Probiotics are often called “friendly bacteria,” a well-earned nickname. These microorganisms benefit the body in so many ways! But instead of focusing on cold, hard facts, let’s talk about how probiotics make you feel. By looking at the sensations, you can truly understand the perks of probiotics.
What Are Probiotics?
Your gut contains good and bad bacteria – a balance that is needed for good health. When this gets thrown off, you’re bound to feel crummy. Eating probiotics replenishes this balance. The most common probiotic bacteria are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains. And in foods, there’s typically a mix of different types.1
Foods That Contain Probiotics
Fermented and cultured products are a major, healthy source of probiotics. Examples include the following:2
- Soy beverages
- Buttermilk and yogurt
- Aged cheese
How Probiotics Make You Feel Great
1. Improve Emotional Health
The gut is linked to the central nervous system and brain, creating the gut-brain axis. This is also how microbial balance directly impacts your emotions. Because of this axis, digestive problems often co-exist with sadness, anxiety, and depression.3 When your gut is happy, so are you. Added to the physical benefits, this will leave you feeling great.
2. Treat Digestive Issues
Pooping every day shouldn’t be a hassle. Yet, your good bacteria can take a nosedive, be it due to antibiotics or bad eating habits. This imbalance may spark diarrhea, constipation, and other digestive issues. Probiotics prevent these by balancing the gut.4 You won’t have to deal with cramps and discomfort, making it easier to focus on the day ahead.
3. Boost Your Immune System
A balanced gut is your first line of defense. It regulates the immune system, fighting foreign invaders and keeping you healthy. When this balance gets thrown off, your immunity weakens.5 Nothing is worse than feeling sickly!
Take probiotics to keep things in check. You’ll have an easier time warding off germs and bacteria – especially when a cold is going around the office or home.
4. Control Appetite
We’ve all felt “hangry” before, and it’s not very fun. You can avoid it by regularly eating carbs throughout the day. Now, protein and fiber will also keep you satisfied. But, did you know that probiotics can do the same?
According to a 2017 study, a balanced gut controls appetite. Hunger pangs will be less likely! This also helps control weight gain and obesity, helping you stay both happy and healthy.6
5. Clear Up Your Skin
Did you know that gut balance also affects the skin? An imbalance can lead to inflammation and show up as acne, redness, or irritation. Interestingly, bloating increases the risk of breakouts and other skin diseases by 37%!7
As probiotics balance things out, your skin will clear up. This will increase your confidence and lower your dependence on makeup, two factors that can make you feel great.
Your body needs time to get used to probiotics. Taking too much of probiotics too fast may cause diarrhea, bloating, and gas.8 Start small and slowly increase your intake. Also, know that probiotics eventually die. For example, in just 7 days, the bacteria count in commercial yogurt significantly decreases.9 It’s a solid reason to buy local fermented foods or to make your own.
Want to take supplements instead of these foods? Store them properly and be sure to take them before the expiration date.
|↑1||Probiotics. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.|
|↑2||Prebiotics and Probiotics in Your Food. CommonHealth, Virginia Department of Human Resource Management.|
|↑3||Haug, Tone Tangen, Arnstein Mykletun, and Alv A. Dahl. “The prevalence of nausea in the community: psychological, social and somatic factors.” General hospital psychiatry 24, no. 2 (2002): 81-86.|
|↑4, ↑5||Sanders, Mary Ellen, Louis MA Akkermans, Dirk Haller, Cathy Hammerman, James T. Heimbach, Gabriele Hörmannsperger, and Geert Huys. “Safety assessment of probiotics for human use.” Gut microbes 1, no. 3 (2010): 164-185.|
|↑6||Fetissov, S. O. “Involvement of gut bacteria in appetite control.” Biologie aujourd’hui 211, no. 1 (2017): 29.|
|↑7||Bowe, Whitney P., and Alan C. Logan. “Acne vulgaris, probiotics and the gut-brain-skin axis-back to the future?.” Gut pathogens 3, no. 1 (2011): 1.|
|↑8||Probiotics: In Depth. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.|
|↑9||Çakmakçi, Songül, Bülent Çetin, Tamer Turgut, Mustafa Gürses, and Ahmet Erdoğan. “Probiotic properties, sensory qualities, and storage stability of probiotic banana yogurts.” Turkish Journal of Veterinary and Animal Sciences 36, no. 3 (2012): 231-237.|