Useful bacteria in your diet

We rarely think of bacteria as a useful thing, not especially if it is going to our stomachs. Under normal circumstances, useful bacteria lives in our gut and help us live healthy. However, factors like poor diet, medication especially birth control pills and antibiotics can upset the balance of useful bacteria in the body. This may lead to a host of digestive difficulties which you can avoid if you added probiotics and prebiotics in your diet. You have probably been hearing about these prebiotics or probiotics in the diet, without knowing what they mean.

Prebiotics are simply natural food components that are non-digestible and are associated with growing useful bacteria in your gut. They therefore, improve the growth of good bacteria in your digestive system thus easing any digestive clogs. Your gut also requires that you have bacteria to enhance absorption of calcium in your body. Consuming prebiotics alone can cause you to have an effective digestion system since they ease this absorption and nourish your system. Prebiotics can be found from the food you eat every day that includes: bananas, onions, garlic, soy beans and whole wheat foods.

As well, probiotics are the actual good bacteria or live culture found in your digestive system. They help in boosting your immunity and overall health. Research shows that the probiotic bacteria has been used to treat irritable bowels and prevent some allergies while reducing symptoms of lactose intolerance. This however, varies from one person to another.  Probiotics prevent infections such as yeast overgrowth and help maintain the right PH in your intestines while improving digestion. Probiotics in your diet can be derived from fermented food such as yoghurt and other forms of aged cheese which have the live culture.

Both prebiotics and probiotics have to be taken together! Ideally, prebiotics are the breakfast, lunch and supper for the probiotics for your digestion system to keep healthy. This could for example, mean enjoying a drink of yoghurt that is topped up with bananas to obtain the benefits of both.

So be sure that you include sources of prebiotics and probiotics in your shopping list while taking time to check all labels in the market. Although there are many food items claiming to provide these nutrition boosters, always choose the natural form of probiotics and prebiotics for best results. The bottom line is that the two have to work together for the health of your gut system. This is especially vital especially when you have had a period where you were using antibiotics which may have killed the good bacteria in your system. In women, the recurrent yeast infections may also indicate that you need to increase your intake of probiotics and prebiotics in your diet!

 

 

Written by Nduta Wambura

Nduta Wambura is a certified Clinical Nutritionist and Public Health advocate

Website: http://www.ask-thenutritionist.com