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19 May 2021

10 Health Benefits of Probiotics

Sipping a can of germs sounds pretty yuck. But you know what’s actually gross? Diarrhea, inflamed bowels and yeast infections (yeah, we went there). Probiotics can make all that go POOF!

If you haven’t heard of probiotics, it’s time to take a journey with us to discover how these awesome bacteria do good AND taste great. Without further ado, here are all the health benefits that make probiotic foods and beverages basically the best invention ever.

flower and heart on woman's stomach

Introduction to probiotics

Before we dive into the benefits of probiotics, let’s do a quick overview of what they actually are. Probiotics are living microorganisms known as “good” bacteria that support gut health, in addition to a whole host of other parts of your body and brain.

Bacteria get a bad rep, and the reason why is pretty obvious. Harmful bacteria are to blame for the common cold, urinary tract infections, irritable bowel syndrome—everything that makes you feel yucky. But not all bacteria are evil! There’s good and bad bacteria, and as you’ve probably guessed, probiotics are the good kind. We wouldn’t be out here singing the praises of probiotics if they were bad for you!

Probiotics come from hundreds of different bacterial strains. What’s more, you can find a billion of these bacteria in a single capsule or food product! We’re not exaggerating—there are literally billions of helpful bacteria in every dose. Personally, we like to grab one of our fav probiotic drinks because they transform bacteria into a tasty treat. A daily glass of “germ juice” is all you need to keep your gut feeling good.

There are so many species of good bacteria, scientists aren’t entirely sure which strains improve which ailments. Some studies have concluded that certain kinds can treat everything from diarrhea to weight management (more on that later). Probiotic supplements usually contain strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium because they’re the most common strains naturally found in your gut. But no matter which strains you take, you’re bound to get an overall boost in health.

One more thing—probiotics and prebiotics aren’t the same. The spellings are just one letter off, but their purposes in the digestive system are completely different. Probiotics are good bacteria that restore balance to your gut microbiome. Prebiotics, on the other hand, promote the growth and activity of these bacteria. You need both for a healthy gut, but for right now, probiotic health benefits get the spotlight.

10 health benefits

Probiotics can do loads of good for your health, from your head to your toes. Check out 10 of the top health benefits of probiotics!

  1. Gut balance for overall health: Probiotics exist throughout the whole body but are most commonly associated with the gut. Why? Because probiotics maintain the delicate balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut’s microbiome. An unhealthy digestive tract is deficient in probiotics and allows harmful bacteria to flourish, leading to a host of unpleasant symptoms like rashes, acne, fatigue, brain fog, illness and more! Probiotics will bring in the good and get rid of the bad to keep you healthy overall.
  2. Ease diarrhea: Let’s face it—we’ve all had a bout of the runs. Imagine being forced to live with it all the time! Millions of people suffer from chronic diarrhea, all for different reasons. Antibiotics are one of the main causes of diarrhea because they throw off the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut. The good news is that probiotics can reduce the frequency and severity of diarrhea. Experts recommend Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus casei and a yeast called Saccharomyces boulardii. What a mouthful!
  3. Stop constipation: Probiotics can also treat the opposite problem. If you don’t have enough fiber in your diet, constipation might become a super annoying part of your day. Just like with diarrhea, this digestive issue is more common than it should be. That’s where healthy germs come in handy. Probiotics treat constipation because the good bacteria softens stool and increases the average number of bowel movements per week.
  4. Soothe irritable bowel and stomach pain: Constipation, diarrhea and stomach pain are so commonplace, it comes as no surprise that millions have some type of digestive disorder. Probiotics in foods like fermented tea are here to help! Strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are the key to reducing symptoms of digestive disorders like ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome. In fact, research shows that probiotics can keep ulcerative colitis away for good!
  5. Improve mental health: Probiotics don’t just give your gut a boost. Early research shows these microorganisms might even improve your mental health. Scientists have discovered the “gut-brain axis,” which is a fancy way of saying there’s a link between the digestive system and brain activity. Several studies concluded that probiotics reduce the severity of depression, anxiety, OCD and stress. A healthy gut means a happier you!
  6. Lower bad cholesterol: Probiotic drinks can benefit your heart, too. They lower the risk of heart disease by combating bad cholesterol. Cholesterol is found in bile, a fluid that helps your intestines break down food. If too much bile sits in your gut, all that cholesterol gets absorbed back into the bloodstream. Healthy germs get rid of the bile once you’re done digesting food in order to decrease the body’s overall cholesterol levels.
  7. Grow healthy babies: Those helpful little germs even take effect well before you’re born. Studies have shown that when pregnant women take probiotics, the chances of their babies developing eczema were reduced by nearly 83 percent! Babies exposed to probiotics in the womb and through breastfeeding are also much less likely to develop allergies later in life.
  8. Boost immunity: One probiotic drink a day can do wonders for your immune system. Healthy bacteria are like little warriors that protect you from getting sick. Certain strains increase the number of antibodies needed to fight off pathogens. Probiotics boost the production of T-lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that boosts the immune response when your body is under attack. That way, you can tackle the daily grind without a cold or infection bogging you down.
  9. Keep your vag healthy: Women in particular benefit from probiotics because they reduce the frequency of urinary tract infections (UTIs) and bacterial vaginosis. Similar to the gut microbiome, the vagina has to maintain a delicate balance of good and bad bacteria. If anything messes with that balance, it can get pretty nasty down there!
  10. Aid in weight loss: Looking to ditch that stubborn belly fat? Probiotics might just be the solution. One study revealed that a daily probiotic supplement combined with regular exercise and a proper diet helped women lose up to 50 percent more weight. Bacterial strains such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus gasseri prevent the intestine from absorbing excessive dietary fat, allowing it to exit the body every time you visit the loo.
bottle of kombucha

