· By Mark Davis
The Benefits of Probiotics for Women
Did you know that probiotics benefit everyone in more ways than just the obvious one? In addition to gut health, they support your heart, mental health, allergies, and even eczema. On top of that, the benefits of probiotics for women are even more significant than you imagined. They enhance vaginal health and help with weight management, but most importantly, they keep your bowel function in check.
Why Do Women Need Probiotics?
- IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) affects women two to six times more than men
- Inflammatory bowel disease is diagnosed in women at a rate of 2:1 compared to men
- Women have a vaginal microbiome—in addition to the gut microbiome we all have. It requires a delicate balance to stay healthy and function well
What Are Probiotics
Probiotics are live microorganisms that can be taken as supplements or as part of our diet. They are a combination of live beneficial bacteria native to our gut microbiome. They increase the population of good bacteria that we already have in our bodies in the gastrointestinal tract, on the skin, and in the vaginal lining. This keeps us healthy and well, and if the balance of natural bacteria gets out of sync due to ill health and disease, probiotics are there to help. Consuming probiotics as food or supplements is powerful in preventing infection and helping those who suffer from an illness.
The Benefits of Probiotics for Women and Gut Health
Women statistically experience more digestive issues than men, so promoting good gut health is essential. Taking probiotics regularly can help to reduce symptoms of many digestive conditions. Here are just some of the gastrointestinal issues that probiotics can help with:
- Diarrhea treatment has seen some great results with probiotic assistance
- Constipation is a more common problem that probiotics can solve
- Crohn's disease and irritable bowel syndrome
Caption: One of many benefits of probiotics for women is better gut health
To increase your gut bacteria in a beneficial way, consume fermented foods such as yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut. These can enhance gut function and reduce the profusion of disease by causing good bacteria in the intestines to grow.
Probiotics and Vaginal Health
Probiotics are very useful in maintaining urogenital health. The vagina is another finely balanced ecosystem, but several factors can throw it out of balance. These include antibiotics, spermicides, and birth control pills, to name a few. Probiotics may be helpful for common female problems such as bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection, and urinary tract infection. A healthy vaginal biome is a critical aspect of a successful pregnancy and infant health. Studies suggest that a baby's first gastrointestinal microbes are planted as they are pushed through the birth canal.
One study showed that overweight women on a weight loss diet for three months lost more weight by taking probiotic supplements than the group that did not. They also continued to lose weight during the three-month maintenance period afterward. Believe it or not, the research did not show the same weight changes in men.
Although we would prefer not to think of this fact—the skin is also home to trillions of bacteria. Regular use of probiotics can help manage skin issues like eczema, acne, allergic inflammation, and hypersensitivity. Probiotics also promote wound healing and help fight skin damage. An interesting fact is that women with eczema and allergies should take probiotics during pregnancy, reducing the chance of passing these conditions to their children.
Caption: Probiotics can benefit your skin too
The Benefits of Probiotics for Women’s Mental Health
Women are more likely than men to suffer from depression and anxiety. There are even some types of depression that are unique to women. Women are also more likely to show symptoms such as mood changes, low energy, social withdrawal, and irritability. It is pretty unlikely for most women to connect mental health with gut health. Nevertheless, recent studies have revealed a strong connection between the brain and the massive number of microorganisms in the digestive tract. The gut bacteria can help mold our brain structure as we age. In addition to that, it may cause unique changes in brain structure and behavior over time. This can affect how we think, feel, and behave.
Stress and Gut Health
Stress can significantly influence our gut health and health in general. Sudden lifestyle changes such as moving to a new home are some of the most common stressors. Do something so challenging during pregnancy, and you have a recipe for disaster.
Being pregnant is complicated enough for the body, and moving overseas can be a cause of stress at a time when you need to take care of yourself the most. You need to stay healthy through this process, and the benefits of probiotics for women come into play here. As you want to maintain your overall health and immune system, these powerhouses will help you immensely. In addition to that, they will preserve your mental health, which is what you will need more than anything while moving. Make sure that you do not do any heavy lifting and stay hydrated in the process. In addition to the probiotics, hiring professional movers will literally lift the weight off your back. You should not hesitate to get as much help as possible if you are moving while pregnant.
How to Add Probiotics to Your Diet?
The benefits of probiotics for women are endless. You can use probiotics as supplements. However, there are also many natural sources of probiotics that can be added to your diet. These include:
- Probiotic yogurt—This is a fermented dairy product made with two species of bacterial cultures. However, the best solution is to find a non-dairy yogurt option. This is because dairy can cause the inflammation, which can lead to chronic illness and autoimmune disease
Caption: Probiotic and prebiotic foods have significant benefits for women
- Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi, and pickles. However, be careful if you have a gut infection like Candida overgrowth. The fermenting process feeds not only the good bacteria but also the harmful bacteria and yeast
- Prebiotic food—Garlic, apples, asparagus, and bananas are a great choice. These fantastic natural prebiotics pass through your digestive system without being broken down by digestive enzymes and gastric acids. This way, they become an essential nutrient and a source of bacteria in your gut. Prebiotic food helps support vital bodily functions, lower inflammation in your body, and reduce the overall risk of chronic health issues
Now that you know about the benefits of probiotics for women, make sure to introduce them to your diet. Whether you prefer supplements or introducing new foods, they will improve your overall health immensely.