As things stand, it’s pretty safe to say that the average human’s diet, is hardly the healthiest of things, and in some cases, that is sadly putting things very, very mildly indeed. Obesity rates are sky high, life expectancies are on the decline, and healthcare officials and governments are being forced to spend hundreds of billions on weight-related healthcare each and every single year. Yes, as many of us appear to be in such a rush and are so deprived of time, the average person nowadays relies heavily upon processed fast food, and other convenience items that offer virtually no nutritional value at all. Not only do these foods and drinks offer no nutrition, but more worryingly still, they can cause a wide range of health issues for people of all ages, genders, shapes, and sizes, and from all walks of life. These items are loaded full of trans fats, salt, sugar, chemical sweeteners, and numerous other artificial ingredients that have been heavily linked to a number of medical conditions. Obviously from this, we can gather that we need to be eating and drinking a great deal more healthy produce, but what really constitutes as healthy? Well, probiotics are incredibly healthy as things go, but if you were asked to describe a probiotic, could you? To help get a better understanding about these wonderfully healthy organisms, here is your ultimate guide to probiotics.
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are basically microscopic living organisms that have been proven to provide a number of substantial health benefits for the human body, after being consumed. They are highly beneficial bacteria that reside within the human body, most commonly within the gut and digestive system. On top of that however, probiotics are also found naturally on, and within a whole variety of natural food and drink sources as well. These microscopic living organisms can help to repopulate intestinal bacteria levels, namely good bacteria, but assists with the digestion of food, with the absorption of nutrients, and much more besides. In terms of gastrointestinal health in particular, probiotics are very, very important. What’s more, the words ‘pro’ and ‘biota’ literally mean “for life” so that gives you a clue about just how healthy probiotics really are.
How do probiotics function?
Probiotics function in a number of different ways, though their primary purpose is to help repopulate healthy bacteria levels. Within the digestive system, there are more than 100 trillion individual bacteria, and 500 different species of bacteria within the bowels. Unfortunately, these bacteria are made up of a combination of good bacteria and bad bacteria, which is why it’s important to keep healthy bacteria numbers up. These bacteria aid in digestion, they strengthen the immune system, they synthesize nutrients, and they promote general gut health and well-being.
What are the benefits of probiotics?
As you have now found out, probiotics are extremely beneficial for the human body, though many people don’t quite understand why that is. Here’s a look at some of the primary benefits associated with probiotics:
Maintain general health
If an individual has plenty of probiotics and healthy bacteria within their gut, generally speaking they will be considered much healthier and will be able to stay very healthy for the foreseeable future. On the extreme opposite side of the spectrum, people that have low levels of probiotics and healthy bacteria within their bodies, are far likely to suffer from various health conditions and ailments. The main reason why probiotics are so beneficial, is the fact that they actually prevent unhealthy bacteria levels from building up and multiplying, which would eventually cause illness and disease. Without these probiotics bad bacteria levels would gradually increase, leading to illness.
Can treat other medical conditions
Another great benefit associated with probiotics, is the fact that they can be used to treat other ailments and medical conditions. For example, allergies, food intolerances, and conditions such as IBS, can all be treated and managed via probiotics.
Easy to consume
What’s more, another great reason to consider incorporating more probiotics into your diet, is simply the fact that they are so easy to consume. There are many probiotic foods and supplements currently available, which easily be consumed in a matter of minutes. For these reasons, probiotics are incredibly convenient.
They boost the immune system
Another great probiotic benefit is simply the fact that they have been proven to enhance the immune system, offering additional protection against illness and disease. This is because the healthy bacteria levels, which build up as a result of probiotics, will help to improve nutrient absorption, so you can absorb more vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients that strengthen the immune system.
What are the best sources of probiotics
Now that we know what probiotics are, how they function, and why they’re considered so important, the next logical step is to look for some of the best natural sources of probiotic. These include the following:
- Natural Yoghurt
- Miso soup
- Micro algae
- Fermented foods
- Pickled vegetables
- Brewer’s yeast
- Kombucha tea
Probiotics and paleo
The paleo diet is a diet plan which has a reputation for being able to restore health and balance to the human body, with one of the benefits being the fact that many of the foods you are permitted to consume whilst on the paleo-diet, also happen to be foods which help contain probiotics. With that being said however, arguably the most common source of probiotics, is natural yoghurt, which is a problem as most paleo diet plans do not permit the consumption of dairy. In these instances, natural dairy-free yoghurt, made from almond or coconut perhaps, works as a great alternative.
If you are interested in the paleo diet take a look physique4life.com, you can find many healthy paleo recipes, healthy eating tips, workout plans, exercise tips and much more! Discover the health benefits of following a paleo lifestyle and learn how to live happier, eat healthier, and train smarter.