Eat pro- and probiotics

Prioritise to get the right pro- and prebiotics and populate your gut with friendly and helpful bacteria

November 2016 \\ Category: Pro- and prebiotics

 

It's become increasingly clear in recent years that the next major area of exploration in human health and performance is the gut and its trillion of friendly bacteria here. Read about the amazing vital gut here.

 

One important food group in anti-inflammatory food is the biotics. You need to know about Probiotics and Prebiotics. These help to repopulate the gut with good bacteria which are vital to avoid inflammation.

Probiotics are microorganisms that provide health benefits when consumed and support your body’s ability to absorb nutrients and fight infection. They are producing vitamin B-12, butyrate and vitamin K2 and creating enzymes which destroy harmful bacteria.

 

The word 'probiotic' is composed of 2 words. 'Pro' (means "for") and 'bios' (means "life"). So 'for life'. The term contrasts with the term antibiotic - against life.

Probiotics is defined by the WHO as "living microorganisms, which when administered in adequate amounts confer health benefits on the host". Nobel prize winner, Elie Metchnikoff, introduced the concept of probiotics, and linking the long lifespan of Bulgarian peasants with their consumption of fermented milk containing the bacteria Lactobacilli (1). So already in 1907 it was suggested that eating certain microbes, would benefit our health. Another vital health advise which is not taken seriously enough.

'Prebiotics', which are less known, and sometimes confused with probiotics, are not digested by the human body, but serve as food for the bacteria. It is specialised plant fibers which beneficially nourishes the good bacteria already found in the gut. It is defined as "substances that induce the growth or activity of microorganisms (e.g., bacteria and fungi) that contribute to the well-being of their host". So while probiotics introduce good bacteria into the gut, prebiotics act as a facilitator for the good bacteria that’s already there, which makes sense as 'pre' means 'before'. They help your good bacteria grow, improving the good-to-bad bacteria ratio.

Pre- and Probiotics has been undervalued in the Western medicine and there is no doubt that we will see an increase in focus on these highly important bacteria, as they are crucial to our health.

Sources:

(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3539293/

  • Kefir
  • Yogurt
  • Kombucha
  • Fermented food e.g. sauerkraut and the lovely spicy Korean kimchi
  • Supplements - choose the supplements with as many bacteria strains as possible. The more strains, the better effects.

Probiotics can be found in:

The prebiotics is highly concentrated in

  • Chicory root
  • Artichokes
  • Dandelion leaves
  • Garlic
  • Leek
  • Onion
  • Asparagus

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