Men need the recommended daily amount of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals to stay healthy and in tiptop shape. However, there is another type of nutrient that can do wonders for the overall health of gents regardless of their age: probiotics.
Probiotics are living microorganisms that, when consumed, provide significant health benefits. Because of this, they are also often called “good bacteria.”
There are different types of probiotics that supplements and fermented foods such as yogurt, kimchi, kefir, kombucha, and sauerkraut provide.
Examples of probiotic species and strains that are considered beneficial to the body are Bifidobacteria, Lactobacillus, Bacillus clausii, B. longum, and B. lactis.
Why Men Should Add Probiotics to Their Diet
The right probiotics for men provide specific health benefits that address their particular needs.
Below are five health benefits that men can experience when they take the right probiotics:
1. Enhanced Digestive Health
Probiotics are known mainly for their various health benefits on the digestive system since they live in the small and large intestines. These benefits include:
- Boosting the number of good bacteria in the gut to help the digestive system and body to function at their optimum level
- Helping the body minimize the symptoms of diarrhea caused by food poisoning, inflammatory bowel syndrome or IBS, and antibiotics and other medications
- Easing constipation since regular consumption of probiotics can help soften the consistency of the stool, allowing it to pass through the bowels more easily
- Reducing the risk for diverticulitis, or inflamed and infected pouches in the colon that cause changes in bowel habits and constant pain
- Helping fight the bacteria H. pylori, the common cause of peptic ulcers, by boosting the extermination rate, improving symptoms, and reducing the side effects associated with the prescribed treatment
- Fighting diverticular disease, a digestive problem that causes small sacs or swellings to develop in the wall of the large intestine or colon
With these benefits, probiotics are indispensable nutrients essential for improving and maintaining digestive health.
2. Better Heart Health
Probiotics can support cardiovascular health in various ways. Below are the specific ways they do so:
- The correct intake of the right probiotic supplement can help lower hypertension or high blood pressure.
- Regular consumption of probiotics can also aid in maintaining healthy levels of triglyceride, which can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
- Probiotics can help lower bad cholesterol and keep it at a healthy level. Moreover, these good bacteria can increase the count of LDL or healthy cholesterol in your body.
All these benefits reduce a person’s risk for different types of cardiovascular diseases.
3. Improved Immune System
Probiotics also help keep the immune system in excellent shape. These nutrients do so in the following ways:
- Studies show that a large amount of the body’s immune system is found in the gut. Since probiotics keep the GI tract healthy, the immune system will also be in excellent condition.
- A stronger immune system means men can cut back on their sick days caused by upper respiratory tract infections.
- Stronger immunity also helps individuals with allergies reduce the onset of their symptoms.
Probiotics also aid in enhancing mucosal immune systems, which are found in the ears, nose, throat area, and lungs, thereby helping maintain good respiratory health.
With stronger immunity, men can spend more time engaging in work, play, and other activities and avoid getting tired and sick easily.
4. Weight Loss
Some probiotics can also help with weight loss through the following ways:
- Studies have linked excess body weight to the gut microbiome. If there is an imbalance, the body weight will be affected. Including probiotics in one’s diet restores the balance between good and bad bacteria.
- An imbalance in the microbiome also allows bad bacteria and pathogens to grow. These microorganisms send signals to the brain which tells the body it needs sugar. Overconsumption of sugar can lead to obesity and diabetes. Probiotics can prevent this from happening.
- With probiotics maintaining balance in the gut microbiome, the body’s metabolism can be enhanced. There is a lower risk of developing metabolic disorders as well.
Increasing one’s consumption of the right probiotics, therefore, can help men maintain a healthy weight.
5. Improved Hormone Levels
Men often experience declining testosterone levels as they age. A healthy microbiome brought about by consuming the right probiotics helps regulate the production of oxytocin, a hormone that increases testosterone counts.
Oxytocin also aids in maintaining a healthy libido, supporting the development of male characteristics and overall health.
Low testosterone levels can lead to several unpleasant side effects, which include:
- Reduced bone density
- Low sex drive
- Reduced red blood cell production
- Decreased muscle mass and strength
When testosterone levels are higher, men are also less likely to face fertility issues.
Taking a probiotic supplement and consuming more foods rich in this nutrient allows men to experience these benefits. However, it is also important to have a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and get enough quality sleep to have a healthy gut microbiome and body.