Probiotics are good bacteria that line the digestive tract and work with the immune and digestive systems. They ensure proper nutrition absorption from foods we consume, while also fighting off bad bacteria, helping prevent conditions such as eczema, flu, kidney stones, acne, and weight gain. Many foods are rich in probiotics and should be incorporated into most diets.
Yogurt is one of the most popular and widely consumed probiotic-rich foods. Pasteurized milk and two strains of bacteria (Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus) combine to make this thick, creamy snack. Though making yogurt a regular part of the diet is a good idea, eating foods rich in probiotics is especially important when on antibiotics, which kill off not only bad bacteria but also good while helping rid the body of infection. In addition to temporary illnesses, yogurt can treat symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Labels should note "live active cultures" or "good source of probiotics" -- some products are heat-treated after fermentation, which can kill off the live active cultures.
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