Dietitians have long known that overall health is closely tied to gut health. Yet the concept of an expansive “microbiome” flourishing in every living stomach is still relatively new to consumers. It’s an exciting field with huge health implications. For newcomers, it’s a world that comes with plenty of questions, such as what food contains probiotics and how to get more probiotics in your diet.
Learn about probiotics and how to keep your gut healthy below.
What Are Probiotics?
It helps to take a step back and examine what makes up the bulk of your body. Obviously, your cells make you who you are, but they aren’t alone. Keeping your cells company are massive quantities of microorganisms such as bacteria. The highest concentrations are in your digestive track, from your throat and stomach to your intestines. Your diet and body chemistry make this stretch a fertile holy land of sorts for gut bacteria, and that bacteria returns the favor (more on that below).
Your body is a delicate ecosystem that can be thrown out of whack by illness, medication or poor diet. That’s where probiotics come into play. In short, probiotics are tiny population-boosters. They are found naturally in some fermented foods like yogurt; they also are available as dietary supplements. When included in your diet, they act as reinforcements that help the good bacteria keep the unwanted types at bay.
What Are the Health Benefits of Probiotics?
Gut bacteria profoundly impacts general health. This is in large part because it helps maintain the balance along your digestive track. Beneficial bacteria can break down nutrients, and others aid in the disposal of waste. As such, a microbiome supported by probiotic food products can prevent stomachaches and other health issues. Many health professionals go so far as to associate a healthy microbiome with good mental health.
Additionally, probiotics help restore a healthy microbiome following the use of certain medications. For example, probiotics can mitigate how antibiotics affect your body. While antibiotics are designed to wipe out so-called “bad” bacteria, they also significantly harm the good ones. Probiotics help replenish populations of gut bacteria that is otherwise decimated.
Misconceptions About Probiotic Products
One of the most common misnomers about probiotics is that all fermented products have them. While it’s true that many fermented products are specially tailored to include probiotics, the blanket statement that they exist in all such products is false. Why is this important? In an emerging science like that related to the microbiome, it is crucial that consumers have a comprehensive understanding of where to find probiotics.
We have much to learn about probiotics and the microbiome, and part of that learning process is to dispel myths when we spot them.
The Importance of Quality Packaging in Probiotics
Probiotic products are unique in that they must be packaged such that the bacteria strains remain viable. Equally critical is the information on the packaging. As noted above, marketing around probiotics can be deceptive. It’s wise to use a packaging company that recognizes the value of safe, accurate product information.
How PacMoore Can Help You Ensure the Quality of Probiotic Food Products
In the food manufacturing industry, PacMoore is a household name — for good reason. Our legacy is built on quality services that we constantly update to keep ahead of new sciences and trends. With a team of highly skilled food specialists and cutting-edge resources, our customers stay ahead of the curve. To learn more about PacMoore and our work in the probiotics space, contact us today.