Probiotics, Prebiotics And How To Keep A Healthy Gut
Our guts have 100 trillion bacteria, most of them “good” bacteria. Unfortunately, those good bacteria are starving due to our reliance on fast-food, simple carbohydrates and saturated fats, instead of adequate plant-based fiber.
People are beginning to understand the role the gut plays in overall health, and probiotics have become an important tool in the fight against chronic disease. But did you know that prebiotics may be just as essential to maintaining a healthy microbiome?
Prebiotics shouldn’t be confused with probiotics (good bacteria for your gut). While probiotics help you maintain a healthy digestive tract and prevent gut diseases, prebiotics are nondigestible compounds that help probiotics grow and thrive, so they can continue to keep your gut healthy.
To promote and maximize a healthy gut, you should eat prebiotic-rich foods. Here’s a quick list of prebiotic foods you can begin incorporating into your diet:
Dandelion greens are leafy green vegetables that are made up of 25% prebiotic fiber.
Vegetables such as garlic, onion, leeks, chives, and scallions are great choices. Add them to food raw for the best source of prebiotics.
Whole-grain and sprouted-grain breads
Wheat germ, whole wheat berries
Apple cider vinegar (organic)
We feed our healthy gut bacteria through probiotics — both via eating the right foods and taking probiotic supplements. But each of us has a different microbioome (due to our genes, diet, geographical location and daily exposure) responsive to different probiotic cultures — Acidophilus, Lactobacillus, and the Bifidobacteria, being the most important. But keep in mind that to cultivate a diverse and healthy microbiome, prebiotics are also essential. So don’t forget to eat your avocado!