Hearing the word bacteria, people usually always imagine everything that is bad and related to disease. After all, you take antibiotics to treat bacterial infections. Bacteria in the wrong place do cause problems, but there are also good bacteria that can support our health. The good bacteria is called probiotics. Where can we get probiotic sources? Previously, we had to know what probiotics were first.
What is probiotics?
Probiotics are microorganisms that can help prevent and combat disease. Helping the digestive system and improving the immune system is the most popular use of probiotics today. Probiotics do exist naturally in our bodies. However, you can also get probiotics from food, drinks and supplements.
Probiotics have been known since the early 20th century, where Elie Metchnikoff, or more commonly known as the father of probiotics, found that rural Bulgarian residents could live for very long periods of time even though they lived with extreme hunger and bad weather. Elie theorizes that they can survive because they manipulate the microorganisms found in their digestive system. The trick is to consume sour milk which contains good bacteria for their bodies. Since then, much research has been done to develop Elie's findings in the field of probiotics.
How do probiotics work?
The researchers tried to do research to find out how these bacteria actually work. Here are some ways that make probiotics useful for your health:
- When you take antibiotics, not only bad bacteria are killed, but all good and bad bacteria will be killed. By consuming foods or supplements containing probiotics, your body will be able to restore the good bacteria killed.
- Probiotics can help your body balance the good and bad bacteria in your body, so that your body can work as it should.
Types of probiotics
There are many bacteria that can be classified as probiotics. All these bacteria have different benefits, but almost all of these bacteria fall into the same 2 groups:
- Lactobacillus . The bacteria in this group are probably the most common bacteria found in probiotic products. The bacteria in this group are the bacteria that you find in yogurt or other fermented foods. Some bacteria in this category can prevent diarrhea and help people with lactose intolerance.
- Bifidobacterium . The bacteria in this group are commonly found in milk-based foods. Bacteria in this category can relieve signs of diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or disorders of the digestive system.
What probiotics can be prevented or treated?
Probiotics help the food you consume is digested by your digestive system. Until now, researchers are still trying to continue to observe which diseases are best treated by probiotics. Some diseases that can be helped by probiotics are:
- irritable bowel syndrome
- inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which is inflammation of the large intestine and small intestine
- diarrheal infections (can be caused by viruses, bacteria or parasites)
- diarrhea caused by antibiotics
Aside from affecting your digestion, probiotics can also affect other parts of your body, such as:
- eczema skin disease
- urine and vaginal health
- prevent allergies and fever
- oral and dental health
Probiotic source of food and drink
The following foods are known as the best sources of probiotics, and will be better if you consume them daily to maintain health.
One of the most known sources of probiotics, and the easiest to get, is yogurt, especially homemade yogurt. Yogurt is milk added with probiotics such as lactobacillus or acidophilus. If you buy in a supermarket, pay attention to the additional ingredients contained in the yogurt product.
Kefir is a fermented goat's milk mixed with kefir grain. In addition to containing the bacteria Lactobacilli and Bifidus, kefir is also rich in antioxidants.
Sauerkraut is fermented from cabbage (also with other vegetables). Sauerkraut is not only rich in probiotics, but can also help reduce allergies. Sauerkraut is also rich in Vitamins B, A, E, and C.
Food that is usually a daily menu in Indonesia is also rich in probiotics. Derived from fermented soybeans, tempeh contains vitamin B12. Including as a vegetarian food, tempeh can also be served with a little fried, baked, or eaten with salad.
Kimchi is an Asian version of Sauerkraut. Kimchi is a fermented mustard or other vegetable, and tastes salty, sour, and spicy. Usually Kimchi is served with other Korean specialties. Besides containing beneficial bacteria, Kimchi also contains beta-carotene, calcium, iron, and vitamins A, C, B1, and B2.
Not everyone can consume probiotic products
Overall, probiotic sources of food and drinks are products that are safe for everyone to consume. However, people with problems with the immune system or have serious health problems cannot consume probiotic products. Consult first whether it is safe for you to consume probiotic products.
In some cases, some side effects when taking probiotic products are stomach ache, diarrhea, flatulence and squeeze for a few days you start taking probiotic products. Sometimes, probiotic foods can cause allergies. If you experience these things, stop taking probiotic foods and check with your doctor for further checking.
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