inflammation

How a Happy Gut Lends Itself to a Happy Brain

If you’ve ever received a CRP (C-reactive protein) test, you’re probably aware of the correlation between systemic inflammation and dozens of diseases and illnesses. If your CRP reads high, it means inflammation levels are high where the body is in a reactive state all the time. As a result, cooling this constant internal flame has become a significant focus on preventative medicine. 

Inflammation is your body’s response to try to find something: your body trying to heal itself. It signals healing agents to go to the injured part of the body. With systemic inflammation, your body is on fire and can’t heal and repair itself correctly. It can stay localized as many of us struggle unknowingly from gut dysbiosis. Our lifestyle, environmental toxins, and diet can influence this state. Unfortunately, we often eat foods that create a fight response internally as our body treats the offending foods like an invasive threat. 

gut
Image source: frontiersin.org

On his weekly podcast, Lucas Rockwood interviewed Jimmy St. Louis, the Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute founder. CHI focuses on gut health to reduce inflammation to lower the likelihood, and symptoms of autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases, heart conditions, chronic low-grade conditions like hypertension, cancer, and others. 

Jimmy played football for the NFL’s Tennessee Titans and was recently a member of the 2016 United States Rowing Team. However, through rowing, he inadvertently found his passion for cognitive health. Rowing anywhere from 60 to 80,000 meters a day for four to six hours, he noticed a different mental strain than football. 

After a career without significant brain injuries, he discovered the link between cellular repair and the brain’s ability to get oxygen. Then, feeling helpless when his grandmother passed away from Alzheimer’s, he was inspired to understand the gut biome and the connection between inflammation and neurodegenerative illnesses.

Your gut bacteria form a soil-like environment for digestion

gut

St Louis urges us to think about our gut bacteria like a garden. When we look at the human genome, the human microbiome contains three pounds of bugs living inside your body. However, we are also aware that microbiota are different for different people. For example, a person from the Mediterranean and someone of the same age from Osaka would have similar DNA, but the internal garden would be different because of their environment.

People are often tempted to buy a supplement from a health food store, but in thinking of the gut as a garden, you can’t just throw some nitrogen on it and expect to have fertile soil. St. Louis wants to dispel the myth that Alzheimer’s is strictly genetic, and if you are genetically prone, you’re going to get it. Instead, he suggests that these diseases build up over time by not caring for our bodies and everything we put into our mouths. 

Why modern foods and lifestyles leave many of us imbalanced

gut

Most people don’t realize they’re not eating healthy. If it’s organic, it’s healthy, but that’s not necessarily the case. If people believe they’re eating healthy, they’re not armed with that knowledge to help to improve their overall health. That superfood may very well not be beneficial for you. You can eat the kale and drink the juices, but if you’re not aware, your body will continue to fight against yourself and your habits.

Autism, early-onset dementia, or mild cognitive impairment have been linked to systemic inflammation. Over time when you put the wrong things in your body, you develop a bacterial imbalance in your stomach. At some point, that imbalance begins to permeate the gut lining and enter your system. Later on, the blood-brain barrier meant to protect your brain from the rest of your body can lead to protein plaque build-up and eventually to a stroke or Alzheimer’s.

It’s never too late to make necessary changes, but there is no quick fix

Regardless of age, you can slow that aging process. Still, preventative care is challenging for anyone at any age to think about, especially something as invisible as neurodegenerative disease or cognitive decline. We Americans tend to look for a quick fix, but if we want to live better, not just longer, we need to bridge that gap between the quality and length of life. We should want to feel great until that final day. No one wants to be stuck in a nursing home. 

