Use Prebiotics & Probiotics to Promote Your Health

It’s important to get the right level of good bacteria in your digestive tract, that’s why you should use prebiotics and probiotics to help promote your health. Probiotics are the “good” bacteria that live in your intestinal tract and help with digestion, among other basic bodily functions. While probiotics can benefit everyone, they do have specific benefits for women’s health. Prebiotics are plant fibers that help boost your digestion, including the nutritional benefits of probiotics. Prebiotics “feed” the probiotics, and can be found in bananas, honey, and whole grains.

Prevent Vaginal Infections

Vaginal yeast infections are an overgrowth of Candida Albicans. Usually, these yeast are kept “in check” by the bacteria Lactobacillus. Research shows vaginal yeast infections can be largely prevented by taking a daily probiotic supplement with Lactobacillus. Still, should the tell-tale itching and burning of a yeast infection emerge, experts recommend seeing your healthcare provider, who can treat your infection with medication. Similar to vaginal yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis is another form of bacterial overgrowth. Your healthcare provider will likely recommend taking probiotics containing the bacteria Lactobacillus in concert with an antibiotic to treat bacterial vaginosis.

SEE ALSO: Yikes! Is it a Yeast Infection

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

Infections in your urinary tract can happen when certain bacteria overtake the normal, healthy Lactobacillus bacteria in the tract. Again, several studies have shown that regularly taking a Lactobacillus probiotic supplement can help reduce UTIs— especially if you have ongoing UTIs.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Like urinary tract infections, women are more prone to certain bowel issues such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Experts don’t know quite understand what causes IBS, some studies have shown that probiotics can help relieve the symptoms of this disorder. There are also some promising findings related to probiotics and help with the symptoms of ulcerative colitis.

Picking Probiotics

Probiotics are in certain foods, particularly yogurt and other fermented yogurt-related products, such as kefir, sauerkraut, miso, and tempeh. These foods are great for a healthy diet, but most experts suggest adding a probiotic supplement to get the full benefit of their probiotics. Probiotic supplements contain different bacterial strains, and different concentrations of specific bacterium. Talk to your health care provider about which bacterial strains and supplements may work best of for you—you may need to try a few different supplements to find the ones that work best for your health.

To read more about how you can use prebiotics and probiotics to help promote your health, read our article on Probiotics and your health during Pregnancy and also Probiotics promote your health.

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