The word "probiotic" is a compound of two Greek words: "pro," to signify promotion of and "biotic," which means life. Their very definition is something that affirms life and health. That's true even by modern standards: the World Health Organization defines a probiotic as any living microorganism that has a health benefit when ingested.
Similarly, the USDA defines a probiotic as "any viable microbial dietary supplement that beneficially affects the host."
Just like the digestive tract, the vagina relies on a precarious balance of good and bad bacteria. When that balance is off, it can result in one of two very common, though thoroughly uncomfortable infections: bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections. In fact, bacterial vaginosis can actually lead to a yeast infection.
Probiotics may also have a special role in maternal health, as pregnant women are particularly susceptible to vaginal infections. And bacterial vaginosis has been indicated as a contributing factor to pre-term labor, making probiotics a potential boon for fetal health.
The good bacteria produces several important nutrients, including vitamin K and certain B-vitamins. In addition, they help break down fiber that the body can't digest, turning it into beneficial short-chain fatty acids like butyrate There are two main families of good bacteria in the gut: bacteroidetes and firmicutes. As mentioned earlier, body weight seems be related to the balance of these two families of bacteria. Studies have found that normal-weight people have different gut bacteria than overweight or obese people. In those studies, people with obesity had more firmicutes and fewer bacteroidetes, compared to normal-weight people.
It is thought that certain probiotics may inhibit the absorption of dietary fat, increasing the amount of fat excreted with feces. In other words, they make you "harvest" fewer calories from the foods in your diet. Certain bacteria, such as those from the Lactobacillus family, have been found to function in this way. Probiotics may reduce the number of calories you absorb from food. They also affect hormones and proteins related to appetite and fat storage. They may also reduce inflammation, which can drive obesity.
Listed below are unpasteurized Probiotic rich foods:
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Greek Yogurt
- Green Peas
- Green Olives
Probiotics offer a wide range of health benefits.
However, their effects on weight are mixed, and seem to depend on the type of probiotic. Evidence indicates that Lactobacillus gasseri may help people with obesity lose weight and belly fat. Additionally, a blend of probiotics called VSL#3 may reduce weight gain on a high-calorie diet.
At the end of the day, certain types of probiotics may have modest effects on your weight, especially when combined with a healthy, real food-based diet. Nevertheless, there are many other reasons to take a probiotic supplement besides weight loss. They can improve digestive health, reduce inflammation, improve cardiovascular risk factors and even help fight depression and anxiety.
I personally prefer to get the benefits of whole foods over supplements. At least that way, I get the antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals from these food sources in addition to any probiotic benefits they may bring. Probiotics aren’t a substitute for a healthy well-balanced diet. Exercise and diet have been proven to have a big impact on our gut bacteria too! With that being said however, if you are looking to add a leafy green superfood to your daily diet check out GENESIS by Legion Athletics. I drink it every morning to start my day, it make me feel a lot more energized and like I can conquer the day. GENESIS contains 100% natural, safe substances that are scientifically proven to increase general immunity, heart and circulatory health, energy levels, libido, mood and overall well-being, and more.