Unfortunately, people start to decline very quickly when a diagnosis happens, and it just feels like it’s just only a matter of time. It’s often a triggering event like a personal health crisis in their fifties or sixties with either a heart attack or type two diabetes diagnosis that brings about awareness. Old habits do die hard, but you can start to create some new healthy habits that won’t take as long as you think. Even after two weeks of dietary changes, you might not crave things you did before. In fact, it might not make you feel good to even think about them anymore.

gut

While many people default to whatever their GP recommends during a routine checkup, most only visit their GP every three or four years. People can opt to do a gut test to indicate what should and should not be eaten. Even poor habits building dysbiosis over time can all be reversed. 

Finding motivation

Some people have felt lousy their whole life. They didn’t feel good when they were in their twenties, and when they’re 42 or 62, there is the possibility of feeling better than when they were 22. St. Louis looks to empower people who have never looked after their body, diet, or fitness and are willing to witness a radical transformation often available for unfit middle-aged people. With health, it doesn’t take forever to start feeling better.

You might feel too far gone, say suffering from type two diabetes or carrying 50 extra pounds. However, one good meal or one good day can make all the difference. So put effort into your diet and embrace the opportunity of feeling better than ever by just choosing one of St. Louis’ programs. They are easily adaptable, the food selection is good, tailored to your gut requirements, and you’ll notice changes more quickly than you’d imagined. 

Do you still want to drink alcohol or go out to dinner? He doesn’t suggest cutting those things out as mental health also plays a role. The point is to create a sustainable path so you can pick a program and not have to give up all the pleasures in life. Columbia Health Institute was created to introduce dietary changes, reduce systemic inflammation, and improve cognitive health scores to help prevent the early onset of neurodegenerative illnesses. It’s never too late to change course. 

what is gut health

What is gut health

Most digestive problems like gas, bloating, and constipation are easy to ignore, but they can cause serious issues if not taken into account properly. As the body ages, it naturally slows down and gastroenterologists could attest. Thus, discussing what is gut health and its importance in the body should be a regular discussion.

Your gut health changes and the usual causes are shifts in your gut immunity, stomach acid, and your gastrointestinal flora which is known as a complex ecosystem in which the bacteria in your system thrive.

The medical community continuously researches the complexity of the gut and how it evolves each time depending on a person’s lifestyle and diet. Studies show that nurturing a variety of good bacteria is what enhances the function of the immune system. It’s also the key to improving any signs of depression, obesity, among others. 

What is gut health and its importance

What is gut health? It is common to see medical literature explaining it. It’s also a term that the food industry utilizes often. Gut health features the positive characteristics of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract which when you nourish properly, can be an effective relief for digestion and food absorption. Balancing these microorganisms that cultivate in the digestive tract is valuable for your physical and mental health. 

The relationship of the stomach, esophagus and intestines enables you to digest the food you eat comfortably. It may sound simple but in the United States alone, there is an estimate of 70 million people who suffer from digestive issues. Imagine how it could be for the rest of the world. 

Gut health and its relation to mental health

gut health

There seems to be a new era in the medical field that takes interest in an often forgotten organ in the body and its relation to health and disease – the gut microbiota. Imagine a busy sidewalk filled with different kinds of people rushing to go where they need to in the morning, and you’re seeing the microbiome in your body on a microscopic level. 

The microbiome system features not only the bacteria in your system, but also trillions of organisms that include viruses, parasites, and fungi. When you are healthy, these bugs interact peacefully and they would positively affect your body. In fact, they already call microbiome as the supporting organ as this community has a role to play in ensuring that your body maintains equilibrium in energy metabolism. Any changes or alterations in this equilibrium state such as a “leaky gut” may contribute to mental disorders. 

Healthy ways to take care of your gut

When you eat, your body breaks down the food that you put in your body so that it turns into a simple form. It then enters your bloodstream so that it delivers nutrients in your system. You have a healthy gut when it is capable of warding you off from infectious agents like fungi, viruses and bacteria. Furthermore, when your gut is healthy, it reflects on your whole well-being. 

What are the simple ways to take care of your gut anyway? Balancing your gut flora is the key to a healthy microbiome. To achieve this, eat the right kinds of food. Include fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains and legumes in your diet. You should also squeeze in the right amount of prebiotic and probiotic in your meals. Some supplements wouldn’t hurt too, but limiting the antibiotics would be awesome for the good bacteria in your gut. 

