Home » Diet and Nutrition News & Advice » 10 Benefits of Taking Probiotics

10 Benefits of Taking Probiotics

The term “probiotic” originates from a Greek term meaning, “For Life.” These friendly bacteria are often associated with healthy digestion and they live naturally in foods like plain unflavored yogurt, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, kimchi, kefir, and even pickles. However, a horde of scientific research links the live-active cultures contained in probiotics to both the prevention and treatment of various health woes.

Here are ten benefits of incorporating probiotic-rich foods and supplements into your diet…

1. Optimizes Digestion

If you need a little digestive support, eating foods rich in probiotics (i.e., plain yogurt and miso) or taking probiotics in supplement form (i.e., L acidophilus) might give you the boost you need by preventing lactose tolerance and helping the body digest milk products more comfortably and efficiently.

2. Improves Absorption

Do you want to get the most nutritional value from the foods you eat? Taking a probiotic has been shown to optimize the synthesis of vitamins and minerals in the foods we eat. For example, probiotics are especially effective for helping the body absorb calcium and B vitamins.

3. Safeguards Against Infection

Maybe you never associated probiotics with their ability to protect and guard the body from foreign invaders. However, like a knight in shining armor, probiotics are credited as the body’s guardians when it comes to safeguarding it against all sorts of infections. For example, probiotics are linked to decreasing reoccurring yeast infections and urinary tract infections, as well as with defending against acne and E. Coli contamination.

4. Strengthens Immunity

Did you know that taking a probiotic supplement and consuming probiotic-rich foods will increase and maintain healthy intestinal flora in your digestive tract? And a healthy digestive tract is linked directly to a stronger immune system due to the increased production of one immune system responder, known as lymphocytes.

5. Improves Bowel Movements

If your bowel movements aren’t as comfortable, regular, or complete as you would like, try probiotics. Not only do healthy bacteria prevent stool from being too loose (diarrhea) or too hard and difficult (constipation)—probiotics protect the body from travel bugs, such as traveler’s diarrhea and other travel bugs.

6. Reduces Allergies

Although research is still being conductive and is not quite conclusive, a diet rich in probiotics has been credited with reducing the body’s allergic response. In fact, one study showed that expectant moms who took a probiotic birthed babies with 30-percent less infant allergies (i.e., allergy-induced asthma, inflammation, and childhood eczema).

7. Promotes Detoxification

Probiotics are also known to help the body detoxify naturally. So rather than picking up a store-bought cleansing kid to aid detoxification or colon cleansing in the New Year, try incorporating probiotic-rich foods into your diet to promote a natural detox. In addition, probiotics have been linked to fewer instances of peptic ulcers and to reducing chronic bad breath (halitosis) because of their detoxifying abilities.

8. Undoes the Damage of Anti-Biotics

When we take anti-biotics to help us get over a viral infection, we sometimes kill many of the forms of healthy bacteria in our digestive tract. This is because the drugs don’t necessarily differentiate between healthy absorbing bacteria and illness-causing bacteria, which is why you may experience indigestion and diarrhea following a round of antibiotics. However, many times doctors will recommend a probiotic supplement to help replenish healthy bacteria in the digestive tract.

9. Promotes Women’s Health

Like our digestive tracts, a woman’s vagina also requires a delicate balance of good and bad bacteria to function normally. If the balance is disrupted, oftentimes nasty infections—such as yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis (BV) will occur. However, taking an oral or vaginally inserted probiotic (i.e., L. acidophilius) can help maintain healthy vaginal bacteria and prevent reoccurring infections. If you suffer from frequent yeast or BV infections, talk to your doctor about taking a probiotic.

10. Prevents Urinary Tract Infections

The urinary tract also requires a balance of good and bad bacteria (similar to the vagina and digestive tract). This is why taking probiotics can prevent frequent urinary tract infections, particularly after taking antibiotic drugs. Studies from the University of Maryland Medical Center recommend taking probiotics to prevent bad bacteria from overtaking the urinary tract—while colonizing the urogenital tract with adequate healthy bacteria.


More on ActiveBeat
  • The Powerful Reasons Behind 6 Irresistable Food Smells
    I was on a good stretch of going to the gym after work, every weeknight, eating a healthy dinner, no snacks before bed. I even hit a hot yoga class on Sunday morning.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • America's Fast-Food Burger Breakdown
    I hear you; it's super convenient to slide through the nearest fast food drive-thru to grab a burger when you're in a rush.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 6 Surprising and Healthy Ways to Use Apples
    Who knew that the old adage, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away", was just the tipping point for the many miraculous uses we can apply apples for better health.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • How Healthy Are the Most Popular Condiments?
    A good majority of people use condiments religiously without much thought of what's in them.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 10 Additions to Super Power your Omelet
    Now that more experts believe eggs can and should be included in a healthy, balanced diet, you can feel good about eating them and even take advantage of them to super power your...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 10 Benefits of Taking Probiotics
    The term “probiotic” originates from a Greek term meaning, “For Life.” These friendly bacteria are often associated with healthy digestion and they live naturally in foods...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 8 Pieces of Mindful Eating Wisdom
    Regardless of if you consume too many calories or too few. No matter if you eat 2 big meals a day or 5 small meals a day. No matter if you suffer from acid reflux or indigestion.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 8 Healthy Smoothie Saboteurs
    Not all smoothies are created equal! In fact, many sneak in some pretty high calorie, fat, and sugar-rich ingredients—despite the healthy misnomer.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Healthy and Delicious "Cooking for One" Tips
    If you’re idea of cooking for one is a microwave dinner, frozen pizza, or canned soup—think again! While convenience meals (i.e.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 10 Energizing and Healthy Post-Workout Meals
    Yes, mom you’re totally correct, breakfast is probably the most vital meal of the day. However, if you work out, you can’t overlook the importance of a post-workout snack or...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Surprising and Healthy Foods For Grilling
    Summertime is the prime season for grilling. An outdoor cooking area offers the option for hot food without heating up your kitchen.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • The 8 Most Dangerous Foods on Earth
    You have to admit, human beings tempt fate in many ways—from bungee jumping to swimming with sharks.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Healthy Camping Food Tips
    A weekend or week respite away from civilization is good for the body, mind, and soul. All of that swimming, hiking, chopping wood, and fresh air far from urban pollutants can...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 8 Foods That Make You Smell Bad
    Sometimes regardless of how much you shower and how much deodorant you wear, you’ll still stink because of your diet.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Time to Change Nutrition Lebels, Health Minister Says
    Canadian health minister Rona Ambrose thinks it's too hard to read the nutrition labels currently found on most food items.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice