gut bacteria

Prebiotics - Probiotics less famous but equally as cool cousin

So here we are, mid winter in Wanaka NEW ZEALAND (other end of the earth) and everyone is going down with colds and flus (even with the flu jab, who would believe it!).

Probiotic talk is willy nilly.

Even your most MEDICAL DOCTOR who doesn’t believe in all this hocus-pocus-new-age-natural-self-healing-nonsense agrees that probioitics COULD be important to your gut health. The Swiss put you onto them every time they prescribe antibiotics. AND I did see an article recently in The Independent stating that ‘Probiotics hold the key not just for better health and a stronger immune system, but also for supporting digestive health, mental health and neurological health.” WHOLEY MOLEY stop the bus, this is going mainstream!

But prebiotics are still the cooler, lesser talked about younger cousin who you REALLY want in your life.

Whilst they are similar to probiotics, prebiotics and probiotics are not the same. Prebiotics are actually, in simple terms, the foods that probiotics consume for energy. They’re referred to as fermentable fibre. Prebiotics are non-digestible foods that help the healthy bacteria already living in the gut to grow and flourish. Mixed together, probiotics and prebiotics form something called synbiotics.

Prebiotic foods are:

-Artichokes

-Barley

-Berries

-Bananas

-Flaxseeds

-Garlic

-Honey

-Dandelion Greens

-Kale

-Chard

-Leeks

-Legumes

Because 80 percent of your entire immune system is located in your digestive tract you NEED to let “food be thy medicine”. In addition to the impact on our immune system, our digestive system is the second largest part of our neurological system. It’s called our enteric nervous system and is located in our gut.

This is why it is called our second brain!

In the past 3 years I have worked with people with health issues such as thyroid imbalances, chronic fatigue, joint pain, psoriasis, diverticulitis, insomnia, sleep apnea, autism, arthritis, hormonal imbalance, adrenal fatigue (and many other conditions) and they are astounded when they start to understand that these issues can originate from a dicky gut. One of my questions I ask in initial consultation is ‘when did you last have antibiotics?’, and ‘how is your immune system in general?’ Sure we all catch stuff, but ‘how quickly can you move through it?’ AND (most importantly “WHAT DO YOU EAT EVERY DAY?”

The secret to maintaining digestive health is all about balancing out the good (85%) and bad (15%) bacteria in your gut. If you’re going to be healthy, you must consider consuming both prebiotic and probiotic-rich foods.

When I first started working with Gut healing 10 years ago on my own son because of his excruciatingly painful eczema (with him for life we were told) and allergies it was virtually impossible to find products in the health food stores, let alone the supermarkets. When I then worked on my own gut intensively for 2 whole years (yup, it takes that long to undo a lifetime of damage!) and Suki’s gut after she had to have a huge amount of antibiotics for a bacterium that had lodged inside, we followed the GAPS diet to basically rebuild and re-populate our guts. In New Zealand we are SO lucky we can buy high quality versions of foods in the supermarket, whereas in Switzerland I was having to make it all from scratch which was incredibly time consuming, (but very rewarding when it worked)!! So what I’m saying is there’s no excuse not to introduce these healing foods into your diet TODAY.

Thus, todays gift to you; If you are battling never ending colds and flus, digestive issues, low energy, bad breath (I know right!), weight retention, leaky gut, IBS etc etc introduce some of the prebiotic foods AND the following TODAY!

-Kombucha

-Kefir (coconut and milk)

-Sauerkraut

-Kimchi

-Nato

-Yoghurt

-Raw Cheese

-Miso

-Tempeh

-Brine-cured Olives

-Apple Cider Vinegar

And what to avoid?

-Prescription antibiotics

-Sugar

-Tap Water in a city

-Grains

-Emotional Stress (a shitty job)

-GM foods

-Chemicals and over the counter medication

There you have it my friends, “Almost nothing influences our gut bacteria as much as the food we eat. Preboiotics are the most powerful tool at our disposal if we want to support our good bacteria - that is, those that are already there and are there to stay.”
Giulia Enders, Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ

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