7 Real Benefits Of Probiotics (They Help With More Than Digestion!)

African American woman waking up in bedSay, “Hello,” to probiotics, the living strains of bacteria that may actually be good for you. With the typical American diet of processed foods and living in super-sterilized environments, Americans may be missing out on natural bacteria that are essential to healthy living. Although you already have plenty of “good bacteria” living inside of you, scientists are exploring the effects of supplementing diets with certain strains of probiotics to improve overall health. But, don’t go out and try any old probiotic, talk to your doctor or nutritionist first to find the right strain for your body’s needs.

How do Probiotics Work?

The human body houses all types of living bacteria in the skin, mouth, reproductive organs and gastrointestinal tract. These bacteria are essential for the healthy metabolic function, digestion, and fighting diseases. Researchers have found that disruptions in the body’s environment of living bacteria can lead to chronic health conditions such as obesity, irritable bowel syndrome, type 1 diabetes, allergy, asthma and celiac disease. Probiotics come in many strains and forms, but are typically available as supplements and in fermented milk products like Kefir.

The total effect of probiotics is still unknown, but scientists have discovered that certain allergies, infections, and diseases may be prevented with a regular dose of the right probiotics:

1. Allergies

A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that expecting mothers can reduce allergies for their children by digesting probiotics during pregnancy. For those already suffering from allergies, probiotics can help improve the body’s response to certain food and seasonal allergies, according to a 2013 study.

2. High Blood Pressure

Researchers are paying close attention to probiotics’ potential to lower blood pressure, which affects over 40% of African Americans. In one study, hypertensive people who added certain probiotics to their diets for 21 weeks saw a moderate reduction in their blood pressure.