Probiotics are live microorganisms that are nearly the same as the beneficial bacteria found naturally in the human body.
A wide variety of these “good” bacteria live in the gut where they promote digestive health. The most well-known groups of probiotics include Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Within each group of bacteria are diverse species that have different strains with unique benefits. Overall, probiotics regulate digestion and immune function making it helpful to get them in our diet, especially because they can be disrupted by medications or illness.
Probiotics have many beneficial uses for improving our health.
Irritable Bowl Syndrome (IBS)
People with IBS may have diarrhea, constipation, or both. Probiotics help regulate these symptoms and relieve bloating from gas.
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
Probiotics may help reduce inflammation and delay future flare-ups.
Antibiotics can kill beneficial bacteria in addition to the harmful bacteria they target, often leading to stomach aches and digestive problems. Probiotics help replenish the good bacteria that were destroyed.
Eczema & Allergies
Preliminary research indicates that probiotics may improve eczema and help prevent allergies in children.
Probiotics aid in the digestion of carbohydrates such as lactose, thus providing relief for people with lactose intolerance.
Even if you do not feel like you have any of the above issues, probiotics have no negative side effects and can be a beneficial addition to your overall diet!
HOW TO CHOOSE A PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENT
- Look for multiple strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium cultures
- Be sure the label states that it contains “live” and “active” cultures
- Choose a product that requires refrigeration
For delicious recipes, nutrition tips, and to find cooking and nutrition classes, go to the Kendall Reagan Nutrition Center website. More great info also available at the College of Health and Human Sciences Pinterest board.