Probiotics, Prebiotics and Steps To Better Digestive Health
You’ve probably heard of probiotics, but what about prebiotics? Here, we will explain what probiotics and prebiotics are, and how they can lead to better gut health. Probiotics and prebiotics exist in supplement form, but they are widely available in an array of common, every day foods.
Probiotics are active, live cultures just like the bacteria found in your gut. They help to replenish and change intestinal bacteria to balance gut flora. They may help to boost immunity and general health, especially GI health. Strains of probiotics have been used for management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Infectious Diarrhea and Allergy Symptoms.
Prebiotics are the promoters of probiotics! They are natural, non-digestible food components that are linked to the promotion of good bacteria in the gut. Prebiotics may improve GI health as well as increase calcium absorption.
3. Probiotic Foods
Fermented foods are often rich in probiotics. Fermented dairy foods include yogurt, kefir and aged cheeses. For the lactose-intolerant or those who prefer to limit dairy, good sources of probiotics include sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, tempeh and non-dairy cultured yogurt and kefir.
4. Prebiotic Foods
Foods rich in prebiotics include bananas, onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, artichokes, soybeans and whole-wheat foods.
5. Work together
Prebiotics and probiotics work synergistically, and if you examine foods that have been traditionally fermented, such as kimchi, tempeh and sourdough bread made from a sourdough starter, you will see perfect examples of combining probiotic and prebiotic foods. Tempeh combines soybeans with the probiotics of fermentation, and kimchi often includes garlic in the recipe. More examples include bananas with yogurt or sauerkraut on a whole wheat sandwich for a similar effect. Foods that combine probiotics and prebiotics are referred to as synbiotics and can be greatly beneficial for overall health, especially gut health.
Come work with Dr. Karen Leibowitz on your gut health through medical coaching.
Dr. Karen Leibowitz
Health and Medical Coach