Bacteria, good and bad govern our health. The amount in our body weighs as much as our brains! Because bacteria exist on and in our skin, airway, and digestive system, it acts as the first line of defense against a world of pathogens (infection agents). The bad kind; that which causes gum disease, or colitis, for example can lead to serious illness. The good kind can break down toxins, carbohydrates, protect the intestines, and promote the repair of damaged tissue. Each of us has our own personalized bacterial environment, called a microbiome that begins the day we are born and continues daily, helping to develop a healthy immune system.
Our good bacteria’s ability to keep the bad in check is a delicate balance. When the microbiome is disrupted through the proliferation of harmful bacteria, it throws the immune system out of whack, setting the body up for inflammation.
Inflammation is the body’s warning system that something is wrong. Persistent inflammation is hugely debilitating and can lead to such diseases as inflammatory bowel disease. Researchers are studying how probiotics can reduce and eliminate chronic inflammation. They are the living microorganisms found inside the gut that aid in digestion. As a living entity, probiotics need to be fed. Prebiotics are the food for probiotics.
Prebiotics are undigestible plant fiber that feeds the probiotics; thereby supporting its work to reduce inflammation, increase the absorption of minerals, and promote weight loss. Many whole fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of prebiotics such as bananas, onions, garlic, asparagus, oats, wheat, and soybeans. The more prebiotics for probiotics, the more efficient and healthier your gut will be.