Probiotics: Sources and Health Benefits

There is too much conflicting information available regarding what it means to be healthy and what the human body needs each day in order to function properly. What both anecdotal evidence and scientific research back up, however, is the amazing health benefits of probiotics for many people.

What Are Probiotics?

A probiotic is a type of live bacteria that, once consumed, can provide the body with many health benefits. They can stimulate the growth of other (good) bacteria already living within the body.

Where Are Probiotics Found?

Natural foods – Some common foods that contain probiotics are yogurt, sauerkraut, pickles, tempeh, and even some types of cheese. Usually, these natural sources have been fermented; this fermentation is what helps produce healthy bacteria.

Supplements – Plenty of people want to be healthy; however, they can’t stand the smell or taste of foods that may contain forms of probiotics or need to avoid dairy products for any number of reasons. And that’s okay! There are many other ways to reach probiotic goals. One such way is to get a supplement at a local health store or pharmacy. For these products, it’s a good idea to look at what strand of bacteria they contain and their amount of colony forming units (CFUs). Bacterial strands to look for include Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. CFUs are a measure of how much bacteria are in the supplement.

Potential Health Benefits of Probiotics

Probiotics primarily help by balancing the number of healthy bacteria already surviving in the body, specifically the bacteria from the stomach and intestines. This can be helpful for conditions like celiac disease, which is an autoimmune disorder that destroys parts of the intestine. Probiotics can also help with other gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms (like diarrhea), can help alleviate some symptoms of certain mental health disorders, and can be beneficial for the heart by lowering blood pressure and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.

Potential Side Effects of Probiotics

Probiotics are good bacteria in theory. This means that any side effects people experience may be mild and/or short-lasting. It is common to experience bloating and or gas when first starting probiotics. These effects should fade with time as the body adjusts and bacteria levels become more leveled. If any uncomfortable symptoms persist, it may be time to see a medical healthcare professional.

Those who are pregnant, want to give a supplement to a child, or have a compromised immune system are advised to speak to their doctor before starting any supplements like probiotics. Licensed professionals can give more accurate information about whether probiotics are right for a particular situation and can properly advise patients on what dosage to aim for each day. They can also make sure there is no underlying condition that needs to be treated prior to starting any new health routine.

Conclusion

Like anything else, there are many matters to consider in the use of probiotics. They are found in many natural food sources, but are also available in a supplement form. People can certainly use them to help regulate natural bodily functions and potentially help alleviate the symptoms of some health conditions. Always talk to a licensed medical professional before starting any new health routine.

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Travel Facts - Budapest

  1. To truly appreciate Budapest, spend at least five days there. There are lots of universities and museums, as well as a wide array of architectural displays. And you don't have to learn to speak Hungarian to blend in since the locals speak English.
  2. Prices have increased over the years in Budapest, but it's still relatively affordable for tourists. Make sure to have some cash while sauntering around the place; though major credit cards are widely accepted, some small establishments might only take cash.
  3. Visit the Gellert Baths for various spa and sauna options. Couples should enjoy having a double massage in a complex that was built circa 1912 to 1918. The place itself is of high historical value, having survived WWII, and you can plunge in its open-air pool.
  4. The second oldest funicular in the world, the Buda Castle Hill Funicular started its operations in 1870. Going up to Castle Hill, you get to see one of the most beautiful views of the Danube.
  5. Witness Budapest's culture at work in the Central Market Hall. Wear comfortable sneakers for roaming around the place and find some souvenirs and odds and ends to remind you of your trip. If you want to save on food, there is a grocery store here too.

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