The signs that your gut is unhealthy

unhealthy gut

How do you tell when you have an unhealthy gut? Parrish explains that there are many indicators of an unhealthy gut and these are weight changes, fatigue, food cravings, upset stomach, autoimmune conditions, skin irritation & allergies, mood issues and migraines. They are usually manifested as follows:

Weight Changes

When your gut is in trouble, you might unintentionally gain or lose weight even sans an exercise or diet routine. Be careful because this kind of change also suggests an unhealthy gut. This impairs your body to properly absorb nutrients, process fat, and control blood sugar. SIBO, or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, causes weight loss because of insulin resistance. 

Fatigue

If you find yourself experiencing constant tiredness even if you just woke up in the morning, you might be under fatigue and a gut problem normally triggers this. The gut produces this serotonin which activates in the brain. Since the body is interconnected, this would affect your sleep and mood.

Food Cravings

Having an unhealthy gut pushes you to crave for unhealthy foods. You’ll want sugar, and you might eat much of it so you can feed the bad bacteria in your body. But, loading with sugar such as high-fructose corn syrup stirs inflammation that risks you to experiencing other kinds of diseases.

Upset stomach

When you have an upset stomach, you experience frequent bloating, constipation, discomfort, heartburn and diarrhea. All of these are an indication that you’re giving your gut a hard time breaking down the food you eat and eliminating toxins from your body. 

Autoimmune Conditions

Scientists continue to confirm that there is a particular gut microbe that activates autoimmune disease during an experiment with mice, and they also found the same microbe in humans who suffer from autoimmune diseases.

Skin Irritation and Allergies

Skin irritation such as eczema is also an indication of a damaged gut. A poor diet, or food allergies may bring this problem. There might also be an protein leak increase in your digestive track out of your body which irritates the skin and prompts certain conditions.

Mood Issues

Your gut bacteria have a role to play in your overall mood and mental health and one of the reasons is because there is a system of gut microbiomes in your colon. When you take care of it, you relieve any signs of anxiety, stress, and depression. Doing the opposite will have a detrimental effect on your mood. 

Migraines

Some studies imply that migraine may come from the sudden disruption of the microbiota in your gut, and these differences in the mix of your bacteria may be a trigger to your severe headache. Food sensitivity can be the reason for this. 

How to improve gut health naturally

You can find your gut in your small and large intestines. This system features trillions of microbial cells that build your microbiome. This is the community of bacteria that plays an important role in affecting the way you break down nutrients and digest food. Anybody who experiences metabolic issues such as Gaucher disease should keep their gut microbiome healthy for this is the answer to managing inflammation.

Improving your eating habits is a crucial place to start. When you clean up your gut, you’re helping your body reach homeostasis, or simply achieve balance. That way, your internal body organs don’t have to work harder which normally happens when there’s gut inflammation. The most natural way to improve your gut health is to watch what you eat and drink. Your food choices directly impact your gut microbiome. 

That said, your food diet should be a good balance of whole foods, fruits, and vegetables that  help promote good bacteria in your gut. There are healthy fats and carbohydrates you can consume from grains as well as good sources of protein to maintain a healthy gut. This means avoiding sugars and processed foods and having a good understanding of a FODMAP diet that can affect your gut health. 

Gut health is all about balance

balanced diet

It’s important to have a holistic view of the importance of gut health so you can enjoy your journey of health and wellness. Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute promotes quality of life with length of life. Hence, it’s good to have wisdom in eating moderately with diverse food choices. A balanced diet helps your digestive system to function properly, and the rest of your body to work more seamlessly.

In fact, a healthy gut may just be what you need to improve your mental health. There are various articles showing information linking gut health and depression, for example. And, as briefly mentioned above, gut health can affect your mood and send messages to your brain, too. The bacteria in your gut can influence your behavior through the neurotransmitters in your gut. 

