a supplement is a better way to go, especially in lieu of having easy access to the foods that contain them. Here are a few uses for probiotics.
Improve General Health
Everyone wants to maintain some level of generally good health. A diet high in fiber, protein, and vitamins is crucial to stay healthy. As well as drinking plenty of water and regular exercise. But occasionally supplementing your diet with probiotics can have some general health benefits. Probiotics can definitely assist with boosting the health of your gut’s microbiome (all the myriad bacteria and microorganisms inside the body) and restoring it following a major illness or treatment. Probiotics also support the immune system by allowing the good bacteria to thrive and do their job right. They can come from the foods we consume (especially fermented foods and drinks like Kombucha) or through dietary supplements.
Ease A Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections are terrible things. Not only can they be tremendously painful, but they’re also not very easy to treat. Thankfully, probiotics can come to the rescue here as well. UTIs are usually caused by bad bacteria (typically e. Coli). Probiotics can be effective at treating these infections because they rebuild and restore the healthy gut bacteria that the e Coli is wreaking havoc upon. The probiotics stimulate and rebuild the gut microbiome so those nasty little bacteria don’t have a chance to grow or cause infections. Probiotics are especially effective at treating UTIs in women, particularly the type of probiotics that are found in yogurt, cottage cheese, and many different probiotic supplements. UTIs are no walk in the park, and you should never hesitate to get it looked at if you suspect you have one.
Improve Digestive Health
Probiotics, for all their versatility and function, might best be suited to improving digestive health. The American Gastrointestinal Association recommends probiotic supplements for helping to rebuild gut health while using antibiotics. They can also improve digestion, decrease bloating, and improve the function of one’s immune system. Some probiotics aid in digestion and may help curb issues related to Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and vaginal infections. Every individual is unique and studies about exactly how probiotics affect digestion are ongoing, but it’s evident they have positive effects and can be a great help for treating certain health problems.
While digestive health is important, sometimes dreaded constipation can strike when you least expect it. Fiber is your friend when it comes to constipation, too, but probiotics can help, too. Taking a probiotic supplement might be able to ease constipation and increase the frequency of bowel movements. So, how does that work, and what makes it better than a laxative? Well, anything is better than a laxative, but the short answer is that probiotics lower the ph level in the colon, increase the metabolism of bile salts, and produce short chain fatty acids that help stimulate the colon into relieving constipation. Not all probiotics will have this effect, but a few are quite adept at relieving constipation issues:
- Bifidobacterium lactis BB-12
- Bifidobacterium lactis HN019
- Bifidobacterium lactis DN-173 010
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG
Certain probiotic supplements will contain these strains and are ideally suited to helping to relieve constipation and get you back to being regular in no time. If you’re struggling with constipation for a long period of time, it may be best to consult a doctor should the problem persist.
Dealing with eczema is rough. Some treatments may utilize creams, antihistamines, bandages, or other therapies to help attenuate the problem and provide temporary relief. But some are turning to probiotics to treat this terrible skin condition. Probiotics are useful for bolstering the immune system, which might help provide some relief from the scourge of eczema. Eczema is caused by a bad immune response to skin irritants, so reinforcing the immune response via supplements like probiotics makes sense in this context. At the very least, it’ll reduce some of the pain associated with the condition and who wouldn’t want something like that? As with most cases, consult with your doctor ahead of time to see if using probiotics for treating the effects of eczema is right for you and your health.