3 Little-Known Benefits of Probiotics

August 16, 2021

Probiotics are a healthy form of bacteria with the power to support the human body in numerous ways. Many people consume them through supplements or delicious and nutrient-rich fermented foods as part of their daily diet.

Understandably, well-respected health sources like the National Institute of Health (NIH) or Harvard Medical School often primarily discuss the most prominent probiotic benefits: a thriving microbiome and a stronger immune system.

These healthy probiotic influences are essential, but their full impacts resonate in many aspects of your body and daily life that you may not expect.

For a detailed look at the less-publicized roles of these healthy bacteria, read on for our Cleveland Kitchen Guide to The Little-Known Benefits of Probiotics:

Healthier Gut-Brain Relationship

Perhaps the most underrated potential benefit of probiotics is their effect on the gut-brain axis (GBA):

If you’ve never heard of the gut-brain axis, it is the system that connects our mind and microbiome through a complex series of biological messaging.

Its importance is hard to overstate, as the connection fosters and nourishes the essential flow of information between the living organisms that populate our microbiome and key areas of our brain.

On a daily basis, this communication flow plays a vital role in:

  • Ensuring Optimal Function of the Central Nervous System
  • Regulating Healthy Flow of Neurotransmitters
  • Monitoring Transmission of Chemicals to the Brain
  • With these essential responsibilities in mind, here’s how probiotics come into the picture:

    As your gut-brain axis relies on a vibrant microbiome, and a vibrant microbiome depends on a healthy balance of bacteria to perform at its best, there’s little surprise that probiotics can profoundly benefit gut-brain communications.

    Healthy, daily servings of probiotics from the best sauerkrauts, kimchi, and other fermented veggies can help your GBA work toward:

  • Lower Anxiety Levels
  • Enhanced Cognition
  • Better Reactions to Stressors
  • These positive benefits can directly aid your mental health while also promoting stronger gut and immune health by reducing mental and emotional difficulties that weaken your microbiome and immune system.

    Reduced Symptoms of Digestive Distress

    For those who consistently suffer digestive issues, the symptoms of their indigestion often spell a long and challenging day of:

  • Bloating
  • Cramping
  • Difficult Bowel Movements
  • Nausea
  • Heartburn
  • These unfortunate consequences can result from a run-of-the-mill upset stomach, overeating, excess stress, or more severe disorders like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) -- which always require the guidance and support of a medical professional.

    While proper nutrition, hydration, and medical support are your first steps toward a healthier digestive system, probiotics can also play a vital role in minimizing your digestive struggles.

    According to the Mayo Clinic, WebMD, and the National Health Institute (NIH), the best probiotics infuse your digestive system with healthy bacteria strains (like Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus brevis) that can:

  • Reduce the Severity of Indigestion-Related Heartburn
  • Ease Gas-Induced Bloating
  • Promote Smoother Bowel Movements
  • Eliminate Harmful Bacteria in Your Stomach
  • Improve Colon Function by Lowering pH Levels
  • While these benefits admittedly only address the symptoms, not the roots, of indigestion, they can help you lay the groundwork toward a healthier digestive system and a happier you.

    Bonus Fact: If your digestive issues are diet-related, Cleveland Kitchen’s yummy fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi support keto, paleo, vegan, gluten-free, and Whole 30 meal plans -- meaning you won’t have to sacrifice your dietary needs in your pursuit of digestive wellbeing.

    Bolstered Cardiovascular System

    Like the severe digestive troubles we mentioned above, cardiovascular issues are a serious matter that requires the guidance of medical professionals above all else.

    Even in their mildest forms, heart troubles can lead to unpleasant symptoms like:

  • Racing Heartbeat
  • Slow Heartbeat
  • Chest Pains
  • Shortness of Breath
  • With all that said, it’s also worth mentioning the potential positive effects of probiotics on the heart, as documented by scientists at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

    Through studies of mice (a common parallel for humans) incorporating cutting-edge technology and a broader interest in the power of bacteria, researchers found that probiotics can lower blood pressure and benefit heart health.

    The primary scientific explanation for this positive relationship is that probiotics increase the balance of healthy bacteria in a mouse’s body, supposedly “activat[ing] receptors in the blood vessels to lower blood pressure.”

    These results represent thrilling developments for the scientists behind the experiment, and they are sure to inspire dozens of studies attempting to replicate these results in human subjects with heart troubles.

    While this supposed benefit clearly requires more research than previous examples, it’s a noteworthy representation of the potential relevance of probiotics to improving the human condition by balancing our body with healthy bacteria.

    Cleveland Kitchen’s Probiotic-Rich Foods

    Now that you understand some of the lesser-known health benefits of probiotics, it’s time to explore Cleveland Kitchen’s diverse and delicious selection of probiotic-rich fermented foods:

    Using locally sourced, natural ingredients, we’ve crafted six styles of crunchy krauts, a mouthwatering classic kimchi, and a tangy selection of fermented veggie dressings to infuse your diet with probiotics, nutrients, and oodles of flavor.

    From the veggie goodness of our Beet Red Kraut to the creaminess of our Backyard Ranch Dressing and all manner of spicy, zesty, and umami tastes in between, we have the fermented goodness you need to boost your microbiome in style.

    To top it all off, we’ve also created an exciting selection of recipes incorporating delicious fermented foods into snacks and meals like Roasted Garlic Mac ‘n Cheese, Chickpea and Sauerkraut Avocado Toast, Korean Beef Bulgogi, and our Gut Healthy Summer Salad.

    For more on Cleveland Kitchen’s mission to bring fermented foods to the American diet, keep up with our weekly blog and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to find more delicious ways to incorporate probiotics in your diet!

    Medical Disclaimer: All information, content, and material of this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

    Check out another article

    Pickling vs. Fermentation: What's The Difference?


    Our Favorite Ways to Eat Sauerkraut


    Healthy Salad Recipes That You’ll Actually Eat