Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your digestive system. But your body is full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are in other words called “good” bacteria because they help keep your stomach healthy.
Health Benefits of Probiotics
Probiotics help balance the good bacteria in your digestive system.
Prevent and Treat Diarrhea.
They are known for their ability to prevent diarrhea or reduce its severity.
Probiotic supplements improve some mental health conditions.
Certain probiotics help keep your heart healthy by lowering LDL “bad” cholesterol and blood pressure.
There are probiotics that have been known to reduce the severity of certain allergies and eczema.
Probiotics can help reduce symptoms of certain digestive disorders, as well as help boost your immune system, while helping you lose weight and belly fat.
Different Types of Probiotics
Many types of bacteria are classified as probiotics.
Lactobacillus may be the most common probiotic. You’ll find it in yogurt and other fermented foods. Different strains can help with diarrhea and may help with people who can’t digest lactose, the sugar in milk.
Saccharomyces boulardii is found in yeast probiotics. This probiotic works well to help fight diarrhea and other digestive problems.
Bifidobacterium can be found in some dairy products. This probiotic may help ease the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and some other conditions.
What Foods Contain Probiotics
Probiotics which are beneficial bacteria that provide powerful benefits for your body and brain are found in several different foods that we can eat. Probiotics naturally occur in some of the following foods:
Yogurt is one of the best sources of probiotics, which are friendly bacteria that can improve your health.
Kefir is a fermented probiotic milk drink. It is made by adding kefir grains to cow’s or goat’s milk.
Tempeh is a fermented soybean product. It forms a firm patty whose flavor is described as nutty, earthy or similar to a mushroom.
Kombucha is a fermented black or green tea drink.
Sauerkraut is finely shredded cabbage that has been fermented by lactic acid bacteria.
Pickles (also known as gherkins) are cucumbers that have been pickled in a solution of salt and water.
They are left to ferment for some time, using their own naturally present lactic acid bacteria. This process makes them sour.
The term buttermilk actually refers to a range of fermented dairy drinks.
Natto is another fermented soybean product, like tempeh and miso. It contains a bacterial strain called Bacillus subtilis.
Some Types of Cheese
Although most types of cheese are fermented, it does not mean that all of them contain probiotics.
It is important to look for live and active cultures on the food labels. The good bacteria survive the aging process in some cheeses, including Gouda, mozzarella, cheddar and cottage cheese.
Probiotics Side Effects.
Probiotics may have side effects for some people. As a matter of fact, they may cause some of the following:
- Cause unpleasant digestive symptoms.
- Amines in probiotic foods may activate headaches
- Some strains can increase histamine levels
- There are certain bacterial strains used in probiotic supplements can produce histamine inside the digestive tract of humans.
People with allergies or intolerances should read the labels of probiotic supplements carefully, since they might contain ingredients that could have a reaction. Probiotics are safe for the vast majority of the population, but may not be the best fit for everyone. Probiotics can increase infection risk for some individuals who consume the supplement.