Prebiotics: Nourishing Your Gut

What are Prebiotics?

Prebiotics are non-digestible fibers found in certain foods that serve as fuel for the beneficial bacteria (probiotics) in your gut. These fibers pass through the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract undigested and reach the colon, where they are fermented by the gut bacteria.

Fiber and Prebiotics:

Fiber is a crucial component of prebiotics. Foods rich in fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and seeds, contribute to the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) during fermentation.

Short-Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs):

SCFAs are metabolic byproducts produced when gut bacteria ferment dietary fibers. These acids, particularly butyrate, propionate, and acetate, play essential roles in supporting gut health. Butyrate, for example, is a preferred energy source for the cells lining the colon and contributes to maintaining a healthy gut environment and the prevention of leaky gut.

How SCFAs Contribute to Probiotics:

SCFAs serve as a source of energy and nutrients for the beneficial bacteria in your gut. When these bacteria are well-fed with SCFAs, they can thrive and multiply, contributing to a balanced and diverse gut microbiome. This, in turn, enhances the production of probiotics, fostering a harmonious relationship between the various microorganisms in your digestive system.

Common Prebiotic Foods:

Include these prebiotic-rich foods in your diet: chicory root, dandelion greens, Jerusalem artichoke, garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, bananas, barley, oats, apples, cocoa beans, burdock root, flaxseeds, yacon root, jicama, and seaweed.

Recommended Prebiotic Intake:

  • Raw dandelion greens (add to salads or smoothies)
  • Onions
  • Bananas (more yellow, less ripe)
  • Artichoke
  • Jicama
  • Apples

Probiotics: Cultivating a Healthy Gut

What are Probiotics?

Probiotics are live beneficial bacteria that contribute to a balanced gut microbiome. They can be found in fermented foods and supplements.

Fermentation and Probiotic Production:

Fermented foods undergo a process where beneficial bacteria break down sugars and starches into acids and gases. This fermentation process not only preserves the food but also increases its probiotic content. Consuming fermented foods introduces these live bacteria into your gut, promoting a diverse and resilient microbiome.

Increasing Probiotics Naturally:

In addition to incorporating fermented foods into your diet, increasing your intake of fiber-rich foods helps create an environment in which probiotics can flourish. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and seeds provides the necessary fibers for the production of SCFAs, contributing to the overall health of your gut microbiota.

Probiotic-Rich Foods:

  • Include these foods to boost your probiotic intake:
  • Coconut water kefir and coconut kefir
  • Fermented veggies like sauerkraut, beet kvass, or any fermented veggies
  • Kefir water
  • Cultured yogurts (dairy and plant-based)
  • Apple cider vinegar (raw with the mother, like Bragg’s)
  • Organic unpasteurized miso

Increasing Prebiotics and Probiotics Naturally: ALL ABOUT PLANT FIBER

Simply increasing your intake of veggies, fruits, beans, and seeds to encourage your gut to produce more probiotics.

Encouraging Probiotic Intake in Kids:

Kid/Family-Friendly Prebiotics:

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Whole cooked steel-cut oats
  • Whole cooked barley
  • Asparagus
  • Jicama
  • Dandelion greens in smoothies
  • Onions (raw or cooked in dishes)
  • Bragg’s apple cider vinegar
  • Chia seeds (e.g., chia pudding)

Additional Resources:

Explore these resources for more information and recipes:

https://paleoleap.com/fermented-food-recipes/

https://nourishedkitchen.com/fermented-vegetables/

https://www.feastingathome.com/fermented-pickles/

https://healthstartsinthekitchen.com/how-to-make-fermented-ketchup/#recipe

Recommended Brands:

Consider trying these trusted brands I love and use for your probiotic and fermented food needs:

https://fermentingfairy.com/

https://www.bubbies.com/  

https://www.sonomabrinery.com/

 My Favorite Prebiotic brand!

Consider incorporating a prebiotic powder like Hyperbiotics Prebiotic Powder into your routine. It contains a blend of prebiotics that support digestion and the growth of beneficial bacteria. 

My Favorite prebiotic superfood ~ organic Pomegranate Powder

Pomegranate powder contains dietary fiber, which can act as a prebiotic, nourish beneficial bacteria in the gut. Providing a source of food for these bacteria, promoting their growth and activity.

Pomegranate can Influence Akkermansia production. Akkermansia muciniphila is a type of crucial beneficial gut bacteria associated with a healthy gut, brain, metabolic health and low inflammation throughout the body. Additionally the polyphenols in pomegranate may have a positive impact on gut bacteria composition.

My Favorite Probiotic brands:

Best for daily use:  MegaFood MegaFlora Probiotic 

Best for Constipation: Renew Life Probiotic Colon Care  

Best for Diarrhea: Nature’s Way Primadophilus Reuteri Probiotics 

Best for SIBO: Klaire Labs Lactoprime Plus Probiotic

Best for therapeutic use: Orthobiotic Probiotic selection

Best with or post antibiotic use:  Klaire Labs ABX Support Probiotic

Best for Allergies or High Histamine related issues:  Seeking Health ProBiota HistaminX

Best for Metabolic health and weight loss: Renew Life Metabolic Boost Pre + Pro + Postbiotic

Best for for Women’s vaginal and urinary health: Garden of Life, Dr. Formulated Women’s Probiotics Once Daily

Best for infants: Mama Natural Baby Probiotic Drops

Best for toddlers/kids: USDA Organic Liquid Probiotic by MaryRuth’s

 

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you.