Posted By: CustomVite Nutrition Team Date: December 29, 2017 Comments: 0
In our digestive tract, there are billions of bacterial organisms floating around. However, not all of them are harmful. Probiotics are friendly bacteria that live in your intestines and increase your body’s immunity to defend against disease. They function by controlling the growth of disease-causing bacteria. Prebiotics, on the other hand, are indigestible carbohydrates, or plant fibers, that act as the energy, or fertilizer, for probiotics. The main role of both probiotics and prebiotics is to maintain a healthy digestive system. Maintaining digestive health can be the solution to many other health issues such as acne, low energy, and much more! If the body fails to digest nutritious foods properly, then there’s going to be issues with nutrient absorption which can affect your skin and even your metabolism.
Malnutrition, poor eating habits, and unhealthy lifestyles can all negatively impact the health of your gut. Taking antibiotics is also an issue in this regard, but usually it’s completely unavoidable since antibiotics are often necessary to kill harmful bacteria. But in that same process, the antibiotics also wipe out probiotics leading to an imbalance of good vs bad bacteria in the gut flora. Yogurt is one of the best sources of probiotics. The good bacteria, like lactobacillus and bifidobacteria, help to strengthen your immune system and play a major role in maintaining a healthy digestive tract. Other good food sources include sauerkraut, miso soup, and fermented soft cheeses. It’s the process of fermentation that actually produces these beneficial organisms. Foods that are rich in prebiotics include complex carbohydrates such as asparagus, oatmeal, bananas, and legumes.
At times, it may be difficult to consume fermented food items, so probiotic supplementation may be one of the best alternatives. If you are taking antibiotics and planning to supplement with probiotics, make sure to wait at least three hours before taking the probiotics, so there is no interference with the medication. If you don’t like dairy or are lactose intolerant, it may be difficult to keep a balanced digestive tract without taking probiotic nutritional supplements.
For overall gut health, we recommended to consume complex carbohydrates, fermented foods, yogurt, and supplemental probiotics. These dietary adjustments will not only provide your gut with a host of friendly bacteria, but may also help your entire body to function at its best.
(1) Probiotics and Prebiotics: Ask the Nutritionist on WebMD. (n.d.). Retrieved December 21, 2017, https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/nutrition-vitamins-11/probiotics
(2) Smith, P. W. (2007). What you must know about vitamins, minerals, herbs & more: choosing the nutrients that are right for you. Garden City Park, NY: S