We talk about probiotics all the time, but what about PREbiotics?
PREbiotics are non-digestible fibre compounds that are fermented by beneficial bacteria already living in our gut & used as a source of fuel + nutrition to help enhance gut flora health.
They play a fundamental & very underestimated role in gut health by helping maintain a balance + diversity of intestinal bacteria + removing toxins, by increasing the presence of good bacteria & ensuring it always outnumbers the bad.
Put it this way: Without food, our bodies don’t thrive; without prebiotics, the healthy bacteria living in our gut doesn’t thrive.
The good bacteria in our gut uses indigestible prebiotic fibre as a source for its own survival. It metabolizes these fibres, ferments them + produces short-chain fatty acids that help regulate electrolyte levels in the body, support regularity + boost digestive health!
Because almost 80% of our immune system is located in the gut & it is basically our “second brain”, prebiotics + probiotics work synergistically to boost overall health in many ways:
- reduce inflammation in skin, around organs & joints, muscles + tissues, as well as autoimmune reactions (inflammation is also the root cause of many chronic diseases so prebiotic foods are beneficial + preventative for all!)
- boost heart health, lower cholesterol levels + balance blood sugar
- sustain energy levels
- balance levels of ghrelin, the hormone responsible for appetite control + stimulating hunger
- improve digestion
- lower stress response
- regulate hormones + mood & help reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression by boosting neurotransmitter functions that create hormones like serotonin that control mood + relieve stress (when the digestive system is healthy, the gut absorbs + metabolizes nutrients from food properly + uses them for brain health)
- boost immunity + lower the risk for disease, obesity + weight gain
My fave prebiotic food sources : apples, oats, psyllium, under ripe banana, raw onion/garlic, chicory root, yacon syrup, asparagus, dandelion greens, leek, tigernuts + artichoke.