Why You Need Prebiotics Too

onions-garlicWe have heard plenty about probiotics and how important these beneficial bacteria are for your health, but compelling studies show that prebiotics are equally important. Beneficial bacteria found in probiotics such as yogurt and prebiotics such as fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) can keep the digestive system functioning normally. While probiotics are beneficial to your immune system, prebiotics help feed probiotics (the beneficial bacteria).

Probiotic micro-organisms thrive only with the proper environment and food sources. That’s where prebiotics come in. Prebiotics are non-digestible, oligosaccharides (complex sugars) in our food that become food sources for probiotics. Continue reading “Why You Need Prebiotics Too”

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Want to Eat Like an Olympic Athlete? Seven Tips for a Healthy Gut

fruits+vegetablesPrebiotics, like rice and beans, pair well with probiotics, like kimchi, and may provide a natural doping effect, powering athletes through their training and to the 2016 Olympic Games.

Olympic athletes often make waves for all-star performances and for bringing home the gold, but few talk about one of the secrets to staying in the game: a healthy gut.

While additional research is needed, preliminary findings suggest probiotics – available in fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi and miso – may provide a natural and clean “doping effect” when paired with prebiotics, or fiber-packed foods. Continue reading “Want to Eat Like an Olympic Athlete? Seven Tips for a Healthy Gut”

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Precision Nutrition: 12 Foods for a Diverse Microbiome

fermented-foodsIn the age of precision medicine and personalized nutrition, the microbiome steals the spotlight when it comes time to translate what we eat into our overall health. Our gut bugs, who spend most of their time in our gut flora, or digestive tract, may have more influence than our ancestors when it comes time to determine what our future holds, in terms of obesity, diabetes, and certain forms of cancer.

The good news is the right foods feed good bacteria that export pathogens or toxic intruders away from the body. Over time the right combination of foods – intact whole grains, like brown rice or oats, and fermented varieties, like sauerkraut and kimchi – can create an army of diverse, healthy gut bugs that speed up our metabolism, turn off hunger receptors, support insulin function, and strengthen our immune system. Developing research suggests these tiny gut bugs can even influence our mood. Continue reading “Precision Nutrition: 12 Foods for a Diverse Microbiome”

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Prebiotics (Say What?)

We have heard plenty about probiotics and how important these beneficial bacteria are for your health, but compelling studies show that prebiotics are equally important. Prebiotics are certain types of soluble fiber that help probiotics multiply.

So what to prebiotics do? Well, here are just a few ways that prebiotics keep us healthy.

Intestinal Health: Constipated much? Prebiotics increase bulk in your stools and shorten the transit time in the intestines. They may also help those with Crohn’s and other inflammatory bowel diseases because they reduce inflammation and encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria (lactobacilli and bifidobacteria).

Cholesterol Support: Research suggests that prebiotics enhance the cholesterol lowering actions of probiotics by helping break down cholesterol in the GI tract. And since some prebiotics are forms of fiber, they have the same effect as soluble fiber on lowering cholesterol.

Immune Health: Studies suggest that prebiotics may improve resistance against infection by providing food for probiotics, which makes the immune system function more efficiently. Continue reading “Prebiotics (Say What?)”

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