Exploring the Benefits of Plant-Based Probiotics

While perusing health food stores, you are sure to come across probiotic supplements and foods. Probiotics contain good bacteria which have many health benefits when taken in sufficient amounts.

Probiotic-rich plant-based foods, particularly fermented ones, such as kefir, kimchi, miso paste, sourdough bread, yogurt and pickled vegetables are abundant natural sources.

Improved Digestion

The gut is the body’s most intricate organ, containing more neurons than both spinal cord and peripheral nervous systems combined! Therefore, maintaining its health requires regular probiotic and prebiotic intake in our diets.

Probiotics are living microorganisms that provide numerous health benefits when consumed. You can find probiotics naturally found in fermented foods like kimchi, miso, tempeh and sauerkraut; alternatively they can also be added to products like kombucha, kefir and yogurt for added boost. As consumers become more educated about diet and wellness issues, probiotics have seen rapid expansion within the marketplace and increasingly can be found labeled “made with live cultures”.

Fermented plant-based foods make a delicious and nutritional addition to any diet, boasting ingredients like fiber, vitamins and minerals as well as beneficial bacteria that support both digestive tract health and immunity.

Fermented foods known to benefit gut health include lassi, an Indian strained yogurt drink; dadih (fermented buffalo milk food from Indonesia); skyr (Iceland’s strained yogurt-like drink); and Yakult, a probiotic dairy product from Japan.

Our digestive tract needs enzymes to break down and digest our food properly, but as we age our internal production of these enzymes declines. This can cause digestion issues like gas and diarrhea. But taking probiotics and prebiotics together may help improve digestive health by lowering inflammation in both your gut and overall body – leading to mental health benefits as well as reduced risks for chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

Reduced Inflammation

Probiotics have been found to significantly decrease inflammation by balancing out the amount of beneficial bacteria to decrease disease-causing bacteria growth, according to research published by Current Opinion in Gastroenterology. Furthermore, probiotics help strengthen immunity to prevent against harmful microorganisms entering our systems.

Dietary supplements or fermented vegetables such as kimchi and pickles contain beneficial bacteria rich in probiotics, so eating more of these in daily meals will increase their presence in your gut. You could also add probiotics through drinking fermented dairy beverages such as kombucha or kefir as well as taking vegan probiotic supplements; be sure to consult with your healthcare provider prior to making changes in your routine, especially if taking medications or breastfeeding.

Prebiotics can also help increase your gut’s probiotic count. Prebiotics include fiber and complex carbs that humans cannot digest but which will be broken down by beneficial gut bacteria into probiotic-fuelling nutrients for health in your gut. Foods high in prebiotics include whole grains, fruit and vegetables.

Certain probiotics have the power to boost production of IgA antibodies that help prevent and treat stomach and intestinal infections, as well as boost innate and adaptive immunity by activating DCs, monocytes, natural killer (NK) cells, epithelial cells and DCs involved in immune regulation. Furthermore, certain probiotics interact with pattern recognition receptors like TLR-9 to stop inflammation pathways by secreting anti-inflammatory cytokines from pattern recognition receptors like TLR-9. A study published in Nutrients demonstrated reduced inflammation when people consumed a plant-based diet; an impressive amount of blood markers was reduced when people followed a plant-based diet!

Boosted Immunity

Beneficial probiotics naturally occur throughout your body in various locations; most notably your large intestine but they may also reside on skin, mouth or lungs. When too many bad bacteria form an imbalance and make you sick, probiotics work to eliminate it by increasing beneficial ones and breaking down medications more quickly; they even support cells lining your gut to block harmful pathogens from entering bloodstreams.

Strengthening immunity is an integral health goal and probiotics are an easy way to accomplish it. Yogurt and kefir are popular probiotic-rich foods but contain dairy products which may not suit vegan diets or those who have lactose intolerance; alternative probiotic-rich products like kombucha or tempeh provide similar immune-enhancing benefits without dairy consumption.

Studies have demonstrated that probiotic consumption can significantly lower the risk of metabolic diseases like obesity and type 2 diabetes, as well as help improve glycemic control in those living with T2D, while decreasing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease risk.

Probiotics have also been found to aid with symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). There has been some promise for certain strains of probiotic bacteria to ease symptoms from Chron’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis and Pouchitis (an inflammation caused during surgery to treat UC). Consuming fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, natto miso or tempeh can provide extra probiotics in your diet – all easily found at your local supermarket or Asian grocery store.

Weight Loss

Probiotics for vegans may help the body regulate appetite and food intake. Furthermore, probiotics may help decrease fat cell storage as well as increase levels of fat-regulating proteins; however, weight loss cannot be guaranteed and will depend on several other factors.

Your gut microbiome consists of trillions of bacteria, fungi and other organisms living within your digestive tract. Each person’s personal microbiome plays an essential role in various functions including mood regulation and immunity support.

Probiotics have often been thought of in terms of dairy foods like yoghurt or kefir; however, there are plenty of plant-based options as well – you may be able to find probiotics in plant-based beverages like nut milks or soymilks as well as fermented products such as kimchi or kombucha.

Probiotic foods are easy to incorporate into any diet, regardless of whether it be vegan, vegetarian, carnivore or flexitarian. When buying probiotics from stores or websites, make sure that their label indicates whether or not the product contains healthy bacteria that help improve immunity and overall wellness.

If you want to increase your probiotics intake, consume fermented foods naturally abundant in probiotic bacteria such as miso and tempeh. Miso is a Japanese sauce made from soybeans, salt and cultured bacteria while tempeh is created by mixing a bacterial starter with soybeans before leaving it to ferment for three-14 days – both can be found at supermarkets or ordered online; keep in mind that certain strains require refrigeration or special storage conditions in order to remain viable; take care when handling packaging materials!

Reduced Risk of Chronic Diseases

Probiotics are live beneficial bacteria and yeasts found naturally in our gut. While bacteria is sometimes seen negatively and is blamed for making us feel sick, probiotics play a pivotal role in your health by fighting off bad bacteria while digesting food, creating vitamins, absorbing medications and regulating immunity systems. They may even improve mood, increase bowel function, reduce inflammation and alleviate pain caused by IBS symptoms.

Human gut microbiota are complex ecosystems containing over 400 anaerobic and aerobic microorganisms that range from beneficial to pathogenic, all living together harmoniously in our digestive tract. Probiotics help maintain this equilibrium in three main ways: colonizing intestinal epithelium cells; competing for nutrients; and secretion of their metabolic products (mucus, bacteriocins, hydrogen peroxide, short-chain fatty acids, organic acids etc).

Consuming more plant-based foods can help you reap these health benefits by increasing your probiotics intake. Some excellent sources are fermented foods like kimchi and tempeh from Korea, miso soup from Japan, sauerkraut from Germany as well as plant-based dairy substitutes that contain probiotics.

At this point in the COVID-19 pandemic, probiotics are especially essential. Research suggests that COVID-19 altered our natural balance of gut microbiota; by increasing your probiotic consumption you may help protect yourself against its negative impacts and lower acidity, maintain body weight, and strengthen immunity. Furthermore, probiotics may aid in lowering acidity, maintaining weight management, and increasing immunity.