Probiotics and Prebiotics
Probiotics are microorganisms that are created through the fermentation process. In your food, you might think of them as “good” microbes that can combat infection-causing microbes that flourish when we’re sick.
Prebiotics are basically food for probiotics.
It has been proven that foods that contain probiotics can improve bacteria balance. Bacteria balance can help with constipation, boost overall immunity, and there is even some evidence that probiotics can shorten diarrhea related to antibiotic use, contaminated food, clostridium difficile, or a virus.
Since the research is limited there isn't a definite recommendation on how much probiotic you should intake for a healthy gut. Here are some great probiotic foods:
Kimchi: This Korean side dish is a great form of probiotic because it's made from fermented vegetables. It is a great choice for those who don't consume dairy. Kimchi is a great source of dietary fiber and vitamin A and C.
Yogurt and kefir: Fermented dairy foods, like yogurt and kefir, contain beneficial bacteria as well. Those bacteria will help to break down sugars, like lactose, to make them easier to digest. Some people that are lactose intolerant can even eat dairy products with the probiotic lactobacillus acidophilus, which are common in yogurts that contain live strains.
Miso: Miso is made from fermented soybeans, is high in fiber and protein, as well as contains probiotics. If you want to preserve the beneficial microbial content of foods that have already been cooked or heated, just add miso.
When eating all these wonderful probiotic foods, make sure to mix in some prebiotic foods like asparagus, artichokes, bananas, garlic, leeks, onions, and soybeans!