Probiotics seem to be the latest news in the diet world.
They claim to help you digest your food better, prevent digestive problems and help you achieve that flat belly you’ve always dreamed of, all of which sounds great.
But what exactly are probiotics and why are they so important for our diet?
Probiotics are live microorganisms which, when consumed in recommended doses, provide us with many health benefits. They are usually called “friendly bacteria” because they have the ability to restore the balance of our intestinal flora. The most common types of probiotics are lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and bifidobacteria.
Probiotics can be consumed under the form of diet supplements. For those like me, who are more skeptical when it comes to taking pills, probiotics can also be found in certain types of food. They can be found in fermented foods with live cultures added: yogurt, kefir, soy yoghurt, soy drinks, fermented milk and usually products that have written on their labels “live and active cultures”.
Although there is not enough evidence yet, probiotics have proven to have many health benefits and to be potentially useful in treating certain medical conditions:
- Lactose intolerance: the lactic acid bacteria converts lactose into lactic acid, making it possible for people with lactose intolerance to tolerate it better, by reducing its symptoms;
- Diarrhea: either caused by stress or antibiotics, probiotics help relieve this problem, reduce the duration of the symptoms and aid the body in recovering faster from it;
- Immune system: probiotics can also improve your immune system by preventing and reducing the frequency of colds and flu; they also fight off infections, such as vaginal yeast infection and urinary tract infections;
- Irritable bowel syndrome: Clinical studies suggest that probiotics can reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel disease and also prevent its reoccurrence in adults.
If you find yourself in one of the above mentioned situations, you could try solving them with probiotics or just add them to your treatment. And even if you don’t have any health issues but would like to prevent them, you can safely add foods rich in probiotics to your diet.
Besides the health benefits they provide you with, many people claim that probiotics helped them maintain a certain weight or even reduce it by improving their digestive system. We all know how hard it is to lose weight when your body isn’t helping you at all. By solving the most common digestive problems, probiotics might be the key to an effective diet and why not, to having that flat belly you’ve always wanted.
RSS Trackback URL 25. April 2011 (15:26)
Filed under: Nutrition by Alice in Dietland