The best prebiotics & Probiotics for gut health
Micriobiome, prebiotics, probiotics – all these words and what do they mean?
A microbe, or microscopic organism, is a living thing that is so small you can’t see it with your naked eye. This general term is used to describe bacteria, fungi, yeast, and viruses. A microbiome is the collection of the microbes living in certain areas or “communities” in your body such as the intestines. These communities are also sometimes referred to as “flora” or “microbiota”.
As humans, we begin to build our microbiome as soon as we are born. How and where we’re born also play a big role in the types of microbes we acquire. Babies pick up microbes from every person or thing they touch, and continue to pick up microbes throughout their lives. The microbiome isn’t fixed; it develops over time and changes in response to its environment.
Your gut bacteria can affect the whole body, including the brain. Among other functions, the beneficial bacteria in the gut synthesise some vitamins, help with digestion, balance mood, reduce anxiety, and protect against infections and some forms of cancer.
Strains of good bacteria in the gut are also associated with lower rates of obesity, diabetes, and various gastrointestinal diseases.
If there are too many bad bacteria or too few good bacteria in the microbiome, serious health problems can arise. The population of good bacteria in your body can be inhibited or killed by stress, surgery, illness, trauma, or unhealthy eating habits.
Antibiotics can kill bad bacteria that cause disease, but they also kill off many of the beneficial microbes. We can keep our microbiomes healthy by eating foods that feed the good bacteria, and avoiding foods that encourage the growth of bad bacteria.
Feeding the microbiome
The foods we eat have a big influence on our microbiomes. Many microbes in our guts help us extract nutrients from food we wouldn’t otherwise be able to digest.
Different microbes thrive on different types of food. You can stimulate the growth of good bacteria (also known as probiotics) in your gut by eating specific foods the bacteria are known to thrive on. These foods are known as prebiotics.
Tips for a healthy microbiome
- Stay hydrated. Every day, drink approximately half your body weight in ounces of water and other non-caffeinated beverages free of added sugars.
- Be sure to include both prebiotic and probiotic foods in your diet (see below FREE download)
- Eat plenty of high-fibre vegetables, which help maintain a healthy digestive system.
- Limit or avoid processed foods, foods high in added sugar, artificial sweeteners, and trans fats.
- Limit or avoid any foods to which you are sensitive, intolerant, or allergic. Some common examples are corn, dairy, eggs, fish and shellfish, peanuts, soy, tree nuts, and wheat (gluten).
- Take antibiotics only when medically necessary. During and after completing a course of antibiotics, eat probiotic foods and take a probiotic supplement. This can help rebuild the population of healthy bacteria in your gut.
Prebiotics & Probiotic Supplements
Some of my clients have liked to use my recommendations for prebiotics & Probiotic supplements. Obviously it depends on your need and this is not a personal recommendation as I have not had a 1:1 consultation with you. However here are some brands that I have used in the past. Your are able to use our preferred practitioner website for supplements as a valued reader of our blog.
If you decide to order from there, you need to put in the reference name of Sonia Hollis as a practitioner. As a gift to you – use our special discount code of SOHOL010 for 10% discount.
Download your FREE Prebiotics & Probiotics E-Book
- What are Probiotic and Prebiotic Foods?
- Why are they good for your gut?
- What foods contain prebiotics?
- What foods contain probiotics?
- References to further reading if you want to know more!
Zinc is essential for cell survival and function and maintains the gut membrane barrier integrity. A zinc deficiency can impair immune function and membrane permeability. You can find zinc sources from foods such as chicken, cashews, sesame seeds, and peas.
These recipes contains polyphenols and antioxidants to help manage inflammation. It includes polyphenols found in apples, blueberries, parsley, celery, and kale. The polyphenol curcumin in turmeric is incorporated as it is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. Essential fat-soluble antioxidants like vitamin A and vitamin E reduce oxidative stress. These recipes are packed with vitamin A sources like carrots, spinach, and eggs, and incorporates vitamin E through healthy oils and seeds.
75 Gut Healing Support Recipes
These recipes were created with the following key considerations:
Gluten & Grain Free
Gluten may affect the microbiome composition and diversity and enhances intestinal permeability. Following a gluten free diet can be helpful for leaky gut and certain non-celiac autoimmune diseases. These gluten-free and grain-free recipes uses nutrient-dense alternatives like courgette noodles, spaghetti squash, and cauliflower rice which provide indoles, such as indole-3-Carbinol to support immune function.
Eating fibre-rich foods is linked to an increase in short-chain fatty acids. These short-chain fatty acids may help improve symptoms of leaky gut syndrome by reducing intestinal permeability and promoting the growth of good gut bacteria. These recipes includes fibre from various sources of fruits and vegetables.
Probiotics & Prebiotics
These recipes incorporates prebiotics and probiotics to bring good bacteria into the gut. Probiotics found in fermented foods like sauerkraut are live bacteria that can help stabilise the intestinal barrier, fight off bad bacteria, and reduce inflammation. Prebiotics are found in foods such as asparagus, banana, garlic, and onion. These foods support digestive health by feeding the good bacteria and are important to create a healthy gut microbiome.