So everybody around tells you about the big bad world of microorganisms? Well, there are two sides of a coin in every situation. And this one here is no exception. Probiotics are good bacteria whose main actions are to help in digestion, destroy evil bacteria and ensure a healthy and happy gut. Fermented foods like sauerkraut, tempeh and miso are rich in probiotic cultures. Milk and dairy products like yoghurt, buttermilk etc, are also high up in the scale with live probiotic cultures residing within them. Including these food items in your diet will ensure a disease-free living for you and your family. Unless and until the person has a weak immunity and is unwell and sick already, probiotics do only good and cause no harm whatsoever. Lactobacillus sp or Lactic Acid Bacteria and Bifidobacterium sp are the most common types of probiotics which are used to guarantee fitness and well being in mankind in general. If we ever start thanking these bacteria then the list will be too long and vast. From curing constipation, to boosting immunity, to cleaning up the bowels, to alleviating lactose intolerance and even preventing food allergies, they all come in the bio data of these efficient microbes.
Health Benefits Of Probiotics
Intestinal Tract Health
It is the digestive system that needs to have a high defence mechanism to prevent the pathogenic microbes from spreading out and attacking different parts of the body. Diseases like diarrhoea, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, alcoholic liver diseases etc are prevented and treated by the use of probiotics. Constipation problems are also cured by the consumption of lactic acid bacteria since they are able to improve intestinal mobility.
The fermentation processes unlock a number of important vitamins and nutrients present inside raw and uncooked food. Unlike the cooked food, where along with harmful bacteria even the useful bacteria die an unforgiving death, fermented foods are rich in live beneficial cultures. They increase the quantities of folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B12, vitamin B6 in food items like yoghurt, kefir, cottage cheese and Cheddar cheese. Appropriate pH balance and protection against pathogens are sustained with the help of important by-products like lactic acid, propionic acid and butyric acid that are produced during the process of fermentation.
Good bacteria that are present in the gut inhibit the growth and development of the pathogenic microbes. These also help in the elimination of toxic wastes from the body and help in cleansing the system. These bacteria also stimulate antibodies and activate the cells that are involved with elimination of the pathogens.
Probiotics help in alleviating symptoms that arise from a food allergy. The immunity barrier is improved by consumption of food items that possess beneficial bacteria. If babies are given probiotic supplements on a regular basis then conditions like diaper rash etc are reduced to a large extent. Lactic acid bacteria are found to be effective in cases of inflammatory reactions, hypersensitivity responses etc. The regulation of cytokines improves on taking probiotics on a daily basis. Milk allergies, eczema etc are known to be treated on inclusion of probiotics in the patient’s diet.
Almost 70% of the world population suffers from a condition called lactose intolerance. But lactic acid bacteria quickly convert the lactose into lactic acid thus bringing relief to the individuals who suffer from lactose intolerance. A lactose intolerant individual misses out on the important nutrients and vitamins present in the milk and milk products but thanks to these probiotic cultures, they can consume these dairy products.
Oncology or cancer research is an ongoing development with hopes of being able to cure cancer someday soon. Using probiotics have shown a good promising solution to cure cancer. The activity of the enzyme that generates tumour and carcinogens in the body is decreased and kept under control by these probiotic bacteria. Studies on rodents have shown scientists that colon cancer can be cured by using strains of lactic acid bacteria.
So now that you know about the various advantages of including probiotic bacteria in your diet, do not forget to munch on them regularly.