Nowadays, people are making the shift from reacting to sickness to being proactive about their health. One way to bolster your health is to incorporate prebiotics and probiotics into your diet to ensure that your microbiomes are balanced, and your gut remains healthy. So what exactly are probiotics, prebiotics, and microbiomes? What are some gut problems that exist, and how can we fix them? And what are the benefits of probiotics and prebiotics? I’ve answered these questions and have tips that you can employ to ensure that your gut is healthy. Check out my video and article below, and reach out to me for more information about probiotics, prebiotics, and nutrition!
What Are Prebiotics, Probiotics, and Microbiomes?
Let’s start by defining the terms:
Probiotics: Probiotics are living microorganisms that can be consumed in order to flourish in our gut. There, probiotics aid our natural digestive process, which helps to reduce inflammation, improve immunity, and provide a litany of other health benefits. Probiotics are available in various foods, including yogurt, kombucha, and kefir. You can also take probiotics in the form of a pill.
Prebiotics: Prebiotics aid the growth of microorganisms in the gut. Dietary prebiotics are foods high in fiber that cannot be digested in the upper section of the gastrointestinal tract (the mouth, esophagus, and stomach). Once prebiotics reach the intestines, they serve as food for microorganisms that thrive in the gut.
Microbiomes: Microbiomes are small symbiotic biomes scattered throughout the human body (including in the gut). We’re born supporting microbiomes, which in turn support our health. Each biome can have parasitic life forms and beneficial life forms. Probiotics can replenish helpful bacteria in the gut microbiome, while mitigating the growth of parasitic bacteria and other life forms. The gut microbiome can impact the integrity of our intestinal lining, which can keep harmful bacteria out of the bloodstream.
Signs of Gut Problems (And How to Fix Them)
Oftentimes, when I discuss gut problems, people think that I’m only speaking about the stomach. But gut problems can compound to create problems throughout the whole body. If you have a poor microbiome in your gut, you may have localized issues, like bloating and inflammation, but these issues can lead to greater problems. Those with a poor gut microbiome may also experience immunity issues, they may have low energy, and they may even have skin conditions (including dermatitis, eczema, etc.).
Developing a healthy gut microbiome will aid in reducing inflammation of the gut, while improving the delivery of nutrients to the bloodstream. This aids the overall health of an individual, and can improve their immunity, increase their energy, and even enhance their mood. Consuming probiotics and prebiotics can help to improve the health of the gut microbiome, and the overall health of an individual.
The Benefits of Probiotics & Prebiotics
Probiotics and prebiotics work hand in hand to create a microbiome that aids our digestion, nutrition uptake, and overall health. Taking probiotics will introduce new, beneficial strains of bacteria to the gut while helping to balance the gut microbiome. Consuming prebiotics will create a supportive environment for beneficial microflora (like the bacteria in probiotics) to thrive.
With a healthy microbiome, you may notice fewer ailments (from allergies to diarrhea to headaches), and better overall health (including more energy and an improved mood).
If you’re considering adding a probiotic and prebiotic regimen to your diet, be sure to keep these tips in mind:
Consume probiotics and prebiotics daily: Consume probiotics and prebiotics every day to maintain a balanced, healthy microbiome in your gut.
When to consume probiotics: Try to eat your probiotics two hours after eating dinner or just after waking up to give the helpful bacteria a good chance to make it through the acidic upper digestive system to the intestines, where probiotics are most helpful.
Good sources of prebiotics: Prebiotics are available in a number of food sources. Prebiotics can be found in garlic, onions, asparagus, bananas, barley, oats, seaweed, flaxseeds, cocoa, and other sources.
Change up your probiotics every 90 days: If you’re taking a probiotic, be sure to change up the probiotic you’re taking at least once every 90 days to ensure that you consume different strains of helpful bacteria. Also, make sure that your probiotic has a variety of different types of bacteria, and ensure that your probiotic contains billions of units of bacteria — this will give the bacteria a better chance of making it through the upper digestive tract to the intestines.
Start on Your Journey to Health and Wellness
Work with me to eat clean, live clean, and improve your health and wellness! As an integrative nutrition, health, and wellness consultant, it’s my goal to help people. Feel free to reach out to me to learn more about my health coaching services, and about what I can do for you!