Have you taken your probiotics today? If so, chances are you’re pretty aware of the role your microbiome plays in your overall health. Many scientists are now referring to the gut as the “second brain,” noting that our digestive health is linked to the immune, nervous, and cardiovascular systems. While we’re just beginning to understand gut health, if you’re looking to boost yours, you should not just be taking your probiotics, but adding prebiotic foods to your daily diet as well.
Prebiotics are different than probiotics, but not any less important. Probiotics refer to the beneficial bacteria that make up the gut lining, or the mucous lining of our digestive tract which prevents toxins from seeping into our bloodstream and causing health conditions. They also work to properly digest our food so that we’re able to absorb all their nutrients. Prebiotics, on the other hand, are the fibers that probiotics use for energy to increase the number of healthy microorganisms in the gut.
“Prebiotics are the food for the bacteria that live naturally in our digestive systems," explains Willow Jarosh, MS, RD, CDN, resident nutritionist at Health-Ade Kombucha. "Typically, they’re non-digestible fibers that go through our digestive system and feed probiotics to help them proliferate and create the ideal balance of bacteria in the gut.”
When our microbiome is well-balanced with prebiotic fibers and probiotic bacteria, our digestion is regular, we feel satiated, and we boost our overall health in so many ways. Check out the gallery below for a list of prebiotic foods that will get you one step closer to this ideal balance and feeling your best!