Bacteria that's GOOD for us! Learn more about PREbiotics and PRObiotics
Probiotics and prebiotics: which bacteria are good for our body
Nutritionists call the intestines the second brain, although it is more like a densely populated metropolis. It is home to nearly 100 billion bacteria. Most of them are poorly studied, some of them only harm the body, but there is at least one very important type that affects the work of the whole organism. These are probiotics.
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What are pro and prebiotics and why does the body need them?
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live in the intestines and maintain normal microflora in it. What does this mean? They help digest food and fight pathogenic - harmful - bacteria. Including Helicobacter pylori, which causes gastric ulcer and gastritis.
A study by the German microbiologist Julia Enders describes how probiotics care for intestinal villi, moisturize them with fatty acids like a balm ... Working in harmony with the immune cells, bacteria send important signals to the body: how much protective substrate - defensins - needs to be released, how to respond to various microbes, and so on. They also eliminate bloating, colic and positively affect the absorption of vitamins. This group of microorganisms includes, for example, bifidobacteria and lactobacilli.
Nutritionist and biochemist Svetlana Alliyarova told on her Instagram that the work of the intestines has a direct and indirect effect on the entire human body. Even when we are unaware of it.
Svetlana: The intestines are the biggest trickster in the body, which manages to remain unnoticed, being in full view. In fact, he is responsible for most of the body's activities, even for the absorption of vitamins. Let's take a look at the B vitamins situation as a visual illustration. These vitamins are the most prominent example of nutrients, the absorption of which depends on the activity of bacteria, which the body needs to perform functions such as producing red blood cells in the bone marrow, performing the chemical reactions necessary for the detoxification process in the liver, and secreting neurotransmitters within nerve cells. ... In the absence of healthy microflora in the intestines, the body is unable to efficiently assimilate the essential B vitamins, which in turn interferes with the performance of vital functions.
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Prebiotics create a comfortable environment for the growth and reproduction of probiotics. Both of these helpers are important for a person. They keep a close eye on the kithe shechnik worked without interruptions. If you didn't wash your hands well before lunch and the pathogen of some kind of infection got into the body, pre- and probiotics will immediately fight with it.
Where to look for beneficial bacteria?
Probiotics are contained in special medicines, as well as in some products. First of all, fermented milk:
- curdled milk;
- soft cheeses (mozzarella, feta, suluguni, etc.);
- kefir, etc.
Thanks to bacteria, they acquire a specific taste. Microorganisms process nutrients in food and release acid, which prolongs the shelf life. This process is called fermentation. The same thing happens in starter and soy-based dishes:
- in pickled vegetables (cabbage, cucumbers, etc.);
- homemade kvass;
- green olives;
- soy sauce;
- kombuche (kombuche).
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It is important to remember that heat treatment destroys probiotics, so curd cakes, for example, do not contain them, although they are made from cottage cheese.
Prebiotics are also found in dairy products. And also in cereals, legumes (including cocoa), corn, bananas, apples, asparagus, seaweed, garlic and onions.
It is equally important to include in the diet a small amount of fiber. These are fibers that do not lend themselves to intestinal enzymes and are processed mainly by the microflora. These include, for example, vegetables - the bacteria love them. But fast food, various flavor enhancers, fatty, spicy foods and stress suppress the growth of valuable microorganisms.
An excess of probiotics has side effects
Pre- and probiotics in the composition of medicines are usually prescribed for serious imbalance of bacteria in the intestine. For example, after taking antibiotics, with irritable bowel syndrome, acne, infectious diarrhea.
You need to be especially careful with products that contain only one strain of bacteria.
Svetlana: Long occupation of one type of probiotic can harm your microbiome, preventing other strains from developing. It will just take up the whole place, in the future it can even cause allergies. Ideally, several species should live in the intestines and no one should dominate!
Also, it doesn't stand dramatically and the baseChange your diet to include all sorts of probiotics: this can lead to bloating and other digestive disorders. Each intestine is different and may not be suitable for some foods. It is important to listen to the body and not forget that the diet must be balanced.