Probiotics for a healthy gut are a hot trend right now, but you need more than a daily yogurt or kombucha to keep your gut flora in check.
Probiotic supplements or probiotic foods containing good bacteria such as lactobacillus will continue to be a big trend in 2016. While natural yogurt, kombucha, and supplements might be rich in probiotics, taking them is not enough to create healthy gut flora.
Eating probiotic food is like a planting seeds of good bacteria such as lactobacillus or bifidobacteria in your flora. Now you have to feed them to grow, but fiber is the important other piece of the healthy gut flora equation
Fiber rich foods include things like whole grains, vegetables, beans, and seaweeds. These fiber-rich foods are sometimes they are called “prebiotic foods.”
In other words, even if you’re eating Greek yogurt every morning, or taking probiotic supplements, if the rest of your daily food intake consists of high fat, high sugar food, low-or-no fober foods (a.k.a. typical American diet), you’re wasting your energy and money on all of those probiotics. Because you’re not nourishing the seeds that you just planted. In fact, those foods are actually feeding harmful bacteria in your gut!
The real solution for healthy gut flora is to eat both probiotic and prebiotic foods.
Create your everyday meals with fiber rich whole grains, vegetables, beans, or other natural plant protein food, and fruits. And add some naturally fermented food such as miso soup or natural pickles. Miso soup and natural sauerkraut are, in fact, perfect foods for building healthy gut flora, because they contain both prebiotics and probiotics.
But then again, most importantly, shift your daily diet to more fiber rich, plant-based foods this year. Your gut will thank you!
Image Credit: Yogurt photo via Shutterstock