When you have digestive issues and stomach pain, this can be stressful. In my opinion, your bowels are where all the good stuff happens. Your body is able to break down the food we eat and then take it back in to help our bodies repair/heal, grow and sustain us.
I’m going to share a quick background of our digestive health and how pre, pro and post biotics play a role.
Let’s start with microbiome, which is the genetic material of all the microbes – bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses – that are in our body and helps us to break down our food.
Here are some reasons your microbiome can change and in turn, affect your health:
- Your diet or change in diet
- Disease (diabetic)
- Stress level
- Hydration status
- Mentation- yes there is a phenomenon call the gut-brain axis and that means that the brain and the gut are very much connected. Some say the gut is the second brain. Studies show that people with anxiety or depression can alter the microbiome.
How do you know if you have improper digestion?
- Feeling Full
I’m sure you’ve heard the term Probiotics – Here’s a closer look:
Pro means supporting
Biotics means life or living
Probiotics are basically good bacteria. There are different bacteria located in our intestines and the good bacteria helps us to stay healthy, helps digest food, attacks the bad bacteria, and keeps things moving.
Where do we find these good bacteria?
- We have some already in our gastrointestinal system
- Supplements that we can purchase
- The food we eat
Some food options includes
- Fermented Cheeses, Such As:
- Fermented Vegetable Products, Such As:
- Pickled vegetables (Non-Pasteurized)
- Kefir – a fermented milk drink
Kombucha is a fermented tea packed full of antioxidants and probiotics
Kimchi it’s a Korean dish It is made from vegetables, most often cabbage, which are fermented with bacteria and flavored with Korean red pepper
If you want to take a probiotic dietary supplement, there are plenty of commercial products to choose from. Look for supplements that have:
- Live cultures don’t forget they need to get through the harsh environment of the stomach, so they need to be formulated to withstand the stomach acid. A lot of them do not.
Prebiotics – “Pre” is before Biotics (Life or Living).
PREBIOTICS are a type of NON digestible fiber that are fermented and used for fuel BY the beneficial bacteria in your gut.
Examples of prebiotics are
-Lentils, chickpeas and beans
-Onions, Leeks, Garlic (RAW)
Prebiotics has been linked to a long list of powerful benefits, including:
- Lower risk for cardiovascular disease
- Improved digestion
- Lower stress response
- Higher immune function
- Lower risk for obesity and weight gain
To sum it up, PRO biotics are the actual healthy bacteria. They help swing your overall intestinal balance so that the bad bacteria is prevented from overpowering your system and causing disease. They are found in fermented foods.
PRE biotics are the foods or non-digestible fermented foods that ‘feed’ the Probiotics (good bacteria). It’s beneficial to take prebiotics AND probiotics. Always best to obtain these in the form of food – use supplements only if you can’t get sufficient amounts through eating.
Postbiotics are essentially the byproducts of probiotics. They eat food, it ferments in the gut, and then it creates the postbiotics.
Some benefits of Postbiotics:
- Supports your immune system
- May help to prevent Type 2 diabetes
- May help with diarrhea issues
Postbiotics is still a relatively new concept and one that you’ll be hearing more about. So stay tuned! In the meantime, I encourage you to ensure you’re including plenty of pre- and pro-biotics in your daily diet!