It’s safe to say that gut health is the prime foundation of holistic and all-rounded health.
In a healthy state, your gut can do all the right things for you, you perhaps wouldn’t even need added supplementation of probiotics or prebiotics to aid the digestive process. But in today’s fast-paced times, unhealthy diets, and the approach towards maintaining a healthy relationship with your food has quickly fallen behind.
The average American adult needs approximately 25 to 35 grams of high fiber, to supplement the gut bacteria and aid in the replication process.
Things start to worsen when you mainly concentrate on high fat, high cholesterol processed foods without an adequate intake of high fiber diets, such as whole wheat grains, fruits, and vegetables.
If you’re someone who suffers from poor digestion, feel continuously bloated, or suffer from a medical condition that limits your fiber intake, the added supplementation of pre- and probiotics can do wonders for striking the perfect balance.
What Are Prebiotics?
Contrary to popular belief, prebiotics doesn’t contain any kind of gut bacteria. Instead, probiotics are made up of carbohydrates that are devoid of the ability to absorb in the G.I tract. They mainly act as a rich source of carbs for the gut bacteria to feed on and grow further in the gut to maintain the digestive process. All prebiotics are essentially a type of dietary fiber, that mainly adds bulk to the stool and aid in the digestive process.
Commonly used prebiotics include bananas, legumes, onions, artichokes, and asparagus to name a few. Prebiotics are usually found commercially in both liquid and powdered forms, often combined with a probiotic. Prebiotics, on its own, do not provide any additional benefits to the body. However, if you buy probiotics and prebiotics and use them together, they can prove to be a help to your immune system.
And What Are Probiotics?
When people generally talk about probiotics, they are referring to two families of live bacteria species, namely the lactobacillus family and the Bifidobacterium family. These are a group of bacterial species, naturally found within the alimentary tract. These bacterial species together form the natural biome of our gut that aids in the digestive process, boost gut health and immunity levels, and maintains the gut flora. The presence of these live bacteria ensures that the gut biome is naturally balanced with a host of good bacteria that ensures smooth functioning.
Although these bacteria are naturally found in the gut, nowadays they are available as live cultures in both pill and liquid form to consume on a daily basis. If you despise the synthetic form, you can try incorporating certain foods in your diet that are loaded with probiotics. Examples include fermented foods such as kefir, kimchi, tempeh, kombucha, and pickles to name a few. Cultured nondairy yogurts and sauerkraut are also natural forms of beneficial probiotics.
The Concept Of A Synbiotic Diet
As mentioned before, prebiotics, namely the indigestible carbohydrates, do not work well on their own, which is why they are often combined with probiotics to reap the maximum benefits.
The concept of a synbiotic diet has emerged recently and has proven to impact people’s health and gastrointestinal functioning to a great extent.
Essentially, the combination of a prebiotic with a probiotic can act as a super combo for your gut, which is why you should buy probiotics and prebiotics together.
The supplementation of good live cultured bacteria, along with a healthy dose of indigestible and carbohydrate-rich fibers ensures that the bacteria have adequate fuel to keep replicating and maintaining the normal G.I flora of the gut.
In other words, prebiotics act synergistically to improve the functioning of live probiotics.
Products that combine the two together are known as synbiotics. Some examples of symbiotic diets include enjoying a heavy topping of bananas on your cultured yogurt parfait, or perhaps a tempeh stir-fry served with asparagus on the side. These little modifications can lead to maximum benefits for your gut health, and helping to keep the gut flora regularized.
Risk And Side Effects To Look For
It’s important to keep in mind that live bacterial cultures can still have some sort of side effects and to avoid these, you should only buy probiotics and prebiotics that are regularized and approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Bacterial cultures, although grown in scientifically controlled environments do carry a nominal risk of allergenic potential, so it’s important to keep that in mind.
In short, a symbiotic diet can do wonders for your digestive health, just be sure to monitor your dietary habits and look out for signs of bloating and constipation. Good luck!