Top sources of probiotics

Probiotics are found almost everywhere at the grocery store. You can find them in fermented foods like yogurt, soft cheeses, milk, kefir and other dairy products that suit your fancy. Soft cheeses, in particular, are a good source of probiotics because the digested food particles will travel all the way to your gut for proper absorption.

Dairy foods not your jam? Kombucha harnesses the power of vegan probiotics so you can enjoy their health benefits, too. Healthy germs live in the SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) that is used to ferment this delicious tea. Brewers even make alcoholic ‘booch so our vegan friends can kick back on the weekend, get their daily probiotics and help save the planet all at once! Now that’s what we call a triple win.

‘Booch lovers will say kombucha is the best source of non-dairy probiotics around…and they’re not wrong. But if for some bizarre reason you don’t like kombucha, you can find other ways to score those healthy germs. Fermented soy products like miso and tempeh are packed with probiotics. There’s also kimchi and sauerkraut if you’re looking for some pickled goodness.

Supplements are another effective way to fit probiotics into your diet. Although less fun than drinking boozy ‘booch, probiotic supplements are conveniently available in the form of powders, capsules and tablets. A word of caution—the government might not regulate all supplements, so be mindful of what you’re buying.

On that note, make sure you consult a healthcare provider before upping your intake of probiotics. They’ll know which supplement brands are trustworthy and which ones you should avoid. A doctor can also determine if probiotics are right for you at all. Some groups of people, like those with a weakened immune system, shouldn’t take probiotics because they might actually make certain health conditions worse. Just be save before bacteria-ing up!

Common Q’s About Probiotics

Want the facts ASAP? Here’s all the info you need to put the “pro” in probiotics.

Probiotics are live microorganisms commonly referred to as “good” bacteria. They boost gut health by getting rid of harmful pathogens and all the other yucky stuff that makes you sick. These healthy germs tackle gut-related conditions like weight loss, high cholesterol, immunity and more. Live cultures are naturally found in yogurt, kefir, tempeh, kimchi and—our personal favorite—boozy kombucha.

It depends on which health concern you’re hoping to address! Certain bacterial species work for some problems more than others, and taking the wrong ones could actually make your situation worse. Ask a doctor which strains are right for you. But if you want to take probiotics for your overall health, pick a supplement that incorporates the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families. These already live in your gut, so you can’t go wrong!

You bet they do! Kombucha has become the probiotic beverage of choice for both its taste and healing properties. Each can holds billions of live bacteria just waiting to kick your gut into high gear. Fermented tea is brewed with a few simple ingredients, and healthy germs are the stars of the show.

Probiotic drinks add billions of pathogen-fighting bacteria to your gut and combat symptoms of indigestion. They reduce the severity of constipation, diarrhea, infections and inflammatory bowel diseases—and soooo much more! Beverages like kombucha are even better than taking a daily supplement because they’re healthy AND tasty!

Researchers have agreed that it’s safe to make probiotics part of a healthy, balanced diet. How many weeks, months or years you take a probiotic for ultimately comes down to your health goals. People living with depression have noticed improvements within two months while lower cholesterol levels were observed in as little as two weeks!

Absolutely! In fact, a daily dose of probiotics is what’s usually needed to achieve the health benefits you’re after. A health provider can help you figure out which bacterial strains work best with your specific health condition and what dosage to take.

Feed your gut some Boozy Boocha

Among all the different sources of probiotics, none compare to the almighty ‘booch. Who said a balanced diet has to taste bland? This healthy bevvy is not only packed with billions of helpful germs but also comes in every flavor you could possibly imagine. Kombucha is the perfect guilt-free treat!

The benefits don’t stop there. Looking to drink your probiotics while getting totally buzzed? Boozy Boocha has just the thing! Our collection of alcoholic kombucha is kind to your gut and keeps the party going all night long. Get ready to ‘booch and booze up! BOO-YAH!

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