While we typically think of bacteria as a bad thing, certain microorganisms, in the right doses, may actually help keep us healthy. For years doctors have been suggesting probiotics as a way to help an irregular gut, but thanks to a growing body of newer research, it now looks like they can do much more than settle an upset stomach.
"The microbes that colonize our body really do have an impact on health, and that impact seems to extend far beyond the gut," says Mary Ellen Sanders, PhD, executive science officer for the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics.
Those far-reaching benefits differ depending on which strain of probiotic you take. If you're taking them to address a specific health concern, like stomach issues or allergies, choose supplements with the specific kind of probiotic that has been shown to help with that issue. If you're healthy but looking for a way to bolster your microbiome, incorporating probiotic-rich foods into your diet such as yogurt, fermented vegetables, or kombucha should do the trick, Sanders says. Regardless of how you get yours, read on to see the amazing benefits of these miniscule bacteria.
This article was originally published by our partners at Prevention.com.