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Top 10 Benefits of Probiotics

What are probiotics?

I don’t know if any of you remember the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, but I’m about to pull a Gus Portokalos and tell you the root meaning of a trending health buzzword.

My objection isn’t to necessarily prove that all words originated in Greece, but more to prove a point. So humor me for a moment.

Pro·bi·ot·ic (Adj)

Probiotic is a two part word the first part “pro” meaning in favor and “biotic” meaning life. Literally the word means “in favor of life” or “pro-life”.

Cool, but why is this significant?

This makes sense when you consider how important you gut health and the bacteria inside influences your well-being. In fact, your gut status can influence many other areas of your health like immunity and even mood.

Turns out probiotics are very small but incredibly powerful microorganisms.

We decided to take a detailed look at what science says probiotics can do to improve health, but first, let’s learn a little bit about why taking care of your gut is so important.

Why Is Gut Health Important?

why gut health is important

Your gut, aka your digestive system has several key responsibilities within the body:

  1. Break down the food we eat.
  2. Absorb the nutrients from the food we eat.
  3. Mobilization of waste from the body.

Although all of these are very important, arguably the most important role our digestive system has is to absorb nutrients from our food and deliver it to our cells. Without proper absorption, our cells don’t get the proper nutrition they need and health problems are the result.

What causes an unhealthy gut and limited absorption of nutrients?

The most common culprit is an unbalance of bacteria within the digestive system. A poor diet and taking too many antibiotics can cause such imbalances.

Unfortunately but unsurprisingly when you consider the typical American diet and regular antibiotic use, most Americans have terrible gut health, nutrient absorption, and digestion.

1 out of 10 Americans suffers from regular cramping, bloating, and gas. It is estimated that 10-15% of the population in Western countries suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

The good news is that when you improve your diet with whole foods and find ways to increase the healthy bacteria, you can find significant relief from these types of digestion problems and improve other areas of your health while you are at it.

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How do you increase healthy bacteria in your gut?

yogurt contains probiotics

One way to restore balance to your gut is you can eat lots of fermented foods that contain probiotics. These include foods like yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, certain cheeses, and sour pickles.

I’m all about getting what you need from real food, however, it can be a challenge at times, especially if you aren’t a fan of those kinds of foods. (sauerkraut and sour pickles aren’t my favorite.)

An easier option would be to take a high-quality probiotic supplement. Many probiotics contain the necessary strands of bacteria needed for healthy digestion and optimal health.

In fact, recent studies have found that probiotics can help with even more than just digestion and gut health. In this article, we are going to talk about the most studied health benefits of probiotics.

Top 10 Health Benefits of Probiotics

top 10 health benefits of probiotics

1. A Stronger Immune System

Probiotics help boost your body’s immune system, or the ability to fight off infections. A study done in New Zealand found that athletes who took a probiotic had 40% fewer colds and were less likely to get sick than if they took a placebo.

2. Relief from Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Certain strains of bacteria found in many probiotics can reduce inflammation and improve regularity, reducing the bloat and discomfort that often comes with IBS.

3. Aid with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

IBD can manifest itself in many forms, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis being the most major forms. Although there is still more research needed to be conducted on the topic, some encouraging studies seem to suggest probiotics can help with these conditions, especially ulcerative colitis.

4. Reduced Eczema and Allergies

Eczema and allergies often go hand in hand, and latest research has found probiotics may be able to help reduce the body’s allergic response to allergens.

5. Improved Urinary Health

Studies have found evidence that probiotics, especially lactobacilli, can help prevent UTIs in women.

6. Better Oral Health

Studies done on probiotics and oral health have found interesting results, including reduced gum bleeding and gingivitis, decreased risk of oral cancer, and less bad bacteria in the mouth that causes bad breath.

7. Improved Mood

A study conducted at the University of Toronto found that probiotics affected the L-tryptophan levels in the body. L-tryptophan is an amino acid that is turned into serotonin in the body, a hormone important for regulating mood that originates in the digestion tract. The researchers found that those who took a probiotic for two months saw improvements depression and anxiety levels compared to those who just took a placebo.

8. Reduced LDL

A few studies resulted in significant reductions in LDL (bad cholesterol) and increases in HDL (good cholesterol) when patients ate foods containing probiotics. One study even found that regularly taking a probiotic containing the strain lactobacillus acidophilus reduces the risk for coronary heart disease 6-10%.

9. Lower Blood Pressure

Research from the American Heart Association discovered, “Probiotic consumption lowered systolic blood pressure (the top number) by an average 3.56 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and diastolic blood pressure (the lower number) by an average 2.38 mm Hg, compared to adults who didn’t consume probiotics.”  Although these reductions are modest, the research looks like it could be promising in this area.

10. Weight Loss

Perhaps the most promising research with probiotics is in the area of weight loss.

Probiotics have been found to help people lose weight in several ways:

  • Probiotics help you digest your food properly, helping you to eliminate waste and feel lighter.
  • Probiotics may have an effect on certain weight-regulating hormones. According to Authority Nutrition, “Probiotics may help release the satiety (appetite-reducing) hormone GLP-1. Increased levels of this hormone may help you burn calories and fat.”
  • Some probiotics can inhibit fat absorption, meaning you’ll actually reduce the number of calories you actually consume in your diet.

 

Our Top Recommended Probiotic Supplement

IdealRenew: Our Top Recommneded Probiotic

Now you know all the possible health benefits of probiotics, but how do you make sure you are getting what you need?

Again, you can eat foods containing probiotics like yogurt and fermented foods. However, a more convenient way is to take a probiotic supplement that includes the correct strands of healthy bacteria.

Our favorite probiotic comes from IdealShape, a company who has helped millions of individuals transform and change their lives.

IdealShape probiotic, IdealRenew, contains 330 billion CFUs from bacteria strains that have been specifically studied for optimal nutrient absorption and weight loss benefits.

IdealRenew also contains a cleansing blend of herbs including cranberry, dandelion, Cascara Sagrada Bark, and Uva Ursi Leaf.  These ingredients are known to provide immune boosting qualities and aid in urinary health.

Finally, IdealRenew contains Magnesium and Zinc, minerals essential for proper absorption of vitamins and nutrients and a strong immune system.

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Conclusion

There are lots of health benefits of probiotics when you include them in your diet. Probiotics can greatly improve your health by balancing the good and bad bacteria in your gut.

A healthy gut and digestive system are essential for optimal health, a healthy weight, and a strong immune system.

Be sure to eat plenty of probiotic-containing foods, or try a high-quality probiotic supplement like IdealRenew. It’s time to start taking care of your gut!

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