They contribute to long term health in a multitude of ways like reducing inflammation, improving digestion and absorption of nutrients and boosting your overall immune system. And, the well you maintain your gut health, the efficient your brain functions. Check the gut brain connection.
Prebiotics And Probiotics:
There is always a bit of confusion as to what exactly contributes to gut health and what are ‘probiotics’ and ‘prebiotics.’ Let’s keep this analogy simple. Imagine your gut is comprised of ‘good bacteria’ (probiotics) and ‘bad bacteria’ (pathogens). Check the benefits of probiotics.
Now, in the fight between the good and bad bacteria, we obviously want the good bacteria or probiotics to remain victorious! Probiotic bacteria and pathogens feed on different kinds of foods and luckily they both respond very quickly! So in almost 24 hours, you can start to change your gut health based on the food you eat.
What Are Prebiotics?
These are nothing but the food for the probiotics to feed on which comprises mostly of the fiber found in plant-based foods.
While the probiotics fight the war against pathogens in the gut – when one consumes ‘prebiotic foods’ in the form of natural plant-based food or supplements, the probiotics are fed and thus grow in number to win the war of long-term gut health!
Since prebiotic fiber does not contain nor needs to contain any living bacteria to be effective, it costs less, lasts longer and can be better incorporated in food, compared to probiotics.
Benefits Of Prebiotics:
- Increases absorption of calcium and magnesium
- Promotes stronger bones and increases bone density
- Helps to boost immunity
- Generates more ‘good bacteria’ in the gut
- Reduces blood triglyceride levels
- Improves bowel regularity
List Of Prebiotic Foods:
Common Prebiotic Foods With Inulin And FOS (Fructooligosaccharides):
- Chicory Root
- Dandelion greens
A serving of green vegetables like the ones mentioned or even an assorted fruits/vegetables salad bowl can be a healthy option to include in your daily diet to get a good dose of prebiotics.
When you eat junk food that comprises of simple sugars, you feed the ‘bad bacteria’ in your gut. So don’t forget to consume a good quantity of prebiotics in a day to ensure longterm health!
Go ahead and feed the friendly bacteria in your gut to help them grow.