You have to keep in mind that you’re “eating for your gut.” There’s less risk of chronic illnesses when you choose the right food and live a healthier lifestyle. It feels so much better and lighter when you have good digestion. 

So, make sure you have the right nutrition and consciously restore your gut health with a fiber-rich diet, for instance. Again, balance is key. Don’t limit yourself to only one food group or just one diet program depriving yourself of savory and nutritious foods. Get acquainted with different choices and diverse, nutrient-dense foods that are good for your gut.

References:
https://health.ucdavis.edu/health-news/newsroom/what-is-gut-health-and-why-is-it-important/2019/07
https://www.healthline.com/health/gut-health
https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/ss/slideshow-how-gut-health-affects-whole-body
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325293
https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/your-digestive-system-5-ways-to-support-gut-health
https://www.bluezones.com/2019/04/6-ways-to-improve-gut-health/
https://www.forbes.com/health/body/how-to-improve-gut-health/

healthy gut

Top 10 Tips for a Healthy Gut

The importance of a healthy gut can never be understated.

A healthy gut is crucial for a significant proportion of your immune system resides in the GI tract. There’s considerable interaction between your immunity and outside bacteria and reflects the state of your digestion. 

More and more experts understand the role gut health plays in keeping your whole being well. Neglecting this aspect may lead to diseases and other complications, so taking care of your digestive system should be one of your priorities in life.

Healthy bacteria and immune cells are vital in warding off infectious bacteria, fungi, and viruses that could be harmful to the body. Who is even exempted from gut problems? At one point, you may have experienced loose stools, abdominal pain, vomiting, and heartburn. Avoid the consequences of a destructive lifestyle and start making a change today! 

So, in this article, Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute lists down different ways to achieve a healthy gut.

The secret to a healthy gut

A healthy gut translates to a more beneficial immune system. This is the answer to enhancing your mood and optimizing your digestion. When you achieve this for your body, you are doing yourself a favor by boosting the state of your heart and brain.

Your lifestyle, and eating habits would reflect your gut health. Thus, these are some of the changes you can observe:

1. Consume food with insoluble and soluble fiber

Aiming for at least 25 grams of fiber each day should be friendly to your metabolism. Widen your plant-based nutrient source as this promotes the growth and diversification of your gut bacteria. Don’t be afraid to add foods like beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, fennel, and spinach to your diet. 

Soluble and insoluble fiber comes with their own set of advantages. For instance, soluble fiber helps improve digestion and lower blood sugar; on the other hand, insoluble softens stool, which allows you to have a smoother and more regular bowel movement. A combination of these would, in turn, have the best effects on your gut. 

2. Restrict your fat intake

Fatty foods have always been problematic for the body, but this needs reinforcement because people tend to be oblivious. 

Fats slow down the digestive process, which triggers constipation. This macronutrient is essential. But, it would help if you focused on healthy fats more and couple them with foods with high fiber to realize its benefits for the body.

Findings from various studies show that gut bacteria go through unfavorable changes with a high-fat diet. Thus, consuming too much of this macronutrient stimulates inflammation. This imbalance in bacteria also causes a leaky gut. This crack gives toxins, bacteria, and antigens the chance to penetrate the tissues beneath it, and it bears problems. 

For this reason, go for healthy fats in your diet. The best sources are walnuts, avocado, cold-pressed olive oil, ghee, and coconut oil. Eggs may also be a fine addition, and fish like tuna, sardines, and salmon. Gradually increase your intake of these to maximize their benefits for your body!

3. Exercise regularly

There is a common notion that only nutrition is good for the gut, but physical activities can be equally important. So, including frequent exercise may keep your digestion happy. How do you get active for your gut?

The first thing you can do is to start moving. Make it as regular as possible. Track your steps if you need to. Take the stairs if you can. There are low-impact cardiovascular workouts that you can embark on. Yoga, stretching, and weightlifting – are suitable for the body. 

