Did you know you have 10x the amount of bacteria in your body than the cells that make up your body? There’s good bacteria and bad bacteria. We’re filled and covered with bacteria, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. With a healthy diet, the good bacteria should be able to thrive and out number bad bacteria. Unfortunately, there are many reasons the good bacterium gets killed off and the bad bacteria starts to damage our gut and entire body. We’re going to look at how to maintain good levels of healthy bacteria in your gut through a prebiotic diet.
Probiotics are good bacteria that are important for your gut health. Probiotics keep things working how they are supposed to work. Prebiotics are the food probiotics need to grow and thrive. Prebiotics work as a fertilizer, growing probiotics, and good bacteria so it can push out the bad bacteria from your body. Many people take probiotics to help with gut health, but they forget to give probiotics the food they need to flourish.
There are different types of prebiotics. Oligosaccharides are the healthiest. Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) is a common type of oligosaccharide found in plants. Inulin and polysaccharides are other common prebiotics found in plants that are good for your health. Prebiotics are non-digestible fibres that your body can’t use. While the human body can’t digest these fibres, good bacteria can.
Prebiotics are used to increase friendly bacteria such as bifidobacterium, bifidum and longum, and Lacto bacillus acidophilus. While you don’t need to remember the names of these bacteria, it is important to know what they do for you. Healthy levels of these good gut bacteria have shown to help with digestive disorders, food sensitivities, autoimmune disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, and even skin conditions. They are necessary to heal and maintain a healthy gut.
Studies have provided strong evidence that prebiotics can positively change your lipid profile. This change results in a lowered risk of developing coronary heart disease.
There are some possible adverse effects from getting too many prebiotics in your diet. Since this is a fibre it shouldn’t surprise you that too many prebiotics can cause flatulence.
There are many foods that will help you maintain a prebiotic diet. Prebiotics are found in vegetables and can fit into most any diet. Check out this prebiotic foods list:
Chicory root- Chicory root is famous for its flavour and can be used as a coffee substitute, or to make ale. It also contains as much as 20% inulin, one of the main types of prebiotics. Chicory root has proven to be an efficient source of prebiotic, and is a common ingredient in prebiotic supplements.
Dandelion greens- Dandelion greens are a great source of vitamin A and vitamin K1. Plus they contain folate, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, vitamin C, vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, calcium, iron, and manganese. On top of all of these nutrients, they are about 25% prebiotics.
Garlic- Garlic has many healing properties and has been used to treat ailments for millennia. Garlic is about 17% prebiotics, which is still a good amount. Garlic is great for your gut and your immune system.
Leeks, onions, jicama, asparagus, and bananas are all also good sources of prebiotics in smaller amounts.
If you want to love your gut and yourself you’ll need to maintain a healthy amount of probiotics AND prebiotics in your diet.