Updated: Oct 31, 2019
Are you confused about probiotics, not knowing which supplement to get? How about prebiotics? Do you get those in every day? Do you know what those are? Do you know the difference between probiotics and prebiotics? Today, I'm gonna give you a quick tutorial on both and how to get them into your daily routine. It's really easy, I promise!
What are probiotics? They are living organisms that, when administered in the right amount for your body, are beneficial to your health. We need probiotics in our body to help it function properly. Probiotics do everything from help improve our sleep and our energy, improve digestion and immunity, and even help with chronic diseases and autoimmune diseases. It's important that we get probiotics into our body everyday.
There are two main ways to get probiotics into your life- probiotic supplements and fermented foods.
Probiotic supplements are really important, however, this is different for everyone. If you're somebody that suffers from SIBO or some kind of autoimmune disease or digestive issues, you wanna check with your doctor before you start taking a probiotic. They might not be right for you right now.
*Most* people can benefit from a basic probiotic.
If you think about your gut as a garden, probiotics are the flowers in your garden. Probiotics come into your body, wanting to set up residence in your body and start to bloom, but if they aren't nurtured with fertilizer, they leave. Probiotics will go through your body and leave if they aren't nurtured, thus making it important to take a good probiotic supplement on a daily basis.
A good place to start if you haven't taken a probiotic before is making sure your supplement has lactobacillus and bifidobacterium. These are a good base of bacteria that are really supportive for your gut.
Probiotics are really individual so you might have to play around a bit. Try it out for a couple of weeks and see how you feel. It might make you feel different for the first week but eventually your body should start to feel better. If that doesn't happen for you, it's not the right probiotic for you.
Getting fermented food into your body every day is another way to be sure you are getting in probiotics. We are talking sauerkraut, kombucha, kimchi, brined veggies, pickled veggies, and greek yogurt. You just need a small does (think 2-4 tablespoons) every day so get it in first thing in the AM and you are set!
If probiotics are the flowers of your garden, prebiotics are the fertilizer. We need prebiotics in our body every day to help nurture and grow the probiotics. This healthy bacteria is the food that feeds the probiotics and the bacteria that is in your gut, thus contributing to a healthy life. Like I said, if your garden isn't growing probiotics and nourishing these bacterium, then your garden is gonna die, AKA, your body won't be as healthy as it can be..
The best source of prebiotics is soluble fiber! Any food having soluble fiber from a natural source is considered a prebiotic, so we're talking PLANTS! We want to get as many fruits and veggies into our body as possible. Oats are also considered prebiotic-rich foods because they have a good dose of soluble fiber, so if your body feels good eating oats, put them on your meal prep list for the week.
If you want a major dose of prebiotics, reach for inulin rich foods. We're talking garlic, onions, Jerusalem artichoke, jicama, and some other more obscure plants. Since some of them are kind of strange, I try to get raw garlic and onions in my food daily. They are the easiest inulin rich foods I can find. Jerusalem artichokes are great but can be harder to find.
To recap, make sure you're getting probiotics through fermented foods and probiotic supplements. You might have to experiment with different brands/doses for a bit to see which supplement makes you feel good. Also, get in your prebiotics with plants, plants, and more plants! A variety of natural, soluble fiber rich foods is paramount to help your gut flourish.
Again, if you are struggling with SIBO, IBS or any other autoimmune issues or chronic diseases, contact your doctor before you start a new supplement, just to be sure that it's right for you.
Gut Health Group
If you're interested in learning more about the gut, choosing a specific supplement that is perfect for you and your body, or recipes to be sure you are loading up on prebiotics, I'm holding a Gut Health Group in January of 2020! Subscribe to the site so you stay informed about how to sign up and what all it entails! More info to come!