How do Probiotic and Prebiotic Food Give You Good Health?

July 20, 2009

When you hear the word bacteria the last thing you would relate it to is good health. But bacteria can be both good and bad. Here we will understand what ‘good’ bacteria are and how we can preserve them for our optimum health.

There are about three pounds of bacteria in normal, hale and hearty digestive tract. Under optimum conditions about one third of this bacteria populace comprise of the ‘good’ ones. At worst, and mainly due to extended use of antibiotics over the years, the population of the good bacteria gets reduced to a number which is practically untraceable. This condition is known as dysbiosis. As argued by many health specialists, dysbiosis lies at the root of over seventy percent of all diseases, which includes unceasing and regular problems like depression, acne, allergies caused by certain food products, digestive problems and weakness.

The alimentary canal is the home of more than 400 types of bacteria, good as well as bad. Probiotics are the good ones. Two common types are lactobacilli and bifidobacteria. If a good balance of probiotic bacteria is maintained, the bad bacteria are incompetent to cause significant diseases or irritable health conditions.

Foods that contain alive and advantageous bacteria are also known as probiotics. Milk products such as yogurt and buttermilk are the most acknowledged foods that provide the beneficial bacteria for the bowel.

How Probiotics Benefit Your Health

  • It helps in synthesis of essential vitamins, mainly vitamin B.
  • The nutrients are more readily available.
  • Reduces lactose intolerance.
  • Increases immunity.
  • Destroy illness creating microorganisms by producing antibacterial and antimicrobial substance like cytokines, butyric acid.
  • Helps in easy digestion, chiefly of milk products, by fueling the development of bacteria producing lactic acid.
  • It increases the production of cells that boosts immunity.
  • It makes the gastrointestinal tissue layer strong which helps protect against infections.
  • It prevents and restricts the activity and development of helicobacter pylori, a bad bacterium, which causes peptic ulcers.
  • Lot of studies and researches has indicated that probiotcs may help fight cancer risks, reduce the chances of urogenital infections in females, may also reduce cholesterol level and decrease blood pressure.

Foods that contain significant volume of probiotics are mainly milk products like yoghurts, buttermilk, fermented milk and ice creams. Two most commonly found good bacteria in these products are lactobacilli and bifidobacteria. It is always best to meet the probiotics requirement through food products, however, in some cases herbal supplements or nutritional supplements can also be taken.

What Are Prebiotics?

Then again, there are food products known as prebiotics that aid in the growth and multiplication of good bacteria. To understand better you can say that prebiotics are energy providing food for probiotic bacteria. Prebiotics are those food components that are indigestible in nature. Prebiotic foods include wheat, soybeans, onions, lentils, garlic, peas, banana, chicory, tomatoes and beans. These foods affect the probiotic bacteria in the stomach positively.

How Prebiotics Benefit Your Health

  • Prebiotic foods aid in reducing the bad cholesterol levels.
  • Greatly reduces the risk of having heart problems.
  • It helps the body in absorbing most of the important minerals particularly calcium.
  • It strengthens the bones.
  • It improves the bowel health and helps in providing relief during stomach problems such as acidity and constipation.
  • Studies have also indicated that prebiotics helps in detoxification of carcinogens produced in the abdomen.

Now that you know the benefits of having more good bacteria in your stomach don’t forget to add probiotic and prebiotic foods in your diet.

Additional Reading:

Probiotics - An Overview

Fiber and Prebiotics 

Here is What You Should Know About Probiotics

All Natural Products For Better Digestion