The Probiotic Advantage in Fermented Foods

The word probiotic means, 'for life.' Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria that reside in your intestines and that encourage the production of microflora in your gut - which, in turn provides you with a health body system.

When an imbalance occurs between the healthy probiotic microflora and pathogenic microorganisms, the gut becomes an environment that could cause illnesses and diseases.

There are several reasons that your body system may be imbalanced and causing problems in your health. They include:

* Too many antibiotics and strong, over-the-counter medications.
* Toxins in the environment.
* Diet where too many processed, sugary and acidic food and drinks are consumed.
* Chronic stress.
* Cleaners and personal care products that contain anti-bacterial chemicals.

Introducing foods that contain probiotics can turn your immune system and digestive health around and have these powerful microorganisms working to keep your healthy. Probiotics can be found in many foods such as yogurt.

Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kefir and other types of dairy products also contain beneficial probiotics.

Some of the ways that probiotics can benefit your health are:

* Urinary Tract Health - Evidence exists that probiotics can ward off bad bacteria that can invade the urinary tract and cause infections. Even though antibiotics can cure these infections, they may return.

* Immune System - Probiotic foods can help you maintain beneficial intestinal floral that helps keep your immune system healthy.

* Allergies - Studies have been conducted in pregnant women who had a history of allergies and took probiotics during the pregnancy. These studies show that there was a reduction in the child's incidence of allergies.

* Digestive Health - We all have various types of bacteria in our digestive systems that help to break down food and help our bodies absorb essential nutrients. Many doctors are now prescribing probiotics to help restore that balance of bacteria that taking drugs have caused.

* Obesity - Research has shown that our digestive bacteria help us maintain a healthy weight. Probiotics are very healthy and low-calorie too, so they're a good alternative to other means of lowering the chances of obesity.

* Women's Health - Women can benefit from probiotics because of the effects it has on the reproductive organs. They can also be instrumental in preventing cramps and difficult menstruation.

Simply put, probiotics are considered the 'good guys' in keeping our digestive systems clean and our immune systems working well. It's worth the time and effort to investigate the beneficial effects of fermentation and the probiotics it provides.

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