PRObiotics are “good” bacteria that live in your gastrointestinal tract, helping digestion by… cleaning the gut. You can get them from yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, pickles, miso, dark chocolate(!!!), kombucha(fermented tea), tempeh(a tofu alternative). Being living things, probiotics need to be fed well, so they stay healthy and active, working for your benefit.
PREbiotics are food ingredients that help support growth of probiotic bacteria. Basically probiotics eat prebiotics. Prebiotics are fibre, we do not digest it, but probiotics love it. Foods that are a good source of prebiotics: asparagus, bananas, onions, garlic, cabbage, artichokes, leeks, beans, legumes (chickpeas, lentils, green beans), root veg.
Why do we want the good bacteria?
Probiotics are anti-inflammatory, they eliminate gas, bloating, reflux, allergies, nausea, food poisoning and vomiting, dermatitis, and even may alleviate irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
What can unbalance our gut bacteria:
- poor diet (sugar, alcohol, processed foods, over-eating, preservatives)
- too much animal-based protein, especially processed
How much we need:
If you are healthy, aim for 1-2 servings of PRObiotic-rich foods and 2-3 servings of PREbiotic-rich foods each day.
If you are looking to eliminate a gut-related health issue, taking supplements of PRE and PRO-biotics would be a good idea. Dosage is individual, of course, obvs always check with your doctor first – people with low immunity can develop infections from probiotic microbes. Also as bacteria release toxins, you may actually feel worse before you feel better.
The moral of the story:
Feed your PRObiotics with PREbiotics and these live bacteria will work efficiently, helping to your overall health, metabolism, digestion, and body composition.
Leaving you with a couple of links to useful reads and recipes 🙂