By Kristin Neusel, MS, RD, LD, CDCESFeeding and nurturing our gut microbiome is such an important part of a healthy lifestyle. I frequently get asked:
- How can I improve my gut health, and
- What foods are good for the gut?
The goal is to ensure you have a diverse range of “good” bacteria in your gut
The good bacteria play a role in a variety of different bodily functions.
Probiotics are the bacterial strains.
Prebiotics are the foods (fiber!) that feed your probiotics.
Postbiotics are byproducts of the fermentation process carried out when the probiotics in your intestines eat the prebiotics you feed them.
The goal of having both probiotics and prebiotics is to increase the number of good bacteria in your colon, which positively impacts your health.
Fiber also helps slow the absorption of sugar, making it a great addition to a person’s living with diabetes diet.
What foods contain probiotics and prebiotics?
When looking for probiotics, you’ll want to look for the term “live active cultures” on the container.
We all know yogurt is a great source of probiotics, but some other great sources of probiotics are:
- Sourdough bread
Also, try some kimchi or miso paste, or add some sauerkraut to a supper dish for some additional probiotics.
I’ve also noticed a lot of foods are being fortified with probiotics. Everything from dark chocolate to granola is being packed with a punch of probiotics, making it easier to find.
As far as incorporating more prebiotic foods into your diet, this one is easy!
- An apple or banana in the afternoon as a snack
- Garlic and onions added to an evening dish is a simple way to incorporate more prebiotic foods into your diet
Inulin, which can be extracted from chicory root, is a wonderful example of a prebiotic and is found in many foods that are high in fiber. A lot of high-fiber granola bars and cereals are fortified with chicory root inulin too.
Below is a quick and easy good-for-your-gut recipe, including both probiotics and prebiotics.
It is also complete with healthy, minimally-processed foods.
Morning Yogurt ‘n Berries
1 cup of plain non-fat yogurt
¼ cup fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons flaxseed
1 teaspoon of honey
Mix together and enjoy!
Look for credentialed sites with registered dietitians
When looking for gut-health resources, always look for sites that have dietitians who are credentialed and healthcare providers who are qualified.
To learn more about gut-microbiome basics, watch Pendulum’s “Microbiome 101” video.
Also, get the latest gut-health tips by following Pendulum on the following social-media sites: