Probiotics are essential to human nutrition. Probiotics are live microorganisms ( bacteria) that are similar to the beneficial microorganisms naturally found in the human gastrointestinal system. These “good bacteria” are used to prevent and alleviate many different conditions, but particularly those that affect the gastrointestinal tract.
Our gut is a home to over 500 types of bacteria. These “visitors” facilitate digestion, provides nutrients, and helps form the immune system. Some important nutrients made by these bacteria include several B vitamins, vitamin K, folate, and some short-chain fatty acids. Up to 10% of an individual’s daily energy needs can be derived from the byproducts of the good bacteria in the gut.
Probiotics can provide many benefits for your immune system. When probiotics are abundant in your body, it’s harder for bacteria that cause illness to takeover. Some also keep you healthy by making what is known as bacteriocins, which suppress the growth of harmful bacteria.
Here are the names of some of our friendly bacteria:
Lactobacillus bulgaricus can be found in many yogurts and soft cheeses.
Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus casei
Bifidobacteria is a family of bacteria that has been studied for its ability to prevent and treat various gastrointestinal disorders, including infections, irritable bowel syndrome and constipation.
If you want to supercharge your probiotics, you may want to feed them with what is called PRE-biotics.They nourish the good bacteria in your gut in order to keep them healthy and strong. They should go hand-in-hand with probiotics. Prebiotics are found in many foods, including bananas, honey, garlic and onions.
Consume pro and prebiotics daily and consistently; you are likely to see many benefits!