Beneficial microflora in the gastrointestinal area of the body are important to digestive health. Not only do prebiotics increase the activity of lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria they increase the ability to absorb minerals and improve the immune system. As one of the newest fields of nutritional research it offers promising benefits for your immune system and heart.
Derived from carbohydrate fibers called oligosaccharides prebiotics stimulate the good bacterial growth to keep you healthy. These fibers can be found in such foods as fruit, whole grains, yogurt and whole grains. Yogurt also contains bifidobacteria which are known as fermentable fiber that is very beneficial as well. This fiber can protect the body against food poisoning.
Usually found naturally in foods and isolate from plants they can be taken as supplements. You can find them often added to processed foods and in yogurt. You can add the supplements to drinks, to foods or take them in a pill or capsule form.
The top raw foods to eat that contain prebiotics are bananas, wheat bran, onions, asparagus, chicory root, garlic, leek, and dandelion greens. Wheat flour and cooked onions are also good sources. Inulin is a type of prebiotic that can be found in 36,000 different plants and can be found in raw apple cider, apples, burdock root and if often added to dairy foods and baked goods.
Cholesterol and triglycerides levels have been lowered with the use of prebiotics. Inulin has reduced arteriosclerosis by 30%. Foods high in fiber are a particularly good source which include oatmeal, berries, and legumes. White blood cells are boosted and T cells. Osteoporosis and diabetes have been treated with prebiotics. Keep your body healthy, feed it the right things and you can maintain a balanced system.
You may see an increase in your bowel movements as your body cleanses itself and becomes used to the new levels of bacteria residing in your gut. The colon’s environment will become slightly acidic from the short chain fatty acids (SFCA’s that are products by the prebiotics as it reduces the hydrogen sulfide gas, they will be beneficial to the walls of the colon helping eliminate the effects of ulcerative colitis.
Mineral absorption increases and the immune system is enhanced. Intestinal irregularity, ulcerative colitis and colorectal cancer have all shown signs of reduction with a prebiotic diet. Early stage colon cancer has been shown to have been prevented and perhaps stopped from the effect of SFCA’s. But the treatment of disease is controversial but preliminary evidence has shown that prebiotics can improve antibiotic-related diarrhea, dysentery, gastroenteritis, and improve bowel functions.
Balancing your body with good bacteria, feeding your digestive system with the foods that help it help you is the path to staying healthy and feeling your best. Stress, drugs such as anti-biotics and a diet filled with processed foods and sugars as well as unhealthy lifestyles are all contributors to reducing the good bacteria in our guts. Eat the right foods and maintain a healthy balance.