June 1st, 2015
Probiotics can be defined as live microorganisms, such as bacteria and yeasts, which are consumed for health benefits. For a microbe to be called a probiotic, it must be alive when it is being administered, there must be a documented health benefit associated with it, and it must be administered in the right amount so that it confers the benefit. Probiotics, which are often referred to as good or friendly bacteria, are often eaten in the form of yoghurts or are taken as food supplements.
Probiotics are naturally present in our body and are vital for maintaining a healthy digestive system. Probiotics are typically prescribed by a health care provider when the natural balance of the bacteria present in your gut is disrupted. Probiotic foods and supplements are considered to be helpful in curing irritable bowel syndrome and lactose intolerance. Probiotics when given to premature babies can help in preventing gut diseases.
Probiotic foods and supplements help in replacing the good bacteria in your body when you lose them due to consumption of antibiotics. They also help in lowering the amount of bad bacteria in your body.
There are different types of probiotics depending on the health benefits associated with them. Some common types of probiotics are listed below:
Probiotics are found in abundance in fermented dairy products. They are found in yoghurt, soft cheeses, sour pickles, sauerkraut, kefir, fermented soybean products such as miso, tempeh, and natto, dark chocolate, and kimchi salad.
If you have a healthy immune system, probiotic foods and supplements can be extremely useful in curing:
Probiotic foods and supplements are also known to boost immunity.
People who have a compromised immune system owing to medical conditions such as cancer need to be cautious while taking probiotic foods and supplements. Elderly people, pregnant women, and children also need to be careful while taking probiotics as their consumption can increase the risk of getting sick. Since probiotics are live microorganisms, care must be taken to do adequate research before consumption to ensure that it will provide the promised health benefits. Moreover, while selecting a probiotic, you need ensure that the strain of bacteria that it has, is best suited for you. Since probiotics contain live microorganisms, you must also pay close attention to the manner in which it is stored. A probiotic will become useless if microorganisms it is supposed to contain are not alive.
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