What Are Probiotics and Their Role in Healthy Living

what are probiotics

Probiotics are one of the most commonly used health supplements but one of the commonly asked questions that you have ever heard is what are Probiotics? The human body shares a symbiotic relationship with the microorganisms, which is beneficial for both of them. These prokaryotic organisms are considered as the disease-causing parasites, but this is not at all true. Though some of the Probiotics can harm you, there are several good bacteria, which stimulate the mechanism of the body.

If you are thinking “what are Probiotics,” then they are nothing less than the living micro organism within the body, which synthesizes vitamins, such as vitamin k, vitamin k2, vitamin B complex. They also metabolize several organic and inorganic substances, which are difficult for the body to metabolize. The intestine is the last food processor system of the body. If the food does not digest, there is a high chance of constipation.

The gut bacteria work in every possible direction when it comes to maintaining body balance. Bacteria help the body to maintain the cyclic exchanges of various elements, such as carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen; to the environment.

What are Probiotics?

So, you have gotten an idea of the good bacteria and how they are important in proper body function; you may want to know about what are Probiotics?

Probiotics are the bacteria, living in our gut and intestine, which restore the body balance by providing various vitamins. They also boost the immune system, which helps the body to metabolize properly.

Health Benefits

Along with the question of what are Probiotics, the next query is the health benefits. Probiotics are good bacteria because they help the body to restore the balance. The body imbalance can make you susceptible to various chronic diseases, such as autism, inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, and cancer, etc.

Probiotics have a vital role in the gut and intestine. Probiotics in the gut supply essential nutrients that synthesizes vitamin K, helps to digest cellulose, and promote enteric nerve function.

Gut Health

These two types of bacteria Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes are present in the gut, which digest the leftover foods. These Probiotics metabolizes the soluble and insoluble fibers in the gut and intestine. This soluble fiber in return helps the stool to move throughout the intestine and excretes it from the body.

The gut bacteria also inhibit the trespassing of the harmful pathogenic bacteria. Probiotics perform several chemical reactions in the gut, such as acetogenesis, methanogenesis, nitrate and sulfate reduction.

The proximal region of the intestine produces a lot of organic short-chain acids, such as propionic acid, butyric acid, etc.

Weight Loss

Probiotics supplements have been reported to reduce belly fat effectively. The probiotics in the gut shelters numerous bacteria, such as Lactobacillus gasseri, Bifidobacterium lactis, and Lactobacillus rhamnosus. These bacteria have properties in weight loss. So, with proper Probiotics foods and a healthy lifestyle, anyone can control obesity.

Brain Health

Probiotics drinks produce short-chain fatty acids in the body, which are helpful for the nervous system. Not only just that but the probiotics also help in dealing with anxiety, depression, autism, poor memory, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium breve, Bifidobacterium infantis, Lactobacillus helveticus, and Bifidobacterium longum are the Probiotics with properties to boost brain health.

Heart Health

Probiotics help the body to control the cholesterol level. Bifidobacterium longum, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Lactobacillus reuteri have potential effects in reducing LDL cholesterol with an increase in HDL and a decrease in triglycerides.

This also promotes fat metabolism and maintains blood pressure.

Immunity Boost

Bifidobacterium bifidum, Lactobacillus crispatus, Bifidobacterium longum, and Lactobacillus gasseri can prevent respiratory diseases as well as urinary tract infections.

They can also prevent you from gum infection and any kind of inflammation, which can generate any further diseases.

Types

If you go for different types of Probiotics, you will get a lot of variations. But for now, it will be enough for you to know the most basic types of Probiotics. They are as briefed below:

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Lactobacillus

If you ask someone, what are Probiotics? Most likely you will get to hear the name Lactobacillus. This type of bacteria can be easily found in yogurt and any other fermented foods. These bacteria can help you if you are suffering from lactose intolerance.  

Bifidobacterium

It is a very common Probiotics among the people who are suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. You will find this in most dairy products.

Saccharomyces boulardii

It is a yeast-based Probiotics, which acts against the germs causing diarrhea and any other digestive problems.

Symbiotic Relationship between Body and Probiotics

Now, it is a diplomatic theory to group the Probiotics in the good and bad category. This is because the bacteria and the human body share a symbiotic relationship. And it is of three types.

Parasitic Relationship

In this type of relationship, the host body shelters the bacteria as well as provides food. But in return, the body does not get any benefits from them. They produce various toxic substances, known as endotoxins and exotoxins. These substances are lethal and can cause you different types of foodborne diseases. For example, if Entamoeba histolytica enters the body, it will cause you Amoebiasis.

Commensalism

In a commensalism relationship, the host body retains the Probiotics and the bacteria neither benefits nor harms the body. Most of the commensalism bacteria lie on the skin and the respiratory tract.

Mutualistic Relationship

If you are looking for an answer to what are Probiotics, then you will get it here. In this type of symbiotic relationship, the host, and the bacteria both benefit from each other. The body provides them with food and shelter. And the Probiotics help the body in wastage processing, boosting metabolism, and vitamin productions. Not only just that but they also help you to fight against the harmful pathogenic bacteria by boosting the immune system of the body as well as occupying the spaces. For example, the Probiotics in the gut, this helps the intestine to function properly.

