We all know that bacteria spread diseases, and antibacterial products and antibiotics are in wide usage. Recent studies have proven the fact that there are good bacteria and bad bacteria. While the bad bacteria spread diseases, the good bacteria help you stay healthy. So, where do you find good bacteria? Your answer is here: prebiotics and probiotics. Prebiotics and probiotics work together in keeping your gut healthy. However, the sad part is that they often go unrecognized despite all the benefits they provide.
Prebiotics Vs. Probiotics
Many of us often tend to assume that prebiotics are the same as probiotics; this is not so. A prebiotic is a specialized plant fiber that helps in fertilizing and nourishing the good bacteria present in the colon or the large bowel, while a probiotic helps in introducing good bacteria into our gastrointestinal tract. Prebiotics are carbohydrates that are not digestible, and they provide food for the good bacteria, stimulating their growth. Probiotics are food items that increase the number of good bacteria in the gut.
The benefits of pre and probiotics are not just restricted to our gut; they play a larger role in keeping us physically and mentally fit. Pre and probiotics benefit us immensely, keeping our entire body in check, from the belly to the brain.
Top Prebiotics That Often Go Unrecognized
1. Chicory Root
A primary source of prebiotics, chicory root has a high fiber content and is a great source of prebiotics. Found mostly in the grounded form or as a health supplement, chicory root is sometimes also present in breakfast items such as cereals, bread, and many dairy products.
Artichokes are considered very healthy for not just the liver, but for your gut as well. It is known to be one of the best sources of prebiotics, with a high inulin content. It is also loaded with iron and potassium. Enjoy a prebiotic salad with artichokes either boiled, sautéed, or roasted.
Garlic can do wonders with your body. Loaded with vitamins and minerals, garlic has high fiber content, which proves that it is a great source of prebiotics. It is best effective as a prebiotic in its raw form. Have a glass of fresh garlic juice, or add raw garlic in hummus, vegetables, pasta, or other dishes for a distinct flavor to your favorite dish.
Raw or cooked, onions are not only high in inulin, but they also add to the taste and flavor of any dish. The outer layers of onions have most of the flavonoids, so make sure that you do not peel them off too much. If raw onions are a concern, enjoy them fried, roasted, caramelized, sauteed, or in any other form you wish to.
Top Probiotics That Secretly Keep You Healthy
This wonder food is the secret to a healthy gut, flawless skin, and also, beautiful hair. Live-cultured yogurt, especially handmade, is one of the best probiotic foods. Make sure you buy the right kind of yogurt if you get it from the market. Organic yogurt, especially made from grass-fed goats, sheep, or cows, is highly recommended.
Another dairy product called kefir is considered to be a great probiotic food. Kefir is made from milk and fermented kefir grains. Kefir not only works as a probiotic, but it is also considered to be an antioxidant. It is fermented with yeast and more bacteria than yogurt. If you buy kefir from the market, be sure to buy an organic variety.
3. Sauerkraut and Kimchi
Cultured vegetables are a popular source of probiotics in many parts of the world. The most popular varieties are Sauerkraut and Kimchi, popular in Germany and Korea respectively. Sauerkraut and Kimchi are made from fermented vegetables, mostly cabbages. They also help in digestion as they are high in enzymes. In some parts of the world, pickles are made from vegetables, which are also great sources of probiotics.
Kombucha originated in Japan over 2,000 years ago and is a fizzy, fermented form of black tea. It is rich in probiotic content as it contains a high amount of good bacteria. It is also known to detox the liver and its antioxidant properties enhance the overall well-being of an individual. However, Kombucha tea is not recommended for people who have problems with candida.
Now, you know what to eat to keep your belly safe and sound. With prebiotics and probiotics helping you line your gut with beneficial bacteria, your physical and mental health is largely in check.