A lot of people have only heard of the negative bacteria in our body. You might have even taken antibiotics in the past to combat the level of bacteria in your body. These aren’t the only kinds of bacteria, though. There are some in our bodies that we need to survive.
Probiotics are some of the positive live bacteria in our bodies. They help regulate our weight, boost our immune system, and assist with fighting diseases along with a long list of other health benefits.
Probiotics are becoming increasingly popular because of their ability to stimulate weight loss. Some people are learning about their effects for the first time because they’re looking to lose some extra belly fat. If you’re learning about probiotics for the first time, take a look at the following health benefits and ways these bacteria strains can help you lose some fat.
What are Probiotics?
Elie Metchnikoff was the first person to discover probiotics in the 1800’s. He saw that rural Bulgarians were living far longer than people might expect them to in spite of their harsh climate and poverty.
After observing their diet, Metchnikoff concluded that the intestinal bacteria created by sour milk had something to do with these extended life expectancies.
While the theory gained a bit of traction in its time, scientists and researchers didn’t take it all that seriously for around a hundred years. In the 1990’s further research started emerging that added validity to Metchnikoff’s original hypothesis.
Not all bacteria in our bodies is harmful. In fact, some of the bacteria can help us digest food, lose weight, and live longer. This is where probiotics come into play.
Probiotics are live bacteria we get from food that live in our stomachs. If we don’t have enough in our bodies, we can begin to experience weight gain, digestive problems, and even some diseases.
What are the Health Benefits of Probiotics?
Probiotic supplements are a relatively new concept in the supplement industry. Probiotics weight loss is a trend right now, but as we’ve detailed the idea of positive probiotics is not new. In fact, probiotics are with our bodies from our first breaths.
When we’re born naturally, we receive probiotics from our mothers. Part of the reason some babies who are born through C-section have compromised immune systems is that of the lack of probiotics in their body.
We need a balance of good and bad bacteria in our guts and intestines to maintain a healthy life. In the over-processed age in which we live, our bodies can often shift towards harmful bacteria as we get older.
The primary way probiotics help our body is by establishing the beneficial bacteria we’ve lost throughout our lives. A lack of probiotics in our diet can lead to IBS, digestive pain, diarrhea liver disease and a long list of other conditions.
Reintroducing probiotics to our bodies means the removal or complete reversal of some of these symptoms. If you often feel bloated or have a recurring upset stomach, probiotics will probably help you. This bacteria’s greatest effect is in our gut and intestinal health, but that’s far from the only thing probiotics can do for our health.
Boosting Your Immune System
Even if you aren’t interested in probiotics weight loss or probiotics for gut health, you might find their immune system benefits helpful. For many, this is the most attractive benefit probiotics have in our bodies.
Research points to probiotics assisting our body when fighting diseases and sicknesses. If our body isn’t properly equipped to fight harmful germs, we start to get sick easier and can even develop autoimmune diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Keeping the right balance of beneficial bacteria in our bodies from the time we’re born will ensure optimal immune health. If you have a young son or daughter, it’s best to get them eating probiotic-rich food early. If you’re an adult with a suffering immune system, these bacteria may help you reverse the damage a poor diet has done.
Research is exploring all kinds of benefits probiotics have on our body. They’re no longer limited to gut and immune health. Researchers are exploring the possibility of probiotics for skin and lung diseases as well.
The future is bright for probiotics. As time goes on and research expands, more evidence reveals itself as to the benefits of probiotics.
Probiotics for Weight Loss
Recent probiotic popularity is only partially due to the health benefits researchers have uncovered. The primary driver is probably the probiotics weight loss properties. It’s created a supplement market that’s geared towards people who are looking for ways to naturally lose some belly fat.
Losing Weight With Healthy Bacteria
Several researchers have explored the efficacy of using probiotics for weight loss. Some of the most promising results come from lactobacillus, though other probiotics also show substantial promise for weight loss purposes.
Probiotics weight loss is all about changing the bacteria in your stomach. Obese people often have a stomach composition that gets the possible calories out of the food they eat. They can find that burning fat is more difficult because the body has a constant supply of carbohydrates for energy.
Introducing probiotics allows those who are struggling with their weight to break through plateaus. Probiotics work with other bacteria in your stomach to help regulate your metabolism. If it’s working too slow, probiotics will give it a jump start.
Different Kinds of Probiotics
Several different strains of bacteria are classified as probiotics. Some are more effective when promoting weight loss than others. In fact, there is some research that suggests there are certain kinds of probiotics that can actually cause you to gain weight.
The different strains of probiotics are:
- Saccharomyces Boulardii
Many people consider lactobacillus to be the best probiotic for weight loss. It’s the easiest one to find from natural sources, and researchers have studied its effects for long enough that many probiotics weight loss advocates rely on Lactobacillus.
Lactobacillus appears in the body naturally, and you can find additional sources in fermented dairy products like yogurt. There are several kinds of lactobacillus, and they can help improve your skin, immune system, and gut health.
Like Lactobacillus, there is a long list of subspecies of bifidobacteria. These are some of the first positive bacteria we find in humans, as they develop when we’re only days old. Bifidobacteria create the beneficial bacteria found in the colon.
One of the biggest benefits of bifidobacteria is preventing the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Bifidobacteria can reduce or relieve much of the pain, discomfort, and bloating IBS sufferers experience. This probiotic can also improve lipid and glucose tolerance in our blood.
Saccharomyces boulardii is a yeast probiotic that can help with skin conditions like acne. The probiotic also assists those who suffer from regular bouts of diarrhea. This is another naturally-occurring probiotic that you can find in our bodies when we’re young.
Like the other kinds of probiotics, you can replenish your body’s stock of Saccharomyces boulardii through dietary supplements and foods.
Where to Find Probiotics
It used to be far easier to receive probiotics from natural sources than it currently is. When we were relying on locally raised meat and locally grown fruits and vegetables, probiotics were plentiful. Now that we get our food from across the country and globe, a lot of the products that used to give us probiotics no longer do.
Most food products contain preservatives these days, and companies strip their food of bacteria to make them last longer. While this is a positive change for profits, it doesn’t do our health any favors. You’ll have to seek them out actively, or purchase supplements to help ensure your body maintains the proper level of the helpful bacteria.
Cultured and Greek yogurt are some of the most popular sources of probiotics, as well as one of the easiest places to get them. You’ll likely find the largest variety of unpasteurized, grass-fed yogurt at your local organic foods store.
Not all yogurt contains probiotics, though, so check the label before you buy. Organic yogurt is far more beneficial than processed yogurt you find in the supermarket.
Kefir is a cousin of yogurt and provides a similar level of probiotic content. It’s a combination of cow or goat milk with fermented kefir grains and offers a substantial number of probiotics. Although you might not have heard of it, people have been eating kefir for thousands of years.
Kombucha originated in Japan and is another healthy source of probiotics. It’s made from fermented black tea and originated around 2,000 years ago.
Probiotics in Supplements
If you can’t find a way to get natural probiotics in your diet, you can always use supplements. There are quite a few probiotics Amazon offers available if you want to do your shopping online.
Before you buy, read the ingredients list of each product. Although many supplement companies are honest with their claims, some may not be. Check user reviews and an ingredients list to verify you’re making the right selection.