3 Reasons Why Probiotics Should Be Your New BFF!
Did you know that about 70% of your immune system resides in your digestive tract? Also called the enteric nervous system, the digestive system is the second largest part of our neurological system and is located in the gut. So you know that that “gut feeling” is not a myth because it is also called the body’s second brain. It’s no wonder why this organ system plays such an important part in your general health and well-being. It only makes sense then to take care of your gut since a host of health problems originate from there.
And one term that’s been gaining massive popularity in the health and nutrition world these days is probiotics. The word originates from the Greek words pro meaning “promotion of”, and biotic which means “life”. Probiotics are the good or beneficial bacteria that line your digestive tract and keep your gut healthy by aiding the body’s ability to digest food, absorb nutrients, boost immunity, and fight infections.
However, a lot of people — including children — need a regular boost of probiotics because they’ve lost good bacteria due to stress, infection, irregular eating habits, after taking antibiotics, having a carbohydrate, protein, or fat-rich diet, have consumed chlorinated or fluoridated water, and/or non-organic meat and dairy products that may have antibiotic residue. All of these factors affect the number of good bacteria in your system, and will affect the digestive tract negatively if not replenished properly.
What’s more, the monsoon season is a prime time for falling ill because of these issues, so it is important to fortify your gut with probiotics. Here are 3 reasons why including a probiotic supplement in your diet is a good idea:
1. Restores Digestive Health And Prevents Diarrhoea
Some of the worst infections happen in the monsoons when water- and food-borne diseases wreck havoc on your digestive system. There are more than 1,000 different bacteria in our digestive tract that digest food and help in absorbing nutrients. Probiotics help to increase the beneficial bacteria that suppress the growth of harmful bacteria that often cause diarrhoea, food poisoning, and other severe infections.
In fact, a Cochrane review on probiotics for prevention of diarrhoea from 63 studies showed that probiotics are beneficial in the prevention and treatment of diarrhoea. What’s more, an Indian study in Kolkata too showed that children may be protected from diarrhoea by consuming a probiotic supplement like Yakult.
2. Prevents Side Effects Of Antibiotics
Infections are most common in the monsoons, and the best way to treat them is by taking antibiotics. However, antibiotics come with their own side effects. They destroy the beneficial flora which helps in aiding digestion and keeping your immune system strong. Probiotics help to restore the disturbed flora by repopulating the gut with beneficial bacteria. In fact, an interesting study in the US demonstrated that probiotics can help in the reduction of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea.
3. Helps Boost Immunity
In the monsoon season, your body needs to gear up against the elements. And one of the main functions of probiotics is to stimulate immune response and strengthen the body’s defences against illnesses. Probiotics teach your immune system to differentiate between foreign microbes and those that originate in the body, thereby helping the immune system to prevent bacteria from attacking the body.
What’s more, several studies have shown that probiotics can prevent upper respiratory tract infections and allergies. A 2011 study found that regular consumption of probiotics helped to reduce acute respiratory infection in participants.
One of the easiest ways to include this good bacteria in your diet is via a probiotic drink like Yakult. The fermented dairy drink contains live probiotic cultures that help you #BeMonsoonReady by boosting your overall immune system. What’s more, it comes in a cute little bottle – much like a shot glass! – so it’s a fun and delicious way to drink healthy.
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* This is a dedicated post in collaboration with Yakult.