Discover probiotics, and how you can reap the health benefits with a minimal amount of effort. Who would have known that frozen yogurt was so good for you (in moderation of course).
Prebiotics are a specific type of food that we should consider consuming regularly. What makes prebiotics special is that they are the indigestible ingredients of certain foods that create positive effects for our gut health. The way to think of it is: that the prebiotics create the optimal flora that allows for growth of bio-cultures.
A prebiotic effect occurs when there is an increase in activity of healthy bacteria in our gastro-intestinal tract. Stimulating the growth of the healthy bacteria in our gut increases our resistance and provides a number of health benefits.
Natural sources of prebiotics include: asparagus, leek, onions, banana, wheat, garlic, dandelion root and chicory root. Prebiotics are a dietary fibre that triggers the growth of favourable bacteria.
Probiotics are the good (beneficial) bacteria that we need in our digestive system for optimal health. With the symbiotic assistance of prebiotics, it is estimated that there are ten trillion bacteria present in our human gut.
By eating a variety of fermented food we can naturally increase the good bacteria by boosting the number and variety of good bacteria living in our GI (gastro-intestinal) tract.
Humans need a diverse population of good bacteria and there are up to four hundred different species – and that is one reason why getting probiotics from food is the best method vs. using supplements.
The GI health benefits of probiotics include: helping to alleviate diarrhea, constipation, IBS symptoms, enhance your immune function and protect against colon cancer.
Due to the health benefits of prebiotic foods and fermented foods, try to include them as part of your diet on a daily basis.
What is the connection between vinegar, fermented foods and the Glycemic Index?
Vinegars are often used during the fermentation process of foods. Incorporating a small amount of vinegar in your meal will lower the overall Glycemic Index, thus resulting in your food digesting slower and keeping you fuller longer.
I would recommend a small garden salad with vinaigrette dressing (oil and vinegar) during your lunch or supper.