Probiotics and Prebiotics: How To Have A Healthy Gut
Did you know there's over 100 trillion microorganisms that are alive inside of each of us? When we hear "microorganisms," we automatically assume bacteria and something bad. Nonetheless, there are many good ones living there that actually benefit your health greatly. Here's how to have a healthy gut with probiotics and prebiotics.
What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are commonly-known, being a live and good microorganism in your gut. They're present in certain fermented foods such as yogurt that contain living cultures, as you can also get them in dietary supplements. An easy way to determine whether a fermented food is likely to contain living cultures is if it’s stored in the fridge at the supermarket or store. If you are buying it off a shelf, it’s been heat-treated and is unlikely to contain any living cultures. When obtained, these healthy bacteria or yeast provide an array of benefits such as reducing antibiotic-associated diarrhea, improving IBS, and preventing the common cold.
What Are Prebiotics?
Probiotics are the live and healthy microorganisms, as prebiotics are their food. Of course, the two work together to contribute to your health. Basically, prebiotics are non-digestible carbohydrates that probiotics eat to help them grow and thrive. The benefits of this is improved calcium absorption, lowered glycemic index of foods, and reduced risk of colorectal cancer. Prebiotics naturally exist in small amounts in certain foods, can be added to grocery items, and also be taken by dietary supplements. The top sources for this are grains, bananas, soy beans, and vegetables. By regularly eating and enjoying these foods, you’re nurturing your own internal bacterial ecosystem - while helping the friendly microorganisms increase in population and flourish in your gut.
Benefits Of Having A Healthy Gut
Research has shown that when you have a right balance of good versus bad microorganisms inside of you, you can experience an array of health benefits. Having a healthy gut boosts your immunity and can prevent diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. Additionally, it regulates metabolism and appetite, while helping you adsorb more vitamins and minerals. Besides physical benefits, new science is even looking for links of healthy guts to mood and behavior. Who would have thought?