Probiotics for gut health are all the rage in the nutrition world. Everyone is talking about eating yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchee and drinking kombucha to introduce those vital, “good bugs” to your gut. Lately, however, the science community has been buzzing about prebiotics to help nourish the healthy bacteria already in your gut. For healthy bacteria to thrive, they need fiber that survives the length of our GI tract without being digested. Two types of fiber, cellulose and fructans, are tough enough to survive the digestion process and become the food source for our ”good bacteria’. Fructans are found in many fruits and vegetables and cellulose is the tough part of veggies and fruit we usually don’t eat, like the stalks of broccoli and the string of celery. Cooking does start the break down process of these tough fibers, decreasing the amount of prebiotics in the food. With scientists estimating that over 70% of our immunity and 80-90 % of our serotonin comes from our gut, you may be wondering exactly which foods you should add to your diet to feed your “good bacteria”. Adding the following foods can start to shift your gut bacteria in a positive direction in as little as 48 hours.
- Jerusalem artichoke
- Cooked beans
- Chicory root
- Wheat bran
Remember to start slowly with all these fiber rich foods to avoid excessive gas and bloating.