The word ‘probiotic’ is one that most people have probably heard, though maybe not one that most people understand the true meaning of. I think people might just have a general sense that it’s something healthy and that’s purely based on the word itself.
You hear it in advertisements for supplements and healthy foods or in discussions on what constitutes a healthy diet. Probiotics are one of the numerous different kinds of bacteria that can live naturally in your body.
Your body has both good and bad bacteria. Individually they are known as microbes and are always in a kind of competition with each other. Probiotics are among the good ones, and they are essential for keeping bad bacteria under control.
It’s a wide term and it’s characterized by a few different things. For a microbe to be considered a probiotic, it must be something that doesn’t grow naturally in the human body but can survive in your intestines after ingestion and it also must have some kind of proven benefit.
There are several foods you can get these from but the most popular source of probiotics is yoghurt. Other dairy products such as buttermilk and cheeses are also well-known for it and if you are on a plant-based diet, you can get it from a wide variety of alternatives.
It’s recommended to get your probiotics in early in the day by including them in breakfast and going plant-based might actually be a healthier route overall. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of a plant-based, probiotic rich breakfast:
It’s a natural process that occurs in our body, and yet for some reason digestion is a troublesome thing for an awful lot of people. There are many who regularly suffer from constipation, irregular movements, general irritation and in some cases even diarrhea.
The severity of such issues will vary from person to person and it is often associated with specific conditions. But most of the time it just has to do with a diet that is lacking in the right nutrients. Fiber is a big part of it for digestion, but so are probiotics.
One of the ways this works is in that it lowers the pH level of your colon, which makes it a much more agreeable environment for allowing food to pass through at a comfortable and regular pace.
It also increases your capacity to absorb protein and other vitamins so that everything is running more smoothly down there.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a horrible condition that is categorized by abdominal pain, gas, diarrhea and constipation. It’s a very common condition and you are more likely to develop it the older you get.
Unfortunately, there isn’t really a cure for it at the moment, but there are things you can do to help ease the symptoms and one of those things is including a healthy amount of probiotics in your diet.
Some of the bacteria that is generally present in the guys of IBS patients includes Streptococcus, E.Coli and Clostridium. These are infectious, disease-carrying bacteria and they will interfere with the natural order of your digestive system.
Probiotics will inhibit their growth, strengthen the immune system’s capacity to protect your guts and will also fight inflammation caused by such bacteria. This would give a tremendous amount of symptom relief to IBS patients.
Won’t Irritate Your Gut as Much as Dairy
Depending on your personal relationship with different food types, trying to raise your probiotic count by way of dairy might not work quite as well for you. The most prominent carbohydrate found in dairy products is lactose.
Some people are lactose intolerant and can’t digest that at all, but even for those who aren’t, lactose is quite harsh and is a leading gut irritant. And relating to the previous point, lactose intolerance is present in almost half of IBS patients.
It’s worth trying to substitute dairy with plant-based options as much as possible and see how it affects your guts.
Will Produce Vitamins
Probiotics can help your body to synthesize some of the essential vitamins that your body requires. Before you start planning out your diet to ensure you are getting all the necessary vitamins, you should calculate your needs.
Using this keto macro calculator will give you a good indication of what vitamins you require based on your size, weight, age, and activity level. Being that it’s a keto-based calculator, this will also help to keep your crabs low which will benefit your guts too.
A lot of people are usually lacking in at least a few of the important vitamins and will be suffering in some ways as a consequence. Probiotics can help produce vitamin K, which is important for bone metabolism and regulating blood calcium levels.
And they are also good for synthesizing the water-soluble B vitamins. Said vitamins play a vital role in your digestive health, your appetite, energy levels and can also help your brain and eyesight.
Good For Your Mental Health
There has been a lot of discussion lately about the connection between your brain and your gut and how it might be much more significant than we had previously thought. This is due to something known as the Enteric Nervous System (ENS).
It’s not something that can actually think or make decisions, but due to its near identical makeup, it does communicate with your Central Nervous System (CNS) and they can influence each other.
If your gut isn’t healthy, this can have a knock-on effect on your brain and result in things like anxiety, depression and mood swings. While there is more research necessary to truly understand these links, there is a definite connection and having a healthy gut can alleviate some mental health problems.
Of course, it’s not going to cure the most serious of issues and if you are really struggling with your mental health you should seek professional help, but you will likely notice a more stable mood if you increase your probiotic intake.
So with all of these advantages in mind, it’s really a no-brainer to start including probiotics in your diet. And as we’ve discussed, you can expect the full benefit of it if you take a plant-based approach, and if you ensure a probiotic-rich start to every single day at breakfast time.