National Nutrition Month

When you think of bacteria, do you think of something that is bad?

Generally bacteria gets a bad rap, but bacteria can actually be beneficial for our digestive health.

bacteria1

What are known to be prebiotics and probiotics can be discovered in specific functional components of foods that can enhance the absorption of nutrients and the digestion of foods.

Prebiotics are found in non-digestible food ingredients. They are plant fibers that work as a promoter for the healthy bacteria that already exists naturally in the gut. Since prebiotics are not fully digested in the body, these fibers are primarily used to promote the growth of the healthy bacteria and therefore, cannot be destroyed nor affected by heat or bacteria in the body.

Eating more fibrous foods such as vegetables, legumes, fruits and whole grains will encourage the “good” bacteria to digest the prebiotics in order to improve gastrointestinal health and build up immunity.

probiotics

While prebiotics are the promoters of the “good” bacteria, the actual “good” bacteria itself would be known as the probiotics. This type of bacteria is already naturally present in the gut.

Ultimately, prebiotics is the energy that the probiotics needs to build up and flourish. Probiotic bacteria must work to stay alive with the help of prebiotics because they can potentially be diminished within time or by heat.

Foods that contain live active cultures are an excellent source of probiotics because the live cultures have the ability to enhance and balance the gut flora.

By following a diet rich in prebiotics and probiotics, your body may increase in bone density by improving mineral absorption and you may also experience a strong immunity and an improvement in bowel regularity.

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