There's a lot of hype about probiotics these days, but do they really live up to their health-boosting reputation? The answer is, absolutely! Probiotics give your immune system a tremendous boost, they decrease your risk of disease and improve your overall health. But what are probiotics exactly? And what specific health benefits do they offer?
What Are Probiotics?
Trillions of living microorganisms call the inside of your gut home. These make up what is commonly referred to as the "microbiome." Many of these tiny bacterial cells are good for you - they help you absorb nutrients, they synthesize key neurotransmitters and other vital compounds and they support your immune system. So, where do probiotics come in? Well, probiotics are a kind of organism that aids in boosting the amount of good bacteria in your gut, which naturally gives your overall health a boost.
Where can you get probiotics? Fermented foods are an excellent source of probiotics, such as kombucha, kimchi, natto, tempeh, miso and kefir. You can also take probiotic supplements, which you can purchase at your local health food store or here at our office.
Health Benefits of Probiotics
Improved cognitive function and mental health. As scientists spend more time researching the gut-brain connection, it has become clear that probiotics can play an important role in maintaining healthy brain function and improving overall mental health. Studies have shown that probiotics may boost spatial and nonspatial memory and help manage anxiety, depression, autism spectrum disorder and even OCD. Best of all, probiotics aid in these areas naturally, with no negative side effects.
Better digestive health. Probiotics can help you maintain a healthy, balanced gut. Researchers say that probiotics may even provide protection from inflammatory bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and Chron's disease, as well as more common and less serious gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea and constipation.
Boosted immunity and decreased inflammation. Studies indicate that probiotics reduce inflammation throughout the body. Since chronic inflammation is at the root of many diseases, this is a big plus for your overall health. In addition, probiotics stimulate the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines and moderate white blood cell action, which improves your body's ability to fight off diseases.
More effective weight management. Studies show that probiotics may help decrease abdominal fat accumulation, especially for people with metabolic disorders. Plus, probiotics help to naturally improve good cholesterol levels and insulin sensitivity - factors that not only aid in healthy weight loss but are also hugely beneficial for people with high blood pressure and diabetes.
These are just a few of the major benefits probiotics offer, and there's definitely plenty of room for further research on their benefits. The bottom line is that probiotics are completely natural and have a ton of benefits to offer to people of all ages, with minimal to nonexistent side effects. If you are interested in adding probiotics to your daily health routine, be sure to ask us about it next time you stop by for an adjustment!