Prebiotics & Probiotics – Why You Need Both
One thing I find pleasing in today’s world is that more and more people are learning about and taking notice of the importance of the gut biome. This is the central plaza if you like where all of the action is in relation to providing good nutrition to our body.
I liken it to a warehouse full of farm produce. If it is clean organic produce then the food will be making a positive impact on people it is distributed to. If it is produce filled with chemicals then it will have an adverse effect on the people it is distributed to.
Our gut biome is no different and the more it is looked after the healthier we will be.
Hopefully you have heard about probiotics and prebiotics and this article will give you a clear explanation of both and their importance.
Probiotics are the good bacteria that live in the gut and they help in many ways. What you also need to understand is that we have good and bad bacteria in our body, but we need the good guys performing well to ensure a healthy gut and digestion tract that can allow the maximum amount of nutrients into our body.
So what is it that probiotics can do to help us?
- They assist with the breakdown and digestion of food
- They help us to maintain a healthy gut flora
- They ensure that our immune system is functioning at an optimum level
- Because of the direct link between our gut and our brain, these probiotics can play a role in how we feel and how we think. Research has found that they also produce neurotransmitters like: serotonin, dopamine and GABA.
- Probiotics can also help to regulate and improve the production of hormones like insulin and leptin.
Prebiotics are the food that feeds the probiotics, derived from the non-digestible fibre we consume. They assist the good bacteria (probiotics) to grow and flourish in out gut.
So this is a bit like a marriage made in heaven, where the prebiotics and probiotics work together to help support our microbiome. To give you an idea on the number of bacteria; our bodies are made up of 70% of bacteria. That translates into trillions of bacteria all working together to keep us healthy.
We need our probiotics to be fed by the prebiotics, otherwise, the probiotics would starve and without them our bodies would be open to disease. Common gut issues characteristic of a poor gut biome include leaky gut, weakened immune system and constipation.
Consequently, we can safely say that probiotics will assist with a healthier gut and immune system, diarrhea, weight loss, lowering blood pressure and mental health (the gut biome is likened to having a second brain).
The best food source for probiotic bacteria include ferments like:
Prebiotic benefits can include things like, better mineral absorption, anti-inflammatory, protect the immune system and the existence of potential anti-cancer properties. They can also contribute to normalized blood sugar levels, help with weight loss and with the absorption of minerals into our body, can boost bone health.
The best food sources for Prebiotic foods include:
- Mexican Yam
- Chicory Root
- Dandelion Greens
- Leafy Greens like Spinach, Chard, Beetroot Greens
- Legumes – Lentils, Chick Peas, beans (oligosaccharides prebiotic)
- Bananas (not over ripe)
Can We Consume Prebiotic & Probiotic Foods Together?
The answer is yes, because one is feeding the other, so it is the perfect match. The scientific word for this is “synbiotic”. Additionally, there is nothing wrong with eating them separately either.
The area where most people are deficient is in the probiotic foods, which are our ferments. To get the best result for your gut, you need to be taking probiotics daily and NOT relying on a supplement to keep you going.
Your gut needs live food, so the ferments are very, very important. Taking a small amount with each meal will help your gut to experience new heights of health.
Additionally, if you are a meat eater, then you should try to reduce the amount and regularity of meat in your diet, since it is quite acidic and takes a lot longer to digest in our gut and digestive tract.
One main issue with gut health is the lack of “servicing” of the gut. For example, just think about your car engine. How many times a year do you get it serviced?
I would say at least 3-4 times a year, to keep it in good running order.
Now, think about how often the average person “services” their gut. I’m sure the answer will be – no very often, if at all. This becomes a fundamental problem for the digestion of nuritents from out digestive tract into our body.
Well, if you think about the build up of waste that sticks to your intestinal wall over say 20, 30, 40, 50 years, that is not removed regularly, you will realize that this becomes a huge problem for the best absorption of nutrients into our body.
It is imperative that on a regular basis you detox and clean out your gut and intestinal tract to keep the wall clean, giving your body maximum nutrient absorption.
Things like Activated Coconut Charcoal and powders on the market for gut cleansing, containing wild and organics herbs in a powdered form can produce very good results.
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So, in conclusion you need both prebiotics and probiotics in your everyday eating plan and the roles they play contribute to better digestion, a strong immune system, improved mental health, more effective absorption of minerals and nutrients into your body, to name a few.
Remember probiotics are the good bacteria that live in our gut and prebiotics feed them.
As always, please do click through to our website Akuna Wellness and browse more valuable articles and products designed to build amazing health and wellness!