What are these bacteria? Probiotics are supplements that contain beneficial microorganisms, such as bacteria or yeast. These microorganisms have been shown to improve health in a variety of ways. Existing within the digestive tract, they help break down food and regulate the digestive system.
The benefits of taking a probiotic supplement range from aiding with constipation to strengthening immunity. Let’s take a look at some of the top health benefits from consuming these healthy tiny organisms:
1.) Improves Digestion
Adding probiotics to your diet can aid digestion by breaking down foods that might be difficult for you to absorb on their own. A healthy digestive system is one of the most important components to overall well-being because it affects everything from nutrient absorption and energy levels to bowel movements and mood.
2.) Boosts Immunity
Taking a probiotic supplement has been linked to strengthening the immune system by regulating the gut bacteria, which in turn regulates how much inflammation occurs within the body. The more inflammation you have in your body, the greater your chances of developing a chronic illness, such as diabetes or cancer. As with any supplement though, check with your doctor before starting it because some types might interact with existing medications that you may be taking.
3.) Improves Bowel Movements
Constipation is one of those things that plagues most people at some point in their lives. Taking a daily probiotic can increase healthy bacteria levels, which will encourage regularity for easier defecation. Even just eating probiotic-rich foods can loosens up stool and help increase bowel movements, so if you’re feeling sluggish, try adding some more healthy bacteria to your diet.
4.) Reduces Bloating
Gas is one of those things that most people would like to avoid altogether. However, it’s almost inevitable because everyone swallows air constantly throughout the day. Taking a daily probiotic supplement can reduce bloating by slowing down the digestive process and helping food break down better in the gut. Plus, not swallowing as much air means less chance of developing gas and its associated uncomfortable symptoms (e.g., belching).
5.) Boosts Metabolism
Adding probiotics to your diet metabolism by increasing catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) and thus speeding up your metabolism. COMT helps regulate how your body gets rid of waste, which is in turn used for energy. Slowing down the rate at which food breaks down in the digestive tract means that more is converted to energy and less is stored as fat or turned into harmful substances.
6.) May Help Reduce Cholesterol Levels
Adding probiotics to your diet cholesterol by slowing down the digestive process and increasing healthy bacteria levels within the gut. This in turn can help reduce blood LDL (low-density lipoprotein) levels while increasing HDL (high-density lipoprotein) levels, which is good for heart health and reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
7.) Helps with Lactose Intolerance
Some people are simply unable to digest dairy products, but that doesn’t mean they should avoid them altogether. Taking a daily probiotic supplement can increase lactase levels so you can comfortably eat foods containing lactose without having an upset stomach afterward.
8.) May Help with Weight Loss
One of the most exciting possible benefits is also one of the least proven: weight loss. While there aren’t any studies showing that taking probiotics will help you lose weight, some early evidence suggests that they might decrease inflammation in fat cells and improve lipid levels. If nothing else, adding healthy bacteria to your diet will aid with digestion and bowel movements which often go-in-hand with dropping extra pounds.
9.) May Lower Risk of Cancer
Cancer is one of the deadliest and most feared diseases in existence today, but taking a daily probiotic supplement has been shown to decrease cancer incidence by keeping cells in your digestive tract healthy and in better shape to fight off harmful invaders. Your body already produces tumor-fighting substances called IgA antibodies when you have enough good bacteria, so having a lot of beneficial bugs in your gut can help stop extra antibodies from being produced which could damage healthy cells.
10.) May Slow Aging Process
Even if it doesn’t make you any healthier or live longer, taking a daily probiotic can definitely improve how you feel on a day-to-day basis simply because it’s easier to absorb nutrients and boosts your mood by giving you a healthy gut flora. You’ll have more energy, get sick less often, and feel healthier overall. That’s something we all want to take part in!
11.) May Reduce Anxiety and Depression
The gut-brain connection is an incredibly powerful thing that’s only starting to get the serious attention it deserves. It’s already known that brain function can be positively or negatively affected by factors like stress, hormones, and neurotransmitters, but scientists are still struggling to understand the complex relationship between your digestive tract and your brain which allows probiotics to help with anxiety and depression. There is evidence that adding healthy bacteria to your diet can improve mood disorders simply because of their effect on neurotransmitter levels in the digestive tract, so taking a daily supplement might be able to provide similar benefits for those who struggle with constant worries or low self-esteem.
12.) May Help Keep Your Heart Healthy
The entire circulatory system is incredibly important, but one of the most important organs in your body is your heart. Keeping it pumping blood to all the other parts efficiently and without issue is why taking care of yourself is so important. Heart disease can create life-threatening complications for anyone, no matter what you do, which makes preventing it even more valuable. Studies have shown that keeping a healthy gut with plenty of beneficial bacteria may help reduce harmful inflammation in coronary arteries which leads to atherosclerosis by improving how cells handle fats and reduces cholesterol levels overall.
There are countless benefits of taking daily probiotics. Not only will your digestive system thank you, but you can also improve how you feel each day while reducing the risk of developing cancer and slowing the aging process.
If you’re interested in taking a probiotic supplement, check out reviews of what’s available at your local pharmacy or drugstore. Keep in mind than not all supplements are created equal so read the ingredients carefully to make sure it will be beneficial for you! If you’re unsure where to start, ask your doctor about which brands they would recommend and whether or not you should take anything else with it (e.g., prebiotics). You can also purchase them online if that is more convenient for your shopping needs. Of course, eating lots of healthy yogurts containing live cultures is one of the best ways to get these good bacteria into your diet naturally. With all this talk about how great they are, it’s no wonder why everyone is taking a probiotic supplement!
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