Prebiotics: What They Are And Why You Need Them
If you read my blog regularly or follow me on social media, you know I believe in vitamins and supplements. Our food supply, even if you are eating organic, is unable to give us high enough doses of nutrients to ward off illness and disease. While I am mostly plant-based, I believe in supporting my body with vitamins and supplements.
I always think about what am I eating, what am I trying to prevent from an illness perspective and what supplements can help me? Enter prebiotics. Prebiotics, by definition, are natural, non-digestible food components that help promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. Prebiotics are found in whole grains, fruits and vegetables. (Source: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics)
Prebiotics provide a variety of health benefits. Dr. Axe states that prebiotics are good for suppressing autoimmune reactions, helps maintain weight, regulate hormones and improved mood. Also, prebotics provide food for the good bacteria in our gut. When our good bacteria is not being fed, bad bacteria can take over and make us less able to fight illness and disease.
Healthline states one of the things your good gut bacteria do with prebiotic fiber is turn it into a short-chain fatty acid called butyrate. Butyrate has been extensively studied, and has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects inside the colon. It may also influence gene expression, block the growth of cancerous cells and help provide fuel to healthy cells so that they can grow and divide normally.
But you may be thinking, my health is OK, why would I need prebiotics? Most of us have symptoms that are telling us our health is not OK but we have simply accepted them as either part of life, getting older or just what we've been dealing with all of our lives.
Do you suffer from gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, lack of energy, moodiness, skin rashes, abdominal pain, anxiety, frequent belching or stomach gurgling? These are symptoms that something is wrong with your gut. You can heal your gut and overcome these embarrassing symptoms by eating foods that contain prebiotics. Not sure where to start? I am here to help!
I am a Certified Holistic Nutritionist teaching people just like you how to stop suffering from the embarrassing effects of an unhealthy gut so you can get back to living. The TAKE YOUR LIFE BACK coaching call is a FREE 30 minute call where we will talk about your specific symptoms and start creating a crystal clear plan on how to heal using the Simply Great Gut Health program.
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Now, back to prebiotics. Since prebiotics are found in foods, you may think you are getting enough prebiotics from your diet. But it may not always be feasible to eat foods that are high in prebiotics. Plus, you may not like them. Below is a list of prebiotic foods.
This is why I look to supplements to help bridge the gap. Amazing Wellness Magazine states that if you are looking for a supplement, for general health maintenance you should take a combination of probiotic and prebiotic that contains 50 Billion CFUs (colony forming units) and a prebiotic fiber such as inulin. If you don't want to take a pill, you can use a prebiotic fiber. Garden of Life has a Dr. Formulated product that provides 5 grams of prebiotic fiber per serving.
If you prefer to eat your prebiotics, below are some recipes to try.
Slow Roasted Leeks with Toasted Grains and Pesto. This recipe found on the One Green Planet website, combines leeks and farro with a spicy, nutty walnut cauliflower pesto. Perfect for lunch or dinner! Click here for the recipe.
Cinnamon Apple Barley Breakfast by Holley Grainger. This recipe can be made vegan by using nut milk. It takes about 40 minutes to make since the barley has to cook. But it can always be made ahead of time and warmed up in the microwave. Click here for the recipe.
Lemon Roasted Asparagus by A Sweet Pea Chef. Asparagus is so easy to roast and it takes very little effort and time to do so. I love this recipe paring the asparagus with lemon and garlic (another prebiotic food). The recipe takes a total of 8-10 minutes of cooking time making this recipe an easy side dish for any weeknight dinner. Click here for the recipe.
I hope this post inspired you to think about prebiotics and how you can incorporate them into your routine. Eating foods that contain prebiotics or taking a prebiotic supplement will promote good health in your gut and support overall health. Do you think you will try some of the recipes I shared? Let me know by leaving a comment below!