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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What are the health benefits of probiotics?

    Related Topic
    I have heard that priobiotics are healthy for us but how exactly does it improve our health? What are the best probiotic foods?
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    Courtney Bates

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    Courtney is an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD), Accredited Nutritionist (AN) and member of the Dietitians Australia. She runs her own practice on Sydney's Northern Beaches … View Profile

    Probiotics are friendly bacteria living in our guts that maintain a healthy digestive system by eliminating harmful bacteria. The most common probiotics are bifidobacteria and lactobacillus. The health benefits of probiotics include improved digestive health, reduced symptoms of IBS including diarrhoea, increased immunity and reduced risk of bowel cancer. 
    Foods containing probiotics are yoghurts such as Activia, and Yakult. Dietary supplements such as Inner Health Plus are also an option.

    For a healthy gut, you also need to include food sources of prebiotics. Prebiotics pass through to the large intestine undigested, where they are fermented and can be used as food for probiotics to help them grow. Foods containing prebiotics include onions, garlic, leeks and asparagus. Recently some foods have been developed with both probiotics and prebiotics (called synbiotics). These foods include Ski Activ yoghurt.

    Courtney Dinnerville
    Accredited Practising Dietitian

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