A study suggests that implementing a steady fitness regimen improves microbes in the gut for only six weeks. You can optimize this positive effect by combining it with a nutritious diet that balances all the macronutrients your body requires.

Exercising is a big commitment. So, it would be best to be realistic with your goals. Make small, baby steps. Whether you are a pro or new in working out, sustainability is the key. Be consistent and build internal and external fitness for your body to realize a healthy gut.

4. Eat lean meat

A healthy and balanced diet isn’t complete without protein. However, be careful because fatty meat cuts lead to some digestive discomfort. Hence, the answer is to stick to the lean parts, including skinless poultry and pork loin. Control the portion of what you eat and fill more of your plate with fiber-rich foods coupled with vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.

Lean meats are a rich source of zinc, iron, and B12. The body quickly absorbs them, even faster than plant-based foods. But of course, the vitamin C in vegetables and fruits is also essential to the body, so an amount of them on your plate would be necessary.

How much lean meat is good for your body? Eating 1-3 servings per day is the recommended frequency, though the amount may vary depending upon your age. Variation is still the key so you can make the most of these food groups. 

5. Include probiotics and prebiotics in your diet

Probiotics and prebiotics are both beneficial to your body, with each of them playing vital roles to a healthy gut. While prebiotics feeds your gut bacteria, prebiotics, on the other hand, are good bacteria that contain live microorganisms essential to your digestive system.

Unhealthy gut bacteria causes gut inflammation. Those bacteria can consequently compromise your immune system in the long run. Hence, your body needs food and proper hydration to perform well. 

Incorporating probiotics and prebiotics in your diet can help maintain balance in your gut. Also, probiotics such as yogurts and prebiotics such as whole grains can prevent symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, for example. Including these in your plate once in a while can help you improve your gut health.

6. Get enough hydration and sleep

Sleep deprivation is enough to mess with your gut health. 

Most animal studies show that lack of sleep may disrupt the microorganisms in the intestines. They indicate that irregular sleep habits have negative outcomes in the gut flora, hence, risking inflammatory conditions. 

When it comes to sleeping, quality is king. It doesn’t only improve mood and cognition, but the health of the gut as well. Establish a pattern that your body will thank you for. Sleep and get up on the same schedule every day. Adults should get at least seven hours or more every night. 

Increasing your water intake is also vital in your digestive health. Remember that your body loses water as you breathe, sweat, and digest. Hence, replace it by getting enough hydration. Start assessing your physical activity, metabolism, and medications, for these would affect the water your body requires. 

According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, an average healthy adult should take at least: 11 cups of water for women and 15 cups for men.

7. Quit vices

Did you know that significant changes in gut bacteria can happen when you quit smoking? A study in 2019 showed that there’s a substantial decrease in the beneficial bacteria living in a smoker’s gut. So, if you’ve been in this habit for a long time, it may be best to re-think it. 

Other vices can be as bad as taking illegal drugs, for example. That’s going to ruin your entire immune system. Taking unprescribed medication can negatively impact and disrupt the microorganisms in your gut, too. Drinking and alcohol overdose can damage the lining in your gut and, consequently, overwhelm your gastrointestinal tract as studies showed.

You might not notice that staying up late at night and playing video games all day is taking its toll on your body. More often than not, when you’re excessively doing these activities at irregular hours, you tend to eat more. And for convenience’s sake, you will eat only what’s readily available such as processed foods. This needs to change!

8. Manage stress

Reducing stress may also be the answer to elevating your gut health. 

Psychological and environmental stressors may trigger your digestive system to be in overdrive. For this reason, finding stress-reducing activities will help you prevent this. When you know how to manage your stress, you have the power to reduce uncomfortable GI symptoms. And the development of your whole being will follow. 

There are techniques to manage stress. Some go for meditation, while others seek physical activities. Research emphasizes exercise to reduce the stress levels in the body. Hence, you may try this.  

