We’ve already given you a few natural remedies for your immune system, but have you ever thought about probiotics? Did you know you have trillions of bacteria (good and bad) swirling around in your gut? The human digestive tract is a host for microscopic beings that are responsible for our overall health (or lack thereof) since research suggests certain gut bacteria can prevent and treat many common diseases.
That’s why probiotics are so important, and why dozens of different probiotic bacteria may offer you health benefits. The most common groups include Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Each group is comprised of a different species, and each species has various strains.
Interestingly, different probiotics can address different health conditions. Therefore, choosing the right type — or types — of probiotic is essential.
Here are 3 reasons you should include them in your daily diet:
Probiotics can treat diarrhea and constipation. Several studies suggest probiotic use is linked to a reduced risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea and other forms of diarrhea not associated with antibiotics (like the one you get from exotic travel destinations.) Strains such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus casei and the yeast Saccharomyces boulardii are most commonly associated with a reduced risk of diarrhea. And if you have the opposite problem, probiotics will help you too! Bifidobacterium infantis, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus plantarum, Saccharomyces boulardii, or a combination of probiotics may help regulate bowel movements and help treat constipation.
Probiotics may improve mental health and certain conditions. A review of 15 human test subjects showed that supplementing with Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus strains for 1–2 months can improve anxiety, depression, autism, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and memory loss. Plus, there is increasing evidence from preclinical and clinical studies that shows probiotics have both preventative and therapeutic potential for more serious conditions such as Alzheimers.
Probiotics can help your immune system. A large study found that taking probiotics reduced the likelihood and duration of some respiratory infections. Also, probiotics have been shown to promote the production of natural antibodies. They may also boost immune cells like the IgA-producing cells, T lymphocytes, and natural killer cells.
There has never been a better time to start including probiotics in your diet, so give them a try and let us know how it goes in the comments below!
Another way to stay healthy is to dance! Learn more about that on this episode of Get it Girl!