PROBIOTICS & PREBIOTICS
After a weekend of not eating great and not getting enough sleep, my stomach and body is asking for a break and a little bit of a reset. My body seems to react very quickly when I do things that aren’t good for it like not eating enough, eating too fast, drinking alcohol, eating peanut butter (apparently we don’t get along right now), not getting enough sleep, not getting enough water, wearing heels and dancing for 5 hours 🙃… etc, etc, etc. (que bloat, nausea & constipation) Yet at the same time it seems like it takes for ever to feel the effects of all the good things I do! (Does anyone else feel this way? )
One of the many things I do to try and stay healthy is making sure I get my probiotics. We all know that gut health is #1 and our gut biome (or gut bacteria) is what makes or breaks the way our guts work and inevitably our health. So if I’ve been taking probiotics for x many days, for x many years then shouldn’t my gut biome be perfect?!
This is where the prebiotics come in. We hear about probiotics all the time, we can take supplements or we can eat it in foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha or kimchi! We know that probiotics have a huge impact on our health ( read more about probiotics here) But what do we know about prebiotics? My answer is- we probably don’t know enough.
Prebiotics are basically food for your probiotics. Yes, our gut bacteria is alive and if we want to keep the good bacteria we are getting, then we have to feed it! Prebiotics are a fiber compound that can be found in many foods (if you want to get all scientific the are called oligosaccharides) . This fiber is not broken down by gastric juices or digestive enzymes so it is able to make it down to the intestines where all of our good bacteria is!
When our good bacteria is high we experience a higher immune function, better hormonal balance, improved digestion, lower inflammation & autoimmune responses, lower stress response and healthier cholesterol levels! Yay, we love you healthy gut bacteria!
So our gut biome has some food preferences clearly, but when they are happy so are we! What exactly should we be eating then to get our prebiotics? Most likely you have been eating prebiotics all along and haven’t even realized. Some of the best prebiotics are:
- Raw chicory root
- Raw dandelion greens
- Raw garlic
- Raw leeks
- Raw & cooked onions
- Raw asparagus
- Baked wheat flour
- Raw banana
- Coconut meat & flour
- Flax Seeds
- Chia Seeds
- DARK CHOCOLATE
- Pumpkin seeds
- More here
When I first found out about prebiotics it was from my holistic naet practitioner who wanted me to eat raw asparagus & dark chocolate as my snacks. I was like you are telling me to eat dark chocolate?!? He said yea just for a little bit, we have been building up your biome & if we don’t feed it then the bad bacteria (candida, dysbacteriosis & other ones with crazy names) will start to take over again. I can tell a huge difference when I make sure to have both my pre & probiotics.
Basically the key here is to balance the probiotic intake & the prebiotics intake. Feed your body & feed your biome! If you don’t normally eat any of these prebiotics then try to add some to one meal daily or as a snack! I suggest the dark chocolate, my favorite brand and what I added to this yogurt bowl is this primal chocolate which is good for anyone who is vegan or paleo!
Remember that health is a never ending journey. I learn new things everyday and get so inspired and motivated by the people around me and the people on instagram! By making small changes every day we start to see the small differences in our lives. If you feel like you have been working hard on getting your gut health healthy then add more prebiotics.
Happy gut = happy life
Be well everyone!