Probiotics are just becoming part of our knowledge base when it comes to modern health. Even though this knowledge was basic for cultures before us, we forgot what a body really needs to survive and live without disease.
We had some help in that forgetting that has brought the problem to crisis proportions. Advertising, the casual use of processed fast foods that lack nutritional value and fiber, overprescribing of antibiotics and medications and the push by traditional medicine to medicate every symptom instead of finding the true cause of illness.
Take for instance someone who complains of skin rashes, eczema, nail fungus or psoriasis. They will be treated by the symptom rather than prompting a deeper investigation to find that the source is likely an overgrowth of bad bacteria in the gut.
Take another patient who complains of unimaginable weight gain, untrustworthy bowels, belly pain, diarrhea or IBS. Each symptom can have its own prescription and diagnosis when in truth, proper research might say you really have gut bacteria that is out of balance.
Poor gut health is finally being recognized as a contributor of many illnesses, yet the idea is not mainstream. The varying complaints that a sick gut can cause range from those similar to fibromyalgia to those of Alzheimer’s. Any symptoms of chronic pain and illness should include a check on gut health.
We often call this imbalance candida or “the bad bacteria”. In reality it is an overgrowth of candida, that although essential to gut health can grow into a problem. Usually it just needs some tweaking by feeding the good bacteria. That is where we learned to get probiotics into our bodies.
We found out that probiotics work. The problem is that they don't come from fast foods or in microwavable foods. In fact, probiotic foods are often fermented or cultured and can feel a bit weird. They are uncommon enough that we usually have to get “used to” adding them back into our diet.
Enter the prebiotic...
Just as you thought you had it settled, the prebiotic came on the scene and complicated things.
What is it and do I need it if I’m already taking a probiotic and getting better?
Think of the prebiotic as good soil or the fertilizer for probiotics. The probiotics are the live cultures that we want to grow good bacteria in our guts. They are going into a war zone after the typical diet and will do their best to multiply and balance against bad bacterias. Eating prebiotic foods is a bit of insurance for probiotics. It gives probiotics a rich food supply in the gut so they can multiply and do a better job.
Even though you can buy prebiotics, there are plenty of natural sources that can be incorporated into your diet. Some of the greatest sources of prebiotics are:
Raw Chicory Root
Raw Jerusalem Artichoke
Raw Dandelion Greens
Raw Wheat Bran
Baked Wheat Flour
Other good sources include, cabbage, beans, legumes, lentils, radishes, coconut meat, coconut flour, flax, chia seeds. tomatoes, jicama and yams.
The video below gives an overview of gut health and how important it is to your life. (The photo is somewhat unrelated and it is not actually a c-section video.)