Still Not Taking Probiotics? Here’s Why You Should

graphic cartoon featuring health benefits of probiotics

Here’s a statistic that might surprise you: the number of bacteria you have in your body outnumbers your own cells 10-to-1. That’s a pretty impressive figure. But before you get alarmed and rush off to your doctor, you should also know this is a good thing. That’s because the majority of these bacteria promote better health. In fact, they are actually essential in this regard. And taking probiotics can help make sure those bacteria in your gut offer the best potential for wellness.

Taking probiotics is important for a number of reasons. These benefits range from better digestion and weight management to reduced risks of some cancers and infections. If you are not taking probiotics, then you should really reconsider this as an important strategy for better health.

How Does Taking Probiotics Improve Wellness?

Your gastrointestinal tract contains over 80 percent of your body’s immune system. At the same time, the bacteria in your intestinal tract, called your gut flora, plays a huge role in digestion. It also is involved in providing vitamins and nutrients to your gut wall. With this in mind, it’s important that the bacteria in your gut flora are the ones best at providing these functions. Taking probiotics helps in this regard.

Probiotics are essentially live microorganisms that can be taken to increase the number of “good” bacteria in your gut flora. Ideally, you want the right balance of good bacteria so that your body can function at its best. Thus, the balance in question relates to how well probiotics populate your intestinal tract with these good bacteria. Since these bacteria improve the way your body functions, when this proper balance is in place, better health will follow.

The Health Benefits of Probiotics

A number of organ systems enjoy enhanced function because of probiotics and their numerous health benefits. The following are some of the most well-recognized advantages:

Digestive Benefits

When it comes to digestion, the health benefits of probiotics are significant. For one, probiotics have been shown to help with diarrhea, especially diarrhea associated with medications. In addition, probiotics reduce the absorption of dietary fats, which means weight loss is more likely. And for individuals with irritable bowel syndrome or bowel inflammation, probiotics can reduce symptoms. These gastrointestinal health benefits of probiotics have been supported through several scientific studies. Thus, taking probiotics for better digestive health is a no-brainer.

Cardiovascular Benefits

Interestingly, the health benefits of probiotics also involve your cardiovascular system. Probiotics break down bile in the intestinal tract. As a result, lower amounts of cholesterol are absorbed leading to lower cholesterol levels. In addition, some research shows that probiotics lower your blood pressure while promoting weight loss. Each of these factors contributes to potentially better heart health.

Immune System Benefits

The primary health benefit of probiotics on your immune system relates to the suppression of bad bacteria. With fewer bad bacteria, the risk of disease and illness decreases. But at the same time, taking probiotics increases the number of immune cells in the gut. Some research also shows the risk of allergies and eczema are less when taking probiotics. And better immune function also means reduced risks for some cancers, especially colorectal cancer.

Mental Health Benefits

Perhaps the least well-recognized health benefits of probiotics relate to its mental health benefits. Poor gut flora has been linked to anxiety, depression, and memory difficulties. By taking probiotics, the risk of these conditions decreases as well. And even if these mental health problems already exist, taking probiotics can help improve symptoms.

Isn’t It Time You Began Taking Probiotics?

Some people choose to include probiotics in their wellness regimen through their diet. Yogurts, milk drinks, and an array of fermented foods offer a variety of probiotics. You can choose to take probiotic supplements daily as an alternative. In terms of best practices, a variety of different probiotic bacteria is generally encouraged. And likewise, between 1 and 100 billion CFUs (colony-forming units) should be taken daily.

As you can tell, the health benefits of probiotics are quite varied in nature. By taking probiotics, you can boost your overall health and improve your body’s ability to function the way it should. As a result, you will not only feel your best now but also enjoy better health in the long run.

About the Author

Dawna is a mom of two young kids, puppy lover, ice cream lover, chocolate lover, and lover of any ice cream with chunks of chocolate in it. She is the author of seven books, a business owner, certified health coach, motivational speaker, and creator of the 5-Day Detox and the 14-Day Clean-Eating Program. Dawna appears regularly on local and national television. She has appeared on the Today show, Martha, MSNBC, HSN, and morning news programs on NBC, CBS, ABC, and Fox. Dawna is a highly sought-after speaker and has done speaking engagements for Chobani, Disney, American Heart Association, Mass Mutual, Wharton Business School, Women’s Entertainment Television, PGA Tour, Super Bowl Leadership Forum, Susan G. Komen, and many more.
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