Sponsored Article

What Are Probiotics? Their Benefits and Where to Buy Them

Ever wondered what puts the "pro" in probiotics?

probiotic yogurt
Depositphotos

Fans of Asian food items would be familiar with this. After all, probiotics are something present in some of those yummy yogurt drinks and, yes, even in popular fermented food items. In case you didn't know, some of your favorite Asian dishes, like the classic miso soup and the all-time beloved kimchi, are more than just side dish staples—they're actually rich in probiotics. And, really, a lot of food options are.

But what are probiotics, anyway? It's becoming more and more popular as time goes by, but is it really vital to our diets? And, if it is, where can we get our dose of this?

The "Pro" in Probiotics

Food with probiotics
Depositphotos

Synonymous to probiotics is fermentation. That's because probiotics are live microorganisms consumed through fermented foods or supplements. Fermentation is an anaerobic process in which microorganisms like yeast and bacteria break down food components (e.g. sugars such as glucose) into other products (e.g. organic acids, gases, or alcohol). These are usually beneficial bacteria, providing all sorts of powerful benefits, not just for your physical health, but also your brain.

The bacteria in your body are said to outnumber your body's cells at a 10-to-1 ratio. However, a recent study says that the ratio is closer to 1:1. According to these estimates, you have 39 trillion to 300 trillion bacteria living inside your body. Either way, whichever estimate is more accurate, it's most certainly a large number. But the majority of them are quite harmless. Some are even helpful to your body, a.ka. the good bacteria.

According to Seed, bacteria—the good ones, particularly—are essential to our health. Not only do they digest our food and regulate inflammation, they also synthesize key vitamins, metabolites, and neurotransmitters in exchange for just a portion of our daily calories and a warm place to live. This is the case with probiotics.

Misconceptions About Probiotics

Probiotics
Depositphotos

While there are many benefits you can get from food and drinks rich in probiotics, still, not everyone might be for it. There are people who are quite skeptical when it comes to probiotics because of misinformation or preferences.

According to The Probiotics Institute, some common misconceptions about probiotics include the following:

  1. All probiotics are the same. There are different strains that have different properties; therefore, the effects of each also vary.
  2. The more bacteria, the better the probiotics. In relation to the first misconception, the number of bacteria largely depends on the kind of probiotics.
  3. All kinds of yogurt contain live and active cultures. This is true for other food types known to contain probiotics, but not for yogurt. Not all kinds contain live and active cultures. The ones that do are usually clearly marked.
  4. All fermented food types contain live cultures. Not all. Examples of fermented foods that do not have probiotics include beer, chocolate, sourdough bread, soy sauce, and wine.

Apart from these misconceptions, there are possible side effects of taking probiotics depending on how your body reacts. The side effects are often minor, though, like gas and nausea. To manage, limit the quantity of your probiotic food intake or just add one or two new food items on a weekly basis. Meanwhile, anyone who has a compromised immune system, is pregnant, or eats a special diet due to a pre-existing medical condition is advised to be cautious and should consult their doctors first.

Where to Get Your Daily Dose of Probiotics

Seed Probiotics
ThePurist.Com

*Always consult your doctor before starting any diet or taking health supplements to determine what is right for you.

In essence, probiotics are live microorganisms that may have health benefits when consumed, such as improving your digestive health, promoting heart health, and even helping reduce depression.

The biggest natural source you can get probiotics from is fermented food. Some of the most popular sources are non-dairy yogurts, fresh sour dill pickles, kombucha, natto, sauerkraut, water or brine-cured olives—and the list goes on. There are also alternative sources of probiotics that make sure you get a fair share of the good bacteria your body needs.

Really, all it takes is a little bit of creativity to include probiotic sources into your diet. Here are some ways to add probiotic-rich food into your daily meals for better health:

  1. Spice up your breakfast by adding probiotic yogurt with berries, flax seeds, and nuts to your cereals.
  2. Cook a stir-fry dish using tempeh as a meat replacement. Make sure to add the tempeh towards the end, as excessive heat can destroy its active cultures.
  3. Incorporate miso into your current soup recipes.
  4. Drink probiotic-rich beverages, such as kefir or kombucha, as a mid-morning snack.
  5. Serving sauerkraut as a side dish to main meals.

Many of these food items mentioned might be a matter of acquired taste for some people, though. For more convenient, easy access to daily probiotics, that's where health supplements come in handy.

Seed's Daily Synbiotic probiotic supplement aims to reclaim the term "probiotics" and establish a new standard. In being the first in a pipeline of clinically-studied, next-generation products, Dailynbiotic was developed for systemic benefits such as supporting your digestive health, helping improve and ease evacuation, as well as alleviating occasional gastrointestinal discomfort.

Click here to learn more about Seed Daily Synbiotic Prebiotic/Probiotic Supplement.

The key to understanding probiotics is this: balance. Probiotics are known to help balance the friendly bacteria in your digestive system, so it's vital to know how much probiotics your body needs, and what kind. Certain foods and even daily health supplements can aid in this, but, as always, it is best to consult a health professional before incorporating something new into your diet.

Are you ready to start your probiotic journey? Purchase Seed's Daily Synbiotic here.

We may earn a commission from links on this page, but we only recommend products we back. Newsweek AMPLIFY participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites.