Bacteria that most of us are aware of are supposedly ‘BAD’ and have ill effects on our health. But, what if I tell you there are ‘Good Bacteria’ as well. Surprised! Then don’t be. There are indeed bacteria which are actually good for us especially for our digestive system.
Most of us are aware of Prebiotics and Probiotics but, are you aware of their function? They largely help in absorption and digestion. In other words it means they improve the gut system.
Prebiotics are natural, non-digestible food ingredients that help in promoting good bacteria in your gut. These are found in bananas, onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, artichokes, soybeans and whole-wheat foods.
Probiotics are naturally found in your gut. They are actually live micro organisms that balance the gut flora and increase immunity. Probiotics are also used for treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, for specific allergy symptoms, to reduce symptoms of lactose intolerance. Probiotics are found in dairy foods including curd, buttermilk, cheese. They are also found in fermented products like kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh and soy beverages.
Probiotics help to protect the body from infection. They help with better digestion and nutrient absorption apart from helping in detoxification and cleansing our body. Probiotics have been shown to support liver function.
Unfortunately, there are numerous factors which create an imbalance between “good” and “bad” bacteria, and thus interfere with our body’s natural ability to heal and detoxify itself. It is done by chlorinated water, stress, oral contraceptives, refined foods and poor digestion. Antibiotics also affect the gut flora.
Probiotics can be consumed in supplement form but, while buying them it’s bioavailability is equally important as not all Probiotics gets absorbed. There are also supplements available in the market in form of capsule (for adults), powder (for children) and liquid too. However, it is always better to opt for natural sources over supplements, as sugar present in them makes our system environment acidic. This acidic medium kills the ‘good’ bacteria and aids to grow ‘bad’ bacteria. Thus, probiotics are unable to work efficiently.
Be sure to include food sources of prebiotics and probiotics in your grocery shopping list because they aid in creating a healthier you.