Go With Your Gut: Probiotics VS Prebiotics
When things feel don't feel like they're going right in your life... you go with your gut, right? Well what about when things in your stomach don't feel like they're going right? Go with your gut.
You can't really talk about the gut or gut health without talking about probiotics... and prebioitcs, but one step at a time.
It seems like everyone with tummy problems just pops a probiotic and calls it a day. I'm not sure that everyone understands WHAT a probiotic is, and most people have never even heard of prebiotics. Let's go back to basics.
Probiotics are already in your gut! They are the "good" bacteria that make up your microbiome. When you ingest them, they provide your body with health benefits. Introducing more probiotics to your gut will fill you up with more health-boosting "good" bacteria. The goal is to have more "good" bacteria than "bad". Having a healthy balance means healing digestive problems like IBS, diarrhea, gas, bloating and constipation. Popping a probiotic supplement can be helpful, BUT THAT'S NOT ENOUGH! One supplement can't fix everything if you're not doing anything else to support you gut.
One thing you can do, is introduce more natural probiotic-rich foods, like fermented foods.
Probiotic-Rich/Fermented Foods: Sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, yogurt, tempeh, kombucha, and even sourdough bread. Eating a variety of fermented foods means you're getting a variety of probiotics- not just the ones you take every single day in a supplement. Fermented foods are also extremely nutrient dense, and absorb easily so your body can use them for what it needs.
Just like one supplement can't fix everything, just probiotics can't fix everything either. You also need... prebiotics.
Prebiotics are the food that feed the gut bacteria/probiotics. These prebiotic fibers join together with the probiotics and produce nutrients that improve digestion, strengthen your immune system, boost your brain function, and whole list of positive effects on your health.
Prebiotic Foods: garlic, onions, bananas, apples, seaweed, sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes), barley, leeks, oats, jicama, asparagus... but instead of focusing on a list of foods to eat, just remember to eat a lot of different kinds of plants so you get a lot of different kinds of prebiotic fibers to feed all of the different kinds of "good" bacteria in your gut! Be careful - don't dive right in if you're not used to eating a ton of plants and fiber. Take it slow so your gut can adjust!
I hope you go with your gut and feed it the good stuff!