Why You Need More Than Just Probiotics for Gut Health
Probiotics are all the rage in wellness circles…and with good reason. Capsules enriched with strains of beneficial bacteria can help curb inflammation, ease digestive issues, and improve your mental state. That’s a tall order. Therefore, probiotics need a little backup. If you really want your probiotics to improve your gut health, you need to feed them. Their food of choice is prebiotics. Here is everything you need to know about getting prebiotics in your diet.
What are Prebiotics?
Prebiotics are fibers that our body can’t break down. When we consume these foods, they will sit inside the gut. From there, the bacteria in your system will feast on these fibers.
When we consume food, our body breaks down the solid particles and stores it in our fat. When it’s needed, the molecules are converted into energy. This process propels us through our day, both physically and mentally.
Like us, bacteria are living beings. Once you get over the gross-out factor, learn to embrace it. We’ve had bacteria all along, and we’ve been doing pretty darn good with them there. Just like the human race, there are good bacteria, and there are bad. There are many determining factors as to which stay in your system, but the number one is your diet.
If you have excellent guests at your party, you’d want to serve them good food in hopes they stay. Unwanted guests should get things they hate–like broccoli. The same can be said for probiotics and harmful bacteria.
Beneficial bacteria that helped form your immune system when you were born can’t survive a consistent diet laden with fried foods and packaged goods. These dietary choices are chock full of saturated fats that clog up arteries, artificial sweeteners that have adverse reactions with organic compounds in your body, and preservatives that add to your blood pressure.
In turn, your gut gets plagued with inflammation that destroys beneficial bacteria and your gut lining. Consequently, harmful bacteria and toxins from your small intestine can start to leak into your bloodstream. These may result in several conditions that range from infections to autoimmune disease.
Instead, you should eat more wholesome foods. Eating foods in their organic form mean they have compounds within them that your body can understand. Therefore, you can use their vitamins and minerals for antioxidants, to repair your gut lining, or even boost your mental disposition.
Which Foods Are Prebiotics?
You can receive plenty of prebiotics from an everyday diet of whole foods. However, not one single food is created equally. Some foods are very easy for our body to digest. While others will stick around as dinner for your beneficial bacteria.
Healthy foods that are hard for you to digest, but easy for your probiotics to break down include:
- Jerusalem Artichoke
- Dandelion Greens
When probiotics consume these foods, the byproduct is butyrate acid. Research on butyrate acid suggests that this derivative of amino acids may have anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, probiotics not only grow strong by eating prebiotics but their waste also helps repair the system.
While prebiotics is ideal for probiotics, not all of these foods will suffice for specific beneficial bacteria strains. That’s because probiotics are just as picky of eaters as we can be. Here is how you can make the most of your probiotics by picking the right prebiotic foods to feed them.
We all have different dietary preferences. That means each of our gut has a unique ratio of various strains of stomach bacteria. The best way to determine which stomach bacteria is causing you problems and which probiotics your lacking is to get your gut tested.
Microbiome testing is growing in popularity amongst health-tech enthusiasts. If you want optimal gut health, a generic probiotic won’t do. Adding more bacteria, you already have in your gut is like pouring water into an already sinking ship. Plug up the hole with microbiome testing, personalized probiotics, and consuming prebiotic-rich foods.