What are probiotics? The importance of taking them

The probiotics are foods or supplements that contain live microorganisms to maintain the good state of the microbiota. These living organisms improve the health of our intestinal flora by improving digestion and intestinal transit . For this reason, it is necessary that you know what probiotics are and what is the great importance of these foods for our health .

Probiotic foods They are known for their many health benefits. Tempeh, kefir, yogurt or cheeses made with unpasteurized milk are some of the products rich in probiotics that we can add to our diet.

These microorganisms are found naturally in the body, however, there are times when it is recommended to give the body an extra dose to ensure good health.

What is a probiotic food?

The Spanish Society of Probiotics and Prebiotics (Sepyp) affirms that for a food to be considered as a probiotic it must comply with the following:

  • It must produce antimicrobial substances, such as acid, hydrogen peroxide or bacterianariocins.
  • Resistant to the cavity in which they are going to be installed and to which it will go through to be installed. Probiotics must be resistant to gastric acid or bile since it will have to enter through this area of ​​the digestive system.
  • They should not transmit their antibiotic resistance.
  • They must be easily cultivable.
  • They must successfully pass a test carried out outside a body, that is, in vitro, and then function when it has been introduced into the body.
¿Por qué los alimentos con probióticos pueden mejorar la salud?
Probiotic foods

These are the characteristics and properties that a probiotic must contain to be considered as such. Thus, the main probiotics are lactobacilli and bifidobacteria.

Different types of probiotics

Probiotics can be differentiated between lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, these being the characteristics of each of them:


The function of these probiotics is found in the intestinal tract area, as they help to break down food, adequately absorb nutrients and eliminate microorganisms that can cause disease. These bacteria are found in the digestive, urinary and genital systems.

These probiotics serve both to prevent and to help in the cure of some diseases such as, for example, rotavirus diarrhea in the children or known as traveler’s diarrhea. They are also good at helping in the treatment of other disorders such as the following:

  • Baby colic.
  • Crohn’s disease.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Necrotizing enterocolitis.
  • Urinary tract infections.
  • Vaginal yeast infections.
  • High cholesterol.
  • Lactose intolerance.
  • Lyme disease.
  • Urticaria.


Bifidobacteria type bacteria live in the bacterial flora of the intestine. Its function is similar to that of lactabacilli, but its main task is to help the rest of the probiotics in the body survive while preventing the growth of harmful bacteria.

These are diseases that can be prevented with an adequate amount of bifidobacteria:

  • Diarrhea.
  • Ulcerative colitis.
  • Fungal infections.
  • Colds and flu.
  • Mastitis.
  • Hepatitis.
  • Lactose intolerance .
  • Mumps.
  • Disease Lyme.

Although the body is responsible for creating these bacteria naturally, it is always recommended add an extra dose of probiotics through diet. For this, some foods are kimchi, pickles and kombucha. Adding them to your daily diet will make you notice a great improvement especially when digestions are less heavy.