By Apollo 24/7, Published on - 09 March 2021
Probiotics are live microorganisms (bacteria and yeasts) similar to the ones that are present in the digestive tract. The beneficial effects of probiotics are attributed to improving intestinal health, enhancing immune response, reducing serum cholesterol, and preventing cancer. Probiotics can be introduced into the body through traditional foods or dietary supplements. Research proves that probiotics help maintain a healthy and properly functioning digestive system that filters out and eliminates harmful microbes, chemicals, toxins, and waste products. Probiotics are also increasingly known for their ability to prevent and/or treat gastrointestinal disorders.
The gut is home to around 100 trillion microorganisms, both good and bad. The composition and functions of these microorganisms that include bacteria, yeast, and fungi play a major role in maintaining one’s health. The good microbes of the gut are required for carrying out metabolic, digestive, and immune functions. Probiotics are foods or supplements that contain beneficial (friendly, good, or healthy) bacteria or yeast that help to restore the composition of gut microorganisms and their beneficial functions.
Probiotics play a vital role in digestive health, and they help to:
Other important benefits of probiotics include:
Probiotics may contain a variety of microorganisms. Different types of probiotics exert different health effects, but they mostly contain bacteria or yeast. The most common types are:
One can increase the amount of probiotics in the body through foods, drinks, and dietary supplements.
Foods - Fermented foods are rich sources of natural probiotics that benefit the digestive system. These include dairy products such as fermented milk, milk powder, buttermilk, ice cream, yogurt, and cheese. Commonly consumed daily foods like idli, dosa and dhokla are also fermented and healthy. Non-dairy food products include pickles, nutrition bars, cereals, soy-based products, and juices.
Dietary supplements - Probiotic supplements are another way of adding good bacteria to the body. These are available in different forms and include:
Probiotic supplements are usually taken in combination with ‘prebiotics’. Prebiotics are food sources consisting of complex carbohydrates that feed the beneficial microbes in the gut thereby helping them flourish.
The key to a healthy microbiota is nourishing a balance among the different species of bacteria in the gut. Probiotic foods and supplements can be a safe way to increase the number of healthy bacteria and keep the gut microbiota balanced. Probiotics help improve the digestive ability and build strong immunity against diseases and problems related to the digestive system. A healthy digestive health in turn leads to a healthy immune system and good mental health.
Talk to a gastroenterologist if you have any questions related to digestive health.
You can also explore our range of probiotics to boost your digestive health.
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