Everyone’s talking about fiber these days. From health columns to breakfast cereal companies, all the gut health recommendations seem to center around increasing fiber. But is there more to a healthy, balanced gut than increasing your fiber intake? Turns out, there’s a lot more you need to be doing to move that system right along. That includes increasing the amount of prebiotics and probiotics in your diet. According to Healthline.com, “probiotics that are the same or very similar to the ones that your body makes can be taken to supplement healthy digestion. … The use of prebiotics and probiotics together is called microbiome therapy. You don’t need to take a prebiotic for probiotics to work, but taking them might make your probiotics more effective”.
We spoke to gut health experts Microba about why a number of things help us improve and have the best gut health ever. Keep reading for more!
What Exactly Are Prebiotics?
The term prebiotics sounds complex, however, it is quite simply referring to various fuel sources that directly feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut. By increasing the beneficial bacteria in the gut, this helps to increase the number of the health-promoting substances they produce. Prebiotics are found in many foods and there are several different types. Fiber tends to get the wrap for promoting gut health is because many high-fiber foods are great sources of prebiotics.Some examples include fruits, vegetables, nuts seeds, wholegrain cereals, legumes, and pulses.
Other Foods You Need To Move Along Gut Health
Not all fiber is equal. For example, insoluble fiber is not as easy to use as fuel by our gut bacteria and instead acts as a bulking agent for our stools (think less watery bowel movements!). The other types of fiber, soluble fiber, and resistant starch are key in fueling your beneficial bacteria. You can find these foods in onion, garlic, wheat, rye, chickpeas, lentils, peas, beans, oats, berries, and nuts.
For additional resistant starch, you can cook and cool rice, pasta or potatoes–or even opt for greener bananas! The specific benefits of consuming these prebiotic foods are that they allow your gut bacteria to produce short-chain fatty acids – which are essential for healthy bodily functions such as reducing inflammation, maintaining healthy intestinal cells, regulating appetite and maintaining blood sugar levels.
The goal each day is to focus on consuming a variety of prebiotics into your diet. However, don’t just spend time focusing on increasing fiber alone!