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Probiotic Food

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Probiotic Food
Take a look at how probiotic supplements and probiotic food items aid the digestive system and provide a host of other health benefits.

Probiotic in Greek means 'for life'. To strike equilibrium between beneficial and harmful bacteria in the gut a resource of beneficial bacteria has to be added in the diet. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can be induced into the digestive system through food. Probiotics added to food that we consume are usually taken from human, animal or vegetable source.

Probiotic food

Probiotics can be classified as a set of functional food which has live bacteria that are beneficial and not harmful to the human beings. The first ever probiotic food introduced was adding acidophilus to the milk, this helped people develop better tolerance towards milk and also helped people who found it difficult to digest milk. Majority of the probiotic food available in the market is fermented partially. Food items that contain probiotic bacteria are mainly dairy products such as probiotic added fluid milk and yogurt.

Two main bacteria that are probiotic are lactobacilli and bifidobacteria; these are a component of the lactic acid bacteria and are present in fermented dairy products. In the world market today there are over 70 products that contain lactic acid bacteria which can be classified as probiotic food. The list includes sour cream, yoghurt, powdered milk, buttermilk; frozen desserts etc. Conventionally probiotics are consumed as yoghurt all over but of late probiotics have been introduced in drinks, capsule, tablet and freeze dried forms.

List of food sources that contains probiotics

  • Few types of soft cheese

  • Miso soup

  • Products of yoghurt like kefir, sauerkraut etc

  • Few types of pickles

  • Tempeh - fermented soy

  • Buttermilk and other fermented food

Probiotic supplement

Probiotic supplements have actively taken over the market shelves when compared to other forms of probiotic food. Studies point that an average American's expenditure on these supplements has tripled from 1994 to 2003. Probiotic supplements contain diverse and numerous products that include capsules, tablets, liquids, powders and food-like products.

Probiotic supplements have to be manufactured and stored in such a manner that the bacteria can stay workable in dried form and reach the intestine alive when eaten. Probiotic supplement should also contain the right amount of moisture to give out the best effect. Numerous varieties of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria are used to manufacture probiotic supplements.

Probiotic supplements are used to improve and support good health. These supplements are mainly used to prevent urinary tract infections in women, antibiotics-induced diarrhea and improve immunity in children. Dosage of these supplements depends on the number of live organisms present in the product. These supplements are available in natural foods grocery stores or in health food stores.

Probiotic acidophilus

Probiotic acidophilus is a naturally occurring antibiotic that helps enhance digestion, produces vitamin B and brings down the risk of colon cancer. Among the millions of bacteria present in the digestive system, many are beneficial and many are harmful, the most beneficial among the lot is acidophilus. Acidophilus can be found in yogurt, acidophilus milk and probiotic acidophilus supplements. Acidophilus helps in

  • Regularizing cholesterol levels in the blood.

  • A wide range of vitamin B such as folic acid, niacin, biotin, B5, B6 and B12 are produced.

  • Exhibits natural antibiotic characters thus reducing reproduction of bad bacteria in the GI tract and reducing infections in the respiratory, bowel, vaginal and urinary tracts.

  • Slows down parasitic infections.

  • Overall food digestion and absorption is improved. Helps develop better tolerance to lactose related products as acidophilus breaks down the lactose present in these products.

  • Colon cancer risk is minimized.

Probiotic bacterium

Most of the bacteria that are consumed by us die once they reach the acid conditions of the stomach. For any beneficial bacteria to be classified as probiotic it has to exhibit resistance to gastric, pancreatic and bile juices and should reach the colon(large intestine) alive. These beneficial bacteria attach to the wall of the intestine and multiply their numbers plus fight against the harmful bacteria thus striking a balance between harmful and beneficial bacteria.

The human stomach has the least amount of probiotic bacteria because of its exceedingly acidic nature and the large intestine has the maximum amount of this bacteria. An average adult should have 85% of probiotic bacteria and 15% of harmful bacteria to maintain the balance. Probiotic bacteria are sold as probiotic food and probiotic dietary supplements in the United States.

Probiotic advantage

  • Probiotics help keep up the balance between harmful and beneficial bacteria in the gut thus maintaining a healthy digestive system.

  • Helps to remove gas and decomposes waste.

  • Consumption of probiotics is very useful and beneficial for people who have taken antibiotics for a long time.

  • Traveling abroad means facing travel induced diarrhea, probiotics help the body tackle this condition with ease.

  • Probiotics help in stimulating the immune system thereby reducing infections.

  • Useful in the treatment of diarrhea and infections in the GI tract.

  • Improves digestion of lactose and deals with lactose intolerance. Also improves overall digestion and in particular is good for improving digestion of fats, carbohydrates and proteins.

  • Helps prevention of colon cancer and prevents growth of substances that cause cancer.

  • Lowers cholesterol and blood pressure in the human body.

  • Helps improve mineral and nutrient absorption and reduces inflammation.

  • Controls growth of harmful bacteria under stressful conditions.

  • Plays a role in balancing sex hormones thus improving fertility.

  • Infections such as athlete's foot, candidiasis etc that is caused by yeast is kept at bay.

  • Controls growth of pathogenic bacteria and virus.

  • Crushes toxins and produces antibodies and anti-carcinogens.

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Tags:#probiotic food #probiotic supplement #probiotic acidophilus #probiotic bacterium #probiotic advantage
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