Not all bacteria are bad news for your health. Probiotics are the good guys you ought to have in your gut. Largely present in fermented food sources, good bacteria play a paramount role in the smooth functioning of your body. Proper digestion, regular bowel movements, a strong immunity along with mental clarity are all linked to the presence of probiotics in the body. Here are 3 groups of beneficial bacteria you need to know about.
1. Lactobacillus Genus
With more than 80 species in this genus of probiotics, Lactobacillus is an essential microbe for complete gut health. L. acidophilus it resides in the intestines and aids in proper digestion. In the process of digestion, it produces lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide that prevents the growth of pathogenic microbes. This means it combats harmful microbes that cause abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, and gastrointestinal issues.1
Lactobacillus salivarius is protective to the stomach and intestinal lining and reduces the chances of bad breath related to gastric trouble. Lactobacillus casei provides relief from the symptoms of occasional diarrhea that will promote the healthy gut bacteria. Lactobacillus plantarum helps in reducing the risk factors for heart disease.Lactobacillus rhamnosus is known to soothe allergic skin reactions. Lactobacillus brevis enhances the health of gums in particular and your oral cavity in general.
2. Bifidobacterium Genus
Helicobacter pylori are the most common infectious bacteria in the stomach that causes painful stomach ulcers and inflammation in the intestines. Bifidobacterium bifidum is very beneficial for alleviating illnesses of gastrointestinal origin. Scientific studies have proved that Bifidobacterium breve can help treat constipation in childhood. Bifidobacterium longum is known to lower the risk of colon cancer and reduce intensity fo glucose intolerance symptoms.2
3. Streptococcus Genus
Streptococcus thermophilus is very beneficial for lactose-intolerant individuals who are unable to digest dairy. It has been scientifically proven to improve colon health and lowering the risk of colon cancer. Researchers have found that S. thermophilus can boost growth in children.3
In cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, it can even protect the intestinal and stomach from adverse effects. It can also bring relief for antibiotic-associated diarrhea. It can supplement the action of Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus acidophilus in lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Get More Probiotic Bacteria Into Your Body
Here are 3 simple ways to have a fair amount of good bacteria in your body.
1. Eat Whole Foods, Ditch Unreal Ones
Foods rich in dietary fiber are crucial for achieving and maintaining a diverse microbial environment in the gut. Studies have proven that processed and refined foods disrupts the microbial balance and leads to digestive issues and breeding of Candida species.
2. Include Probiotics In One Form Or The Other
Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, tempeh, kefir, pickles, natto, buttermilk, and gouda cheese are natural sources of millions of good bacteria. If you are buying store-bought versions of these foods, check the label for the mention of an active culture. Probiotic supplements can also be taken after consulting a doctor.
3. Lower Stress And Get Enough Sleep
Stressful scenarios are not anyone’s favorite place to be and this is true in the case of good bacteria too. In the presence of inadequate calmness and sleep, the adrenaline and cortisol levels spike. This throws off the balance between good and bad bacteria in your gut. Vulnerability to inflammation and infection also increases. Therefore, mindfully avoid getting worked up and don’t compromise with sleep.
Make it a conscious effort to include the beneficial bacteria in your diet so that your overall wellbeing can make the most of it.
|↑1||Li, Haihua, Lei Zhang, Longbin Chen, Qi Zhu, Wenjie Wang, and Jiayun Qiao. “Lactobacillus acidophilus alleviates the inflammatory response to
|↑2||Nopchinda, Supujchara, Wandee Varavithya, Pornpimol Phuapradit, Rawiwan Sangchai, Umaporn Suthutvoravut,
|↑3||Whitford, Eleanor J., Adrian G. Cummins, Ross N. Butler, Luca D. Prisciandaro, Jane K. Fauser, Roger Yazbeck, Andrew Lawrence et al. “Effects of Streptococcus thermophilus TH-4 on intestinal mucositis induced by the chemotherapeutic agent, 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU).” Cancer biology & therapy 8, no. 6 (2009): 505-511.|