Updated: May 4, 2020
Well, who here took Latin language lessons in school?
Today we’re talking about Prebiotics and Probiotics, so it’s kind of relevant to understand the language behind it.
A simple way to look at it is:
‘Pro’ means forward
‘Pre’ means before
‘Biotic’ means life
So, we’ll start with probiotics which means bring forward life, so taking a probiotic capsule is taking a capsule containing life, or live bacteria, which have been proven to benefit gut health by re-populating the gut with helpful bacteria.
Probiotics can also be a part of your diet by adding in foods such as fermented vegetables like pickles or sauerkraut, as well as miso, kombucha, natural yoghurt, tempeh or apple cider vinegar. If none of these seem appealing, start with a probiotic capsule and keep trying to add natural sources of probiotics into your diet over time.
Our gut health is a vital part of our body as it has many roles. It can help protect us against invading pathogens, digest foods, synthesise hormones, assist in nutrient absorption, and produce chemicals that make us feel full. If your gut bacteria, or microbiome, are working efficiently you will have better sleep, more stable moods, and even consistent hunger signals which can help to control weight gain.
Prebiotics on the other hand are before life. So, these are things your body needs to have present to help promote the life of the probiotics once they arrive. Prebiotics are basically fibre rich foods that helpful bacteria feed on, whereas harmful bacteria have been found to prefer high fat processed foods.
Simply adjusting your diet to contain more fibre rich plant foods like root vegetables (except white potatoes), onions, garlic, leafy greens, beans and lentils, fruits, oats and nuts, will cover your fibre needs and assist in the growth of helpful bacteria in the gut.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
· Eat more fibre rich plant foods
· Add in a probiotic each day
· Maintain a regular sleep habit
· Avoid processed and fatty foods
· Add movement to your day as it can help maintain gut health
So go ahead, do your part for your gut health and help those helpful little bacteria take back control and get your gut functioning as best as can be.
And whilst we’re here, antibiotics means ‘anti’- against, ‘biotic’- life. Therefore, antibiotics kill life, or germs, that may be causing us harm, but they also destroy the helpful bacteria in our body, so its best to only take them when necessary.