Probiotics are microorganisms that improve your intestinal health. Let us talk about the benefits of probiotics for seniors.
Seniors often experience many physical changes in their bodies as they grow old. These physical changes are mostly related to decreasing functionality of the body. As a person grows old, their gut and intestine also face these issues, which impact their ability to digest food.
The health of your stomach is closely related to the health of your brain even more than you realize. Each year, approximately 62 million people in America are diagnosed with some form of digestive disorder. Consumption of probiotics is an effective method of preventing these diseases.
Probiotics are unique bacteria found inside our intestines; these bugs are living microorganisms that have various health benefits. We will discuss some of the benefits of these microorganisms for seniors in the article below.
Difference Between Prebiotics And Probiotics
People often get confused between these terms. Prebiotics are a type of fiber in the body, and these fibers have the main role of feeding the friendly bacteria in the body. Prebiotics help to increase the number of probiotics in the body.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that are found in our intestines and gut. These organisms are responsible for boosting the immune system and fighting off infections. Both these elements together play an essential role in keeping you healthy.
As a senior citizen, you must consume food items that have both these components in moderation so that there is a balance in your body. People who suffer from bloating usually have fewer probiotics in their diet. Increasing them can provide them with instant relief.
Why Do People Need To Consume Probiotics?
People need to consume probiotics because they help improve the functioning of our intestines and our gut. Our intestines are responsible for carrying most of our immune system. For a senior person having a healthy gut can be the difference between leading a healthy or sick lifestyle.
The bacteria in our intestines are also responsible for producing most of the serotonin found in the body. Serotonin is a natural chemical present in our body that stabilizes our mood. It is also a special neurotransmitter that our body produces. Our mood is dependent on the production of this chemical in our body.
As we grow old, our body starts facing these chemical imbalances, which accelerate the rate of digestive disorders, various infections, sicknesses, or even depression in some cases. About 13.5% of America’s elderly population suffers from depression, and lack of serotonin is one cause of such problems.
Benefits Of Probiotics For Older People
Probiotics maintain a healthy balance between good and harmful bacteria inside our gut. Different types of changes to our body or lifestyle can disrupt this balance and cause digestive problems. Your body may go through chemical balance because of medical conditions, physical strain, emotional stress, etc. These types of strains can lead to this chemical balance.
If you consume probiotics, the number of good bacteria in the body increases. Good bacteria build immunity, fight inflammation, and provide relief from IBS(irritable bowel syndrome) or diarrhea.
Following are the benefits of consuming probiotics, especially for seniors:-
If you consume more quantities of probiotics, you will be less likely to experience diarrhea. If you are a person that regularly suffers from diarrhea, then this is an indicator that your body needs more good bacteria in it.
With the consumption of probiotics, the duration of your diarrhea will not be as long as it used to be. Probiotics will improve your gut health, due to which your digestion power will also increase, and you will not suffer from diarrhea.
Improves Heart Health
Probiotics can also improve your heart health. Some probiotic strains will improve the condition of your heart as they can maintain the amount of cholesterol in your body.
Higher cholesterol levels are linked to various heart ailments and diseases, so you should eat food with a higher amount of good bacteria. Probiotics can absorb the extra cholesterol from the food.
Help People With Lactose Intolerance
Probiotics are also known to help people that have lactose intolerance. It is a condition in which some people cannot break down the sugar present in dairy products. Due to this condition, these people are unable to consume dairy products.
Eating good bacteria and probiotics can increase the hydrolysis of lactose. Due to this increase in the hydrolysis of lactose, the body can now break down the sugar in dairy. The hydrolysis of this lactose takes place inside the small intestine.
Probiotics in seniors will also help to deal with food and skin allergies. You can reduce the symptoms such as irritation and itching of skin conditions like eczema by increasing your consumption of probiotics.
Eczema is mainly caused due to two reasons which are inflammation inside the body and a poor immune system. About 10% of the entire American population suffers from this condition at some point.
Calms Down Immune Triggers
Consuming probiotics regularly can also naturally calm down the immune triggers of the skin. These triggers can get activated automatically due to all the stress and pollution outside.
Calming these immune triggers prevents them from damage and keeps these cells healthy and fine. If you are very prone to pimples and acne, you should consume these probiotics to reduce acne development on the skin.
Protect Against Bacterial Vaginosis
As a senior woman eating food with probiotics will also help you fight against bacterial vaginosis. As probiotics are filled with healthy bacteria, they will remove all the harmful bacteria from the body.
Probiotics will not only help in preventing bacterial vaginosis but will also help in curing this condition if someone is going through it. Probiotics will prevent and stop the overgrowth of bacteria in any part of your body.
Prevent Bad Breath
If you have bad breath, you should increase the consumption of probiotics in your diet. People generally have bad breath because of bacteria in their mouth, throat, or gut. Taking a diet rich in probiotics will help you reduce the bad breath coming from your mouth.
According to a research study, among people who have been given probiotics instead of mouthwash, about 85% experienced reduced bad breath by taking more probiotics in their diet.
