We started to hear a lot about the importance of probiotics when gut health started hitting the news about five years ago. It was exciting to think that the solution to so many of our health ailments could be attributed to a gut imbalance. Everything from digestive issues to feeling blue to skin problems to a low immune system could be attributed to a gut imbalance. (But always check with your health professional first if you feel you might have an unhealthy gut.)
Often when we have a feeling our gut is imbalanced, we’ll reach for fermented foods like sauerkraut, yogurt, or even beer to get a solid serving of probiotics. Probiotics are different living yeasts or bacteria like lactobacillus and bifidobacterium that are found in fermented foods that contribute to a diversified and balanced gut flora. They help break down food during the digestion process, making the absorption of nutrients much easier.
Less well known are prebiotics which is just as important for a healthy gut. Prebiotics are nondigestible carbohydrates that act as food for the probiotics and bacteria in your gut. If you’re making sure you’re getting your probiotics for a healthy and well-balanced gut, then you need to keep that important community in your digestive tract fed!
You’ll probably be surprised to find that prebiotic supplements aren’t actually that easy to find, probably because you needn’t look further than the produce aisle. Jerusalem artichokes, apples, raw garlic or onions, leeks, asparagus, bananas, barley, flax seeds, and oats are all solid sources of prebiotics that will keep your gut flora happy. But remember that you’re going to get the most prebiotic content from raw versions of these foods so apple pie or broiled garlic isn’t going to give the same results as eating them raw.
Read more about amazing facts about your gut here!