Good Digestion is essential for good health, not just your physical health but also your mental health. If you are not digesting your food properly than you are not able to absorb the nutrients from your food properly. Furthermore when you have diarrhea you lose your minerals causing fatigue and you also get dehydrated.
Probiotics basically means ‘pro life’, they are live bacteria (good bacteria) that play a very important role in digestive health, they have been shown to have all sorts of other health benefits as well.(1) The improve heart health (2, 3, 4) and they also reduce your chances of suffering from depression and balancing your moods, as a lot of seratonin is produced in the stomach. When your digestion is off your emotions will be unbalanced, also people with a good balance of ‘good bacteria’ contained lower levels of cortisol. (via saliva test) High levels of cortisol have been linked directly to mental health disorders.
Prebiotics are a specialized plant fibre that encourages the growth of probiotics or your good bacteria. Think of them as food for probiotics. So they will give you all the same benefits of probiotics.
But Which Is Better?
Probiotics are live bacteria so in that sense they are very fragile,they can be killed by heat or your stomach acids, so you may not even absorb some of the probiotics that you are taking.
Prebiotics are food that you eat and will provide fertilizer for the bacteria that is already inside your stomach so you don’t have to worry about weather or not you will absorb it because you are feeding existing bacteria.
If you are taking antibiotics chances are a lot of your good bacteria are already dead, so in this instance it would better to take probiotics. Try colloidal silver instead of antibiotics next time
Everyone’s body is different and uses slightly different strains of bacteria so in this instance prebiotics would be better because you are feeding existing flora rather than taking prebiotics that your body may not be able to use.
Probiotics are alive so they can die over time and must be kept in the fridge,also they are very expensive.
Ways To Avoid Needing To Take Probiotics Or Prebiotics
When you body is too acidic it is the perfect breeding ground for many pathogens and bad bacteria, thus you will upset the balance of good bacteria and bad bacteria so keeping your body alkaline is a good place to start. Too much alcohol can kill of good bacteria as well as damaging the stomach lining, both resulting in bad digestion.
Taking antibiotics or eating animal protein that is not organic (fed with antibiotics) can upset your gut flora, so it is better to eat organic meat or if you are up for it, go vegan.
You may have a gluten allergy/celiac disease, which is causing you digestive problems, try an elimination diet and see how you feel. (remove gluten/wheat products from your diet for a month and see how you feel.
Food Rich Sources Of Probiotics
Sauerkraut – this is fermented cabbage, the Germans love it. Usually served with a bratwurst sausage.
Tempeh – A fermented soy product, normally found in vegan dishes as a meat alternative due to it’s decent protein content
Kimchi – This is the Korean version of saurkraut, only it contains chilli, garlic and fish sauce. It is very healthy
Miso – Another fermented soy bean product, originated from Japan, it is made into soup.
Pickles – also known as gherkins, they are fermented cucumbers
Food Rich Sources Of Prebiotics
Asparagus – Nutritious and delicious
Chia Seeds – natures multivitamin
Bananas – excellent source of potassium
Onions – I assume these guys need no introduction
Garlic – Also is natural antibiotic that just kills bad bacteria, most potent when eaten raw
Cabbage – What is used to make sauerkraut and Chinese cabbage is used to make Kimchi, you can eat it unfermented to feed the bacteria in your stomach
Beans/ Legumes – Soak them overnight or cook thoroughly to reduce gas, legumes are a little easier to digest
Artichokes – Yum
Root Vegetables – Betroot, sweet potato, carrots, yams etc.
Apples – an apple a day…