Did you know that your digestive tract is the second-largest part of your neurological system? In fact, it's often called the "second brain." Your digestive health affects every biological system in your body, so it's crucial to take good care of it. One great way to start is to consume the right amount of probiotics, which are essential for digestive health.
Probiotics are a type of “good” bacteria that line your digestive tract and help your body absorb nutrients, fight infection and move food through your digestive tract. Because many illnesses originate in the digestive tract, probiotics have the potential to protect your body from harmful bacteria by enforcing a healthy balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria.
Probiotics naturally exist in the body, but you can also find them in foods such as yogurt and certain types of cheese. While more research is needed on the topic, the potential benefits of consuming probiotics may include:
- A stronger immune system
- Improved digestion
- Increased energy
- Healthier skin
- Oral health
- Reduced cold and flu
- Improved gut health
- Weight loss
Ingesting probiotics may also aid the treatment of:
- Vaginal yeast infections
- Urinary tract infections
- Irritable bowel syndrome
Below are some probiotic-packed foods you can add to your diet today.
- Kefir (similar to yogurt)
- Kimchi/cultured vegetables
- Natto (fermented soy beans)
- Yogurt (live cultured or Greek)
- Miso soup
- Raw cheese
Side effects of consuming probiotics are rare, and most healthy adults can safely add probiotics to their diet. As always, talk to your healthcare provider if you’re considering adding more probiotics to your diet or taking probiotic supplements.
Consult Goshen Health's registered dietitians to learn more ways you can improve your probiotic intake.