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Probiotics, Prebiotics & Gut Health

Updated: Aug 21, 2020

Science has been researching a lot about our microbiome – the ecosystem of bacteria living in our intestines. The more researches are conducted, the more we learn how this ecosystem influences almost every system in our bodies.

We can find healthy bacteria in food and have them help balance our microbiome – or you can take them in pills. These healthy bacteria are called probiotics.

Ancient way of eating was made up of homegrown foods that grew in healthy probiotic soil, and were fermented for storage, what increased the beneficial bacteria in it. Today’s diet is mostly processed and refined, the soil is not that healthy, therefore the food becomes poor in natural probiotics.

These are some natural sources of probiotics:

  • Yoghurt – look for a yoghurt that is high in probiotics and with no added sugar. You can add a bit of raw honey if you like it sweet.

  • Cultured vegetables – such as sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles are an excellent way to feed our bodies with natural probiotics. The fermentation process naturally promotes beneficial probiotics.

  • Apple cider vinegar – it is rich in probiotics and enzymes. Chose organic, raw and unfiltered.

  • Miso – it is a fermented soybean paste consumed in Japan. When choosing miso, look for the unpasteurized, enzyme-rich variety that is stored in the refrigerator.

Here are some things probiotics do for us:

  • Improve digestion

  • Restore microbiome after taking antibiotics

  • Improve mood – the production of serotonin and GABA is done in our guts

  • Reduce autoimmune symptoms

The foods that feed these bacteria are called prebiotics. Prebiotics are found in the form of three primary types of fiber (or non-digestible carbohydrates)––inulin, fructo-oligosaccharides, and oligosaccharides. Prebiotics support your good bacteria’s ability to flourish. While there are many prebiotic foods, here are a few foods that are particularly rich in prebiotics for you to consider including in your diet.

  • Bananas: Along with being a well-known fruit, bananas are a great source of prebiotics.  Bananas are high in gut-resistant carbohydrates – those that pass through your digestive tract unchanged and feed the probiotics, making them a great prebiotic food to power-up your microbiome.

  • Oats: High in beta-glucan soluble fiber, whole oats feed those beneficial probiotics.

  • Flaxseeds: Known for their high omega 3 content, flaxseeds are a healthy prebiotic.

  • Garlic: Garlic can add a spicy and pungent flavor to your meals. While garlic is a tasty addition, it is also a prebiotic food due to its high inulin levels and the naturally occurring fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) making them a naturally occurring prebiotic.

Now let’s take good care of our gut bacteria

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