No wonder stressed people often end up with an upset stomach. They are related and so learning how to deal with your anxiety is helpful for your gut. Consistently sticking to the routine that gives you peace is the way to go!

9. Give your gut a rest

Resetting your gut means giving your digestive system a break. You don’t realize how much work it does; it needs time to heal and repair itself. This rest can be done by increasing levels of beneficial bacteria in your large intestines, which helps break down the food you consume. This way, you’re helping your body absorb nutrients better and manage waste more efficiently.

Sometimes, you may need to detox for optimal gut health lightly. Pay attention to both what and how you eat. Choose whole-grain varieties of bread over white, for example. Let fiber quickly assist the transit and delivery of food to your gut. Be mindful of your food choices. Sit down when you eat and take your sweet time chewing your food to digest it well.


Eat probiotics such as Lactobacillius from yogurts. Incorporate more vegetables into your diet. Other times, you may need to go on fasting for a few days or only set several hours when you eat or drink in a day. Or, minimize snacking for a few days and maybe totally stop doing so. Stay hydrated so you can regulate your digestion well.

10. Avoid overly-processed food

Processed foods like frozen pizza, potato chips, and bacon are comfort foods you can quickly get. However, consuming a lot of them is detrimental to your gut health. Ready-to-eat meals and processed meats, for example, tend to be high in trans fats and refined carbohydrates. 

In many cases, ultra-processed foods increase the risks of coronary heart diseases and cardiovascular illnesses. Instead of frozen dinner take-outs filled with too many sugars and sodium, recreate them in your kitchen. Although it takes more planning, grilling chicken and preparing some vegetables to help you eat healthy meals at home.

Eating processed food occasionally is okay. But, don’t let them take bigger portions on your plate daily and in your weekly diet. Limit overly-processed foods so you can focus on more fresh and whole foods as much as you possibly can.

What does your gut tell you?

Often, you don’t “go” with your gut and follow what it tells you. Maybe you need to change your eating and lifestyle habits. Perhaps you need to cut down on high sodium food. “Listen” to what your gut tells you.

Every individual may have unique gut microbiomes, but the same recommendation applies: Moderation is key. Train your body on having a good relationship with food, especially those that give you proper nutrition. Find a good mix of a high fiber diet with fruits and vegetables, for example.

You will better understand and appreciate your gut when you take care of your gut health. In turn, you can enjoy better, quality food plus both length and quality of life. That’s what Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute is all about.

prebiotics and probiotics explained

Prebiotics and Probiotics: Explained

Collectively, prebiotics and probiotics can protect you against metabolic diseases.

With a healthy gut microbiota, you are letting your immune system work optimally. Therefore, a balanced diet helps you maintain normal body weight and stop pathogens that make you sick.

In a previous article here in Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute, you will find how the gut microbiome can affect your other body functions. That’s where prebiotics and probiotics come in. Gut inflammation can be caused by unhealthy gut bacteria and may lead to a compromised immune system. Hence, your body needs food and proper hydration in order to perform well.

It’s important to eat a good amount of prebiotics and probiotics to ensure healthy gut bacteria inside your body. Collectively known as gut microbiota, these gut bacteria perform vital biological functions for human health.

Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute explains the role of prebiotics and probiotics in your nutrition. Read on to learn how these food sources and supplements can affect your gastrointestinal bacteria and, consequently, avoid health issues.

What are prebiotics?

There are special plant fibers or substances from carbohydrates that help your digestive system work efficiently. These are prebiotics which aid healthy bacteria to grow in your gut. Moreover, they act as a food source – to feed on – for the healthy bacteria living in your gut.

