Gut Flora: Prebiotics and Probiotics

By Robyn Priebe on 09/11/2013
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bacteriaGuest Post by Janet Zimmerman, RD – Green Mountain at Fox Run Nutrition Intern

Probiotics and prebiotics have recently become hot topics (for good reason I might add!).  Our guts and digestive systems have a lot of bacteria, gut flora, in them that can be harmful or helpful to our health depending on the types.  Unfortunately, there are many things that can destroy the good bacteria in our guts including: NSAIDS, antibiotics, inflammation and chronic stress, lack of sleep, and excessive carbohydrate or fructose consumption.  You may be thinking, why is it so important to have good bacteria?  I’m glad you asked; I will gladly tell you.

Having Healthy Gut Flora (Bacteria) Helps To

  • Regulate nutrient absorption and metabolism
  • Protect against infections and viruses
  • Create other nutrient compounds
  • Prevent gut inflammation
  • Manage weight
  • Support digestion

So, as we can see by the list above, having a healthy gut with good bacteria is important for our health and well-being!  Now, you may be wondering is there anything you can do to restore your good bacteria if it has been destroyed. YES! You can take probiotics as a supplement or you can eat REAL FOOD that supports your gut health.  The latter is always the place that I recommend starting!

5 Foods to Help Increase Your Good Bacteria (Probiotics)

  1. Miso
  2. Yogurt
  3. Sauerkraut & other fermented vegetables
  4. Kombucha & fermented teas
  5. Keifer

 

5 Foods that Contain Prebiotics (Food for the good bacteria in your gut) 

  1. Garlic and Onions
  2. Whole grains
  3. Bananas
  4. Honey
  5. Artichokes

The chance to restore your gut health is just bites away.  Start trying to incorporate more foods rich in probiotics and prebiotics this week and see if you notice any difference.

 

How will you incorporate more foods rich in prebiotics and probiotics this week?

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