In this article, we will discuss the function of the Probiotics in human gut and intestines.

Types of Supplementary Foods

Find out what are the kinds of probiotic food that you must add to your regular diet:

Yogurt

Yogurt is the main outsource of Probiotics. If Probiotics strains are added into the yogurt, it benefits the body. Even though, all most all of the yogurts are helpful for the body. But Probiotics yogurts have a special role in maintaining body balance.

Yogurt is made from the milk by fermenting it with Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria. Yogurt has a preliminary effect in improving bone health as well as maintaining high blood pressure.

Probiotics yogurt helps to reduce the chances of diarrhea in the children. These Probiotics foods also help to aid the people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome.

Pickles

Now, everyone knows about pickles right? It is made up of cucumbers that are soaked in a solution of salt and water. It is a wonderful option to offer Probiotics for kids, as they tend to throw a tantrum regarding healthy foods.

The cucumbers are soaked in the solution with lactic acid bacteria for a long time, which makes them sour. These are low in calories and a good source of vitamin K, which is an effective nutrient for blood clotting.

The pickles are also high in sodium, so it is important to maintain the sodium balance in the body. While providing yourself with pickles, make sure to look for pickles which are devoid of vinegar, as it kills the microorganisms. Vinegar containing pickles are one of the Probiotics side effects, which can be easily managed.

Kefir

It is very important to enrich yourself with Probiotic supplements containing good bacteria. But it is not possible to include Probiotic vegetables in our system due to our busy life. Probiotics drinks, such as kefir can help you to provide the body with good bacteria without any hassles.

Kefir is a fermented drink, which is made by adding kefir to cow’s or goat’s milk. Kefir grains contain lactic acid bacteria and it infuses dietary benefits into the body. It helps to fight against bone-related diseases and protects against infections. Apart from these benefits, kefir is an effective source of Probiotics for people with lactose intolerance.

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Kimchi

It is also a fermented Korean dish that is made up of cabbages along with various ingredients. Kimchi is seasoned with various types of ingredients, such as red chili pepper flakes, garlic, ginger, and salt.

Kimchi also contains lactic acid bacteria, mainly Lactobacillus Kimchi, which helps to boost the digestive system of the body.

Apart from the Probiotics infuse, cabbages is itself is a high source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin K, vitamin B, and iron.

Miso

Miso is a traditional Japanese seasoning that is made from fermented soybeans with salt and a type of fungus called koji. People consume by mixing it with barley, rice, and rye or directly as a salty Miso soup.

It is a Probiotics drink with a good source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and mineral nutrients.

This healthy drink is also helpful in reducing the chances of stroke and the risk of breast cancer.

Kombucha

Kombucha is a fermented drink of black or green tea. It includes lactic acid bacteria and yeast. This helps to control the gut system as well as maintain the cholesterol level in the gut.

Buttermilk

The most followed up answer to what are Probiotics is buttermilk. Buttermilk is mainly a dairy drink made from fermentation. There are two types of buttermilk; traditional and cultured. The traditional buttermilk is enriched with Probiotics.

Traditional buttermilk is the leftover liquid, after extracting the butter out from the milk. The leftover liquid is then added with good microorganisms.

As the butter is extracted from the milk, it is very low in fat and calories. So it is very effective for people suffering from obesity. Along with the Probiotics, it also contains important micro-nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals. These all will help you to maintain your body metabolism, nervous system, and digestive systems.

Natto

Similar to Miso, it is another type of Japanese fermented soybean product. It mainly contains the bacterial strain Bacillus subtilis and consumed with rice in breakfast.

The Natto is very rich in protein and vitamin K2, which are an effective element for bone and cardiovascular health.

It reduces the chances of heart attack and osteoarthritis in women.

Supplements

With our fast forward lifestyle, we hardly get time to look for ourselves. Forget about what are Probiotics, we don’t get time to eat or drink properly. But, it is very important to look after your body and providing them with Probiotics. To ease your tension, we would like to inform you that, there are several Probiotics supplements available in the market in the form of pills, capsules, powders, and liquids.

  • The Probiotics tablets are not just healthy but also a time-saver. There are several dishes with Probiotics. But it is also a time-consuming procedure, whereas the tablets, pills make it easier to supplement just by swallowing anytime anywhere.
  • Apart from the supplements, Probiotics drinks are also very effective. It is not just convenient but also mixes up in the system very easily due to the liquid form. It is also very effective as Probiotics for kids, as making them eat healthy food is troublesome.

There is no denying that the whole environment is based on microorganisms. They have functions in every possible site you can think of. And they play a vital role in the living system, mainly in maintaining the wellness of the body. So, next time when someone asks you “what are Probiotics?” you know how to explain it.

The versatility of Probiotics is still under the process and there are several beneficial factors are yet to be discovered. But for now, we can surely say that, including Probiotics foods in your diet will help you a lot. Apart from these benefits, we cannot ignore the fact that many people are allergic to several natural organisms. So, it is better to seek help from a doctor before you include Probiotics in your health.

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