Probiotics and Prebiotics

How Probiotics WorkThere is increased interest in the role of probiotics and prebiotics in maintaining optimum health. When prebiotics and probiotics are combined in supplements, they are called synbiotics. Probiotics are the live organisms; good bacteria that help to keep our guts healthy. The benefits of probiotics extend to the whole body due to the “enhanced” communication between the gut, immune, nervous and hormonal systems. Whenever we eat foods that contain live cultures such as yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi or any other fermented foods, we also get the good bacteria or live organisms from those foods. These organisms benefit from the prebiotics which are the fermentable nutrients used by the live organisms. Prebiotics can be obtained from vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains  and nuts which provide the non-digestible carbohydrates, fiber and resistant starch used by the live organisms in our gut. Good gut bacteria have positive benefits and affect body weight, fat distribution and insulin sensitivity. This is an important area of health now, because there is so much known about how our diets affect our health. This is a great reason to increase our fruit, vegetable, whole grain, nuts, seeds and legume intake.