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Cacik-1No doubt you have heard of probiotics before, especially when you are trying to live a healthier lifestyle and actively participate in a weight-loss diet plan.  But, what are probiotics?  Probiotics are live bacteria that are good for your health, especially for your digestive system.  We usually think of bacteria as something that causes diseases.  However, your body is full of bacteria – both good ones and bad ones.  Probiotics would be classified as “good” or “helpful” bacteria, because they assist in keeping your gut healthy.  Not only so but probiotics also boost your immune system, such as by fighting off harmful bacteria, preventing urinary tract infections, healing inflammatory bowel conditions, and managing food-borne illnesses.  For example, after taking an antibiotic, your body will lose some “good” bacteria while it mainly targets the “bad” bacteria.  Probiotics can help replace your “good” bacteria and aid your body in keeping a healthy balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria.  And, these are just some of the numerous healthy benefits that probiotics provide.

You can find probiotics from many sources, ranging from healthy foods to specific drinks to oral supplements.  The most well-known source of probiotics is yogurt.  Probiotics can additionally be found in the most concentrated amounts in foods, such as milk kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and tempeh.  If you do not care for the foods rich in probiotics or they do not fit well with your weight-loss diet plan, then you can try a powder, liquid, or pill supplement.

Probiotics are fueled by prebiotics, which are non-digestible carbohydrates.  Prebiotics are commonly found in foods, such as onion, garlic, dandelion greens, and asparagus.  Without prebiotics, probiotics will not be able to function at their best.  So, make sure you consume both in your diet plan.  Or, if you find that taking a supplement is easier, then consider synbiotics, which combine both probiotics and prebiotics.

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