Keep Your Gut Happy With Probiotic & Prebiotic Foods

Article by Kate Bevan Wood
probiotic & prebiotic

A wonderful article by our Nutrition Ambassador, Kate Bevan Wood. Check out her page for more posts.

Keep Your Gut Happy With Probiotic & Prebiotic Foods

 

Many people have heard of the words probiotics and prebiotic by now, but do you know what they are and what they do to keep our gut happy?

Our bodies are full of good and bad bacteria, these form part of our human microbiota which consists of 10-100 trillion microbial cells, primarily bacteria within our gut (1).  These need to have a balance so that we can keep our bodies in harmony and our guts happy.

There are many reasons why our bacteria may get unbalanced which results in symptoms ranging from digestive concerns through to fatigue, skin allergies and mental health conditions.

 

Probiotic food and drinks

These include good bacteria that line the gut and help with nutrient absorption, improved digestion, immune support and increased energy.  Probiotics, or “good bacteria,” have also been shown in studies to have a beneficial impact on mood symptoms (2)

So if you include probiotic foods on a daily basis will help increase the good bacteria in your gut.

 

Here’s my top 8 list of foods to look out for:

  • Sauerkraut – raw or homemade fermented cabbage, use as a side dish.
  • Kimchi – a Korean side dish made from fermented vegetables.
  • Kefir – traditionally a cultured dairy product but you can also make kefir from coconut for dairy free version.
  • Kombucha – a refreshing fermented tea beverage which is now available in many different flavours.
  • Natural yoghurt – choose a live cultured one ideally from grass fed animals.
  • Apple cider vinegar (with The Mother) – a whole host of benefits including being a probiotic food, use in sauces or as a dressing.
  • Miso – fermented soybean with brown rice traditionally from Japan, great in soups or broths.
  • Tempeh – an Indonesian fermented soybean product that can be used as a substitute in salads or stir fry.

 

Prebiotic foods

You will find fibres which are not easily broken down by the body, therefore they provide a good source of food for probiotics to grow, multiply and survive in the gut (2)

Not only do Prebiotics fuel our good bacteria and encourage its growth but they are also fermented into short chain fatty acids which provide energy for the cells in the gut lining.

 

Include the following foods in your diet to increase prebiotics:

  • Asparagus
  • Cabbage
  • Leeks
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Beans and pulses
  • Bananas
  • Jerusalem Artichokes

It’s essential to have a diet rich in probiotic and prebiotic foods to keep our friendly (and not so friendly) bacteria happy and balanced.

 

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3426293/, accessed 10/07/17

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3788166/, accessed 10/07/17

https://www.optibacprobiotics.co.uk/live-cultures., accessed 10/07/17

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