health care

Probiotics 101: A Beginner’s Guide

Science is definitive about the usefulness of probiotics. In this guide we’ll take a look at what they are, how they’ve been used and which foods contain them.

Life gets difficult when your stomach or intestines aren’t healthy. Bloating and distension are terribly uncomfortable, and bowel diseases can be excruciating. When you have abdominal issues, sometimes getting through the day seems impossible.

There are plenty of products out there claiming to relieve you of these symptoms, but they rarely live up to their own hype. There is good news, though.

Over the past 20 years, doctors have thoroughly researched how bacteria known as “probiotics” can help restore your gut health.

So what are probiotics? According to the Oxford Journal’s Clinical Infectious Diseases, they are live microorganisms that offer legitimate health benefits when you take specific amounts of them.

Cindy Klinger, a California-based integrative dietician, offers further insight. “A probiotic is a bacteria or yeast that provides health benefits to the digestive tract. They provide a range of functions, including supporting a healthy gut, preventing disease, maintaining a healthy weight, and helping us absorb nutrients effectively.”

And as you’ll soon read, there are many studies which point to probiotics’ potential to restore your gut health.

But not all bacteria are considered beneficial to your gut. Many types have been linked to conditions like inflammatory bowel disease, bloating, and weight gain. Probiotics differ from this pathogenic bacteria by repopulating your gut and giving it a greater chance of becoming healthy.

In this guide, we’re going to walk you through the basics of probiotics. We’ll focus on the common uses of probiotics and the types of foods which contain them. 

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