From yogurt to kimchi, kefir to kombucha – you may have noticed probiotic rich foods are sweeping the health food aisles. With captivating labels describing the contents as raw and alive with numerous health benefits, you may have found yourself curiously attracted and perhaps a bit unsure of these items. You are certainly not alone. So, what exactly are probiotics for women, and what are they good for?
Probiotics are live bacteria that come in a variety of strains. These micro-organisms can be found in many food items, as well as in other forms such as supplements and suppositories. The use of probiotics to aid in women’s health is becoming a mainstream topic of conversation among health-conscious females, and the potential benefits are expansive.
Although women are always encouraged to seek advice from a medical professional, researchers continue to examine the positive role probiotics for women may play in providing varied levels of relief for the following feminine health conditions:
Urinary Tract Infections (UTI’s) are a common bacterial infection, especially among females. The frequent use of antibiotics to treat UTI’s have, over time, led to increased resistance to this form of treatment. This, among other reasons, has prompted researchers to take a closer look at the use of probiotics for women, particularly the use of lactobacilli strains, as a form of UTI relief. The success of these studies has proved promising for those seeking an alternative treatment option for this uncomfortable occurrence.
Pregnancy is in an incredible time of transformation for females, and one where women must pay special attention to the health and balance of their changing bodies. The use of probiotics during pregnancy could provide some level of protection against prenatal health challenges including gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and maternal obesity. Pregnant woman who are interested in adding probiotics to their prenatal diet should always check with a medical professional first. Prenatal women may seek alternative forms of probiotics, other than common probiotic rich foods, as some of these food items may be unpasteurized and potentially contraindicated during pregnancy.
Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) disrupts the homeostasis of a woman’s vaginal health, and can be a reoccurring issue for fertile, pregnant and pre-menopausal females. The presences of the lactobacilli strain of probiotics in a healthy vaginal environment suggest a positive relationship between probiotic use and relief and prevention of this plaguing condition. This may come as a welcome intervention for many women who experience reoccurring BV.
The above examples are just a small sampling of the use of probiotics for women to improve women’s health. Additional research supports the positive impact of probiotics on many other aspects of a woman’s well-being. From digestive health to mood improvement to strengthening the immune system, probiotics may be of benefit. On a most basic level, the consumption of un-processed, nutrient rich foods containing these live micro-organisms promotes a healthy diet and just might be the simplest way to offer your body an easy dose of goodness. So, quench your thirst with a kombucha or spice up your next meal with a side of kimchi, then sit back and enjoy the benefits of probiotics.