Prebiotics help avoid food from getting stuck in your digestive system which often causes bloating and abdominal cramps. When prebiotics are incorporated in your diet, it may help stop symptoms or triggers of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Prebiotic foods

prebiotics

Many fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are good sources of prebiotics. Other prebiotic foods are:

  • Asparagus
  • Bananas
  • Greens
  • Onions
  • Soybeans
  • Garlic
  • Artichokes
  • Barley
  • Cocoa
  • Chicory
  • Flaxseed
  • Konjac root
  • Legumes
  • Oats
  • Wheat

You can also find products that are fortified with prebiotics such as bread, cereals, cookies, and even baby formula. One way to know that your food has prebiotics in them is to look for the following: chicory fiber, inulin, galactooligosaccharides, fructooligosaccharides, and oligofructose. Many dietary supplements also have them.

Benefits of prebiotics. The main purpose of prebiotics is to improve the overall balance of your gut microflora. While they essentially feed your good gut bacteria, prebiotics help keep the cells lining your gut to be healthy. Prebiotics help absorb calcium and maintain a healthy glycemic index in your body. This is done by improving the rate at which foods cause spikes in your blood sugar. Prebiotics also help you avoid constipation through fermenting food faster in your gut.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are good bacteria that contain live microorganisms, such as live yeasts, which are good for the digestive system. They naturally live inside your body. Probiotics also serve as the “police” that sustains order and stops any harmful bacteria to colonize in your gut.

For example, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are probiotic bacteria helping maintain the right acidity in your gut. Similarly, there are other edible sources you can consume, as well as supplements, rich in probiotics.

Foods rich in probiotics

probiotics

Many fermented foods are good sources of probiotics. Note that pasteurization kills bacteria. Therefore, if you need probiotic benefits from these foods, they should be pasteurized. Here’s a list of probiotic foods:

  • Yogurts
  • Sauerkrauts
  • Kimchi
  • Kombucha tea
  • Kefir
  • Unpasteurized pickles
  • Pickled vegetables

Benefits. Probiotics primarily maintain normal microflora – what is commonly called “good bacteria” – in your body. There are probiotic supplements with the intention of carrying the bacteria all the way down to your large intestine. Some, on the other hand, may not make it as far as your colon and get mixed in your stomach acid.

There are probiotic foods which are also synbiotic in nature such as cheese and kefir. It means that they contain both prebiotics and probiotics. You’re getting twice the benefits like 1) beneficial bacteria and 2) prebiotic fiber food source to feed your gut bacteria.

Why take prebiotics and probiotics 

prebiotics and probiotics

A person’s gut isn’t usually the first place people consider when seeking help for medical needs. However, recent studies and more general awareness about gut health are gaining more attention. You can have a more preventive approach in promoting a healthy gut ecosystem in your body. This way, you can be more intentional with your food choices and  “listen to your gut.”

Both prebiotics and probiotics are beneficial to your body, especially to your gut. But, they are good for the gut in different ways as mentioned above. Bottomline is that you should know which food affects the good and bad gut bacteria. When there’s gut imbalance, the bad bacteria can grow and colonize faster which may eventually overwhelm the good bacteria.

You can easily damage your gut microbiome with a diet composed of food rich in fat and sugar, for example. Harmful bacteria is often associated with increasing body mass index. Thus, you should exert a conscious effort to improve your gut bacteria with proper nutrition and lifestyle.

Lastly, before taking prebiotics and probiotics as supplements, consult with your doctor especially if your body is sensitive to certain ingredients. You should be guided by health professionals before consumption of large concentrations of these supplements to avoid risks of health conditions and gut-related illnesses.

Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute is on a mission to help people enjoy better food and quality of life. Remember: You can benefit from prebiotics and probiotics as a natural healing approach and strategy in advancing your gut health.

References:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/expert-answers/probiotics/faq-20058065#:~:text=Probiotics%20are%20foods%20or%20supplements,as%20food%20for%20human%20microflora
https://www.mayoclinic.org/prebiotics-probiotics-and-your-health/art-20390058
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/probiotics-and-prebiotics
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323490
https://atlasbiomed.com/blog/what-are-pre-and-probiotics-which-foods-and-how-do-they-work/