Probiotics microorganisms are administered to prevent certain health conditions such as gastrointestinal disorders. Probiotics meaning is typically live yeast or bacteria.
In the early 20th century, a study was conducted to show that the ingestion of certain live microorganisms can improve gut health and aid easy digestion. A simple probiotics definition would be to inject or ingest microorganisms, typically yeast or bacteria, that help maintain the health of our gut and prevent gastrointestinal disorders.
Functions of Probiotics
The basic probiotics definition is that they are good bacteria that balance harmful bacteria by eliminating them. These good bacteria help maintain the pH of our gut and keep our health in check. Remember, a healthy gut leads to a healthy body.
Types of Probiotics
While both yeast and bacteria constitute probiotics, it is the latter that has the most types and is most widely used. Here is a list of the most commonly used probiotics-
It is a species of bacteria that produces lactase, which is an enzyme that breaks down lactose or milk sugar. Lactobacillus produces lactic acid that helps control the population of bad bacteria in our gut.
Lactobacillus also strengthens muscles and helps increase the body's level of absorption of minerals. It is most commonly found in our mouth, small intestine, and vagina.
Bifidobacteria is the species of bacteria that is most commonly used in food and its supplements. This bacteria supports our immune system.
It also curbs the growth of harmful or destructive bacteria in our intestine and helps break down lactose into nutrients absorbed by the body.
Lactobacillus and bifidobacteria are the two most popular and most widely used probiotics.
This strain of bacteria aids digestion boosts the immune system and fights terrible food-borne bacteria.
B.breve is one of the probiotics bacteria examples present in both our digestive tract and women's vaginas. In both these places, they fight off infection-causing yeast or bacteria.
They help the body absorb nutrients by fermenting sugar and also break down plant fibre to make it easily digestible by the body.
B.lactis is a type of probiotic microorganisms. It is found in raw milk and catalyzes the reaction that produces buttermilk, cottage cheese (paneer), and other types of cheese.
This strain resides in the gastrointestinal tract and breaks down carbs. It also acts as an antioxidant.
It is found in the small intestine and vagina and fights off harmful bacteria in both these areas. It is located in miso- a popular Japanese cuisine ingredient.
It is present in the mouth and intestine. It helps the digestive system and is also believed to prevent tooth decay.
Benefits of Probiotics
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According to a study done by the Harvard Medical School, our intestines have approximately a hundred trillion microorganisms from more than 500 species. This mix of species is unique, just like an individual's fingerprint.
Probiotics work by either changing this composition of gut bacteria or changing the existing bacteria's metabolic activity. They work to ensure that the population of good bacteria outweighs that of harmful bacteria.
This curb on the growth of harmful bacteria prevents inflammation, infection, etc. Probiotics at the most basic level help digestion and ensure that our gut stays healthy.
Some strains of bacteria boost our immune system, while others are necessary to produce hormones or vitamins in our body. Even others help in nutrient absorption.
Benefits of Probiotics are-
Foods to add to your diet that have probiotics. By now, it should be abundantly clear that probiotics should be an integral part of our diets. The plethora of benefits that they provide to us makes them a component of our diets.
Before choosing heavy probiotic supplements, you should first include natural probiotic foods into your diet and gradually increase its intake.
Foods that Contain Probiotics are
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