What are probiotics and how do they work?

What are probiotics

Have you heard of probiotics but aren’t really sure what they are? You’re likely not alone. Believe it or not, probiotics are actually a form of bacteria. But the good kind. Is there such a thing? Apparently so!

Probiotics are actually live microorganisms that are used to help fight and prevent some illnesses. A strong immune system and healthy digestive system are two of the major benefits attributed to probiotic use. But where can you find probiotics and what exactly do they do for your body? Take a look.

How Probiotics Work
 good bacteria

The human body is made up of both good and bad bacteria. Maintaining a healthy balance between these two is what creates overall good health and well-being. Probiotics help to maintain this balance. The individual level of bad versus good bacteria in the body is different from person to person.

Some factors that affect this make-up include age, genetics, and diet. When an imbalance of bacteria exists, it’s called dysbiosis. This condition is link to digestive issues such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis. Obesity and diabetes have also been linked to dysbiosis.

Do I Need Probiotics? 

So now that you know what probiotics are, how do you know if you need them? There are certain circumstances where probiotics are needed to help keep things balanced and happy. Here are just a few.

After Taking Antibiotics

When you’re sick, your doctor may prescribe you a series of antibiotics which are designed to kill the bad bacteria in your body that’s making you sick. The problem is, antibiotics can’t differentiate between good and bad bacteria which means they end up killing all the bacteria they come in contact with, leaving your body short of the good bacteria it needs to function properly. To combat this, it is important to use probiotics after being prescribed an antibiotic.

To Treat Digestive Issues 

There’s no denying that the main purpose of probiotics is to help create a happy, healthy digestive system. If you’re experiencing issues with your stomach, probiotics may be the answer. The right balance of bacteria helps your body to efficiently absorb and digest the food you eat. For those experiencing digestion issues, you should consult with your physician. But consuming probiotics for one to two weeks can significantly improve your condition and reduce or eliminate symptoms.

Need a Immune System Boost

Your immune system is what helps keep you healthy and fight off sickness and disease. If you’re experiencing a weaker than normal immune system, resulting in illness, a probiotic can help. Did you know that a large majority of your overall health is related directly to your gut health? If you’re digestive system is out of whack, it directly impacts your overall health and wellness. If you’re getting sick with more frequency than normal, your immune system may need a boost. Probiotics will help improve your digestive health, and in turn, strengthen your immune system.

To Treat Skin Conditions 

If you didn’t figure it out already, your gut health controls your overall health on so many different levels and your skin’s health is no different! If you’re experiencing dry skin, a rash, or chronic skin issues, it could be a direct result of what’s happening inside your body. The skin is your body’s largest organ and represents how things are functioning on the inside. Any type of skin irritation is often a sign of a bigger, underlying issue. Try a probiotic for correcting internal issues and it may just help clear up any skin irritations or conditions you’re currently experiencing.

Help You Feel More Energized

Are you feeling unusually tired or weak? If your digestive system isn’t working efficiently, it will actually drain all of your body’s energy in order to achieve optimum functionality. Digestion is one of the hardest jobs your body performs, which means it requires a lot of energy. And that’s when it’s working perfectly. If it’s not, then your body will use its energy sources to get the job done, leaving you feeling fatigued and weak. Probiotics will assist the digestive process and allow your body to use that energy for more important things.

Where to Get Probiotics

Now that you understand the importance of probiotics for digestive health, which is really overall health, we must answer the question of where can you find this good bacteria? Probiotics are found in many foods and also in supplement form. Let’s take a closer look.


dark chocolate
Here is a list of some popular foods that you can easily incorporate into your diet for a daily dose of natural probiotics. You can say goodbye to stomach problems by eating these probiotic food. Other foods on this list help to promote the production of good bacteria.

  • Yogurt
  • Cultured vegetables (sauerkraut, kimchi)
  • Raw cheese (goat’s milk, sheep’s milk)
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Kvass
  • Gherkin pickles (salted)
  • Olives (brine-cured)
  • Tempeh
  • Miso
  • Natto
  • Coconut kefir
  • Kombucha
  • Green peas
  • Dark chocolate
  • Beer
  • Wine
  • Sourdough bread

As you can see, this list is quite extensive and it doesn’t even incorporate all of the foods that contain healthy probiotics and promote the growth of good bacteria in the body. Add a few of these items to your daily diet and your stomach will thank you!


If these foods don’t sound appealing or you’re concerned they won’t offer enough good bacteria, you can always opt for probiotic supplements. Supplements generally come in pill form and can be consumed daily. If you are already incorporating some probiotic foods into your diet, the supplement doesn’t need to be taken every day but should be ingested when probiotic foods aren’t. This simply ensures a steady stream of healthy, good bacteria in your body.

Promote Good Health With Probiotics
 skin irritation

We all want to feel energized and healthy. Whether you’re experiencing chronic digestion issues, skin irritations, or a weakened immune system, probiotics can help. In fact, taking probiotics can help with overall health and wellbeing even if no side effects or symptoms are present. Probiotic food recommendations for a better intestine health will help your body and stomach stay in balance with this simple addition to your diet.

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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