I have been consuming probiotics for the past couple of years now, and I even upgraded to the 24 billion live bacteria cells per pill. I have reaped a multitude of benefits of course, both from the inside and the outside. Bloating, indigestion and constipation are history now. Acne and breakouts are mishaps of the past, life is beautiful with probiotics. However little did I know that maximizing benefits of proper probiotics consumption requires a few easy to practice steps..
Note to self before we resume; we naturally have over 500 species of bacteria in the large intestine, many of which are good, so technically speaking we don’t need to take probiotics to reap the benefits of good bacteria in our gut. It’s god-given, meaning that eating prebiotic foods will help fuel the good bacteria we already have.
To begin with, are you storing your probiotics in the fridge, not only their longevity requires a cool and dry place, it’s the fridge where they belong to. Remember, probiotics are live bacteria, they will simply die if not stored properly.. Another myth is that consuming probiotics on an empty stomach will do you good, until I came across the fact that it is actually better to consume probiotics with certain foods that will maximize the benefits of those wondrous bacteria.. Being alive, probiotics require nurturing, which means, creating the perfect environment for them to grow and multiply efficiently thus maximizing benefits is crucial! Which brings us down to ‘prebiotics’.
Bottom line, it turns out that probiotics are only half of the equation. A good start, but not the skin-clearing gut healing powerhouse they could be. What’s missing? Prebiotics.
As mentioned above, probiotics are live culture; they need food to fuel them. Prebiotics stimulate the growth of good bacteria, and together prebiotics and probiotics rebalance the bacteria in your gut. And the better the environment inside your digestive system is, the better your overall health is. Why? Because that’s where the body processes waste. When there are too much bad bacteria, undigested toxins are pushed out through the skin and kept in our intestines.
Where can we find good prebiotics?
Probiotics are commonly and largely found in yogurt, fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut, as well as kefir, prebiotics are found in fibrous foods like whole grains, chicory, garlic, onions, leeks, artichokes, and bananas.
However, there’s another piece of news to consider: naturally and unluckily our gut tends to maintain the acidic state, the trick is how to make bacteria survive the long digestive tract trip without losing their efficacy?
Yogurt is a great way to deliver probiotics since it’s kept cold and works to neutralize the stomach acid. If you choose to go this route though, look for live and active cultures in yoghurt..As for prebiotics, those are strong forms, and are known to resist gastric acidity, so you can eat them without fear of disruption.
Lastly, it is recommended to speak with a physician first and decide on the right strain of bacteria for your specific health goals, especially since not all “good bacteria” treat the same health issues.
The best sources of prebiotics are the following;
Raw Chicory Root
Raw Jerusalem Artichoke
Raw Dandelion Greens
Raw Wheat Bran
Baked Wheat Flour