Which Probiotics Should You Consume?
You can take in probiotics in the form of natural food, or you can even take these microorganisms in supplements. Consumption of probiotics through food is the best way. However, good bacteria can’t always survive strong acids in the stomach.
Since the good bacteria cannot survive, it is also unable to add to and improve your gut health. Then some food items have special probiotic strains that allow them to survive the stomach acids and add to your gut health.
You can judge a food item on three aspects: whether the food has a sufficient amount of good bacteria when you eat it. The second way is to figure out whether this good bacteria can survive in the stomach long enough or not, and the last way is to figure out whether this probiotic strain will improve your overall health.
Following food items are an excellent source of probiotics:-
Garlic is a good source of probiotics. Eating garlic can increase the growth of a certain bacteria known as the L acidophilus. This bacteria is responsible for preventing and stopping the growth of disease-causing bacteria in the body. Eating garlic will reduce the number of harmful bacteria in your body while leaving the good bacteria intact.
Wheat bran, the outermost layer of the wheat grain, is an excellent source of probiotics for the body. Wheat bran has a particular type of bacterial fiber known as AXOS. This AXOS fiber from wheat bran is directly linked to improving the number of healthy bacteria present in the gut.
The nature of probiotics found in green bananas resembles the type of probiotics found in yogurt and kefir. This makes green bananas an excellent source of probiotics as well.
The probiotic strain found in green bananas helps develop the body’s genital and urinary health. Unripe green bananas have a high quantity of resistant starch in them. This chemical has probiotic effects that help the body to remain fit and healthy.
Artichokes contain both types of components that make them suitable for prebiotics and probiotics. These components have shown that they have a positive impact on gastrointestinal bacteria, due to which the immunity of a person increases.
As a senior citizen going through many digestives and intestinal issues, you will benefit a lot from the consumption of artichokes. This food item also inhibits the growth of pathogenic bacteria, making it an essential addition to your daily dietary plans.
Leeks generally belong to the same family of plants to which onion and garlic belong. Like these other vegetables from the same family, leeks offer similar health benefits to you. Still, a significant advantage of having leeks over these other vegetables is that leeks are low on calories.
As these vegetables are low on calories, you can consume more of these vegetables without increasing your weight and calorie consumption. The probiotic strain present in leeks promotes a healthy gut by helping you to break down fat from the foods.
Onions are rich in a unique component known as inulin. This special component will help you boost your immune system by improving your digestion. Onion juice is good for digestion as it will break down faster and into smaller fragments digested easily.
If you have an excellent digestive system, then consequently, your gut health will also improve, due to which you will not suffer from any digestive issues.
Asparagus is a natural source of inulin, and it is a substance that can improve the digestive health of your intestines. This substance will also help you maintain optimum glucose levels in the body.
Managing glucose in the body is essential as glucose imbalance can promote diabetes in people. 34.2 million people in the USA suffer from diabetes. Inulin is a soluble fiber-like substance. The primary purpose of this substance is to feed the good bacteria present in the gut.
Beans and legumes
The best way to get probiotics in your body is through foods such as dried beans and legumes. This includes all different types of beans and legumes, where each type of bean has a different probiotic strain.
Supplements For Probiotics
You can also search for probiotics in the form of dietary supplements; these supplements are either in powder or capsules, liquids, and so on. Some of the best probiotic strains that you should consume regularly are:-
- Lactobacillus acidophilus: This strain can balance the harmful bacteria in our body. Consuming this strain will prevent the further development of any further infection or bacteria in your body. Harmful bacteria can develop in the body due to any illness or by consuming antibiotics.
- Lactobacillus fermentum: This component is responsible for strengthening your immune system. It is also responsible for the prevention of gastrointestinal infections along with respiratory problems.
- Lactobacillus casei: This strain is responsible for reducing inflammation in the intestines. Regular consumption of this strain will reduce your vulnerability to bowel infections and diseases if you suffer from IBS-inflammatory bowel syndrome. It is a condition that causes cramping, bloating, gas formation, abdominal pain, and diarrhea as well.
- Lactobacillus Plantarum: Lactobacillus Plantarum is a chemical that stimulates the digestive system in the body. This compound will help the digestive system fight off harmful bacteria, and you can also produce vitamins using this substance.
- Lactobacillus Reuters: This compound is essential for a healthy heart. This substance is known for balancing the level of cholesterol in the blood. If you suffer from ulcers, this is the right supplement for you as it fights off ulcer-causing bacteria. As a senior woman, this compound will help you by improving your vaginal health and maintaining a healthy female urinary tract.
Probiotics can be beneficial for everyone. This article covers in detail the benefits of probiotics for seniors. We also talked about the various sources through which you can get different types of probiotic strains in your diet.
You would hopefully have realized role and importance of these probiotic strains to select and target specific probiotic strains as well if you need to.
We hope the audience of this article is able to understand why they are important and what are the benefits of adding probiotics to your diet. If you have any further queries about the topic you may write to us in the comments section.
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