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The buzz about probiotics has been doing the rounds for long now and for some really good reasons. Apart from improving digestion, probiotics also help in reducing symptoms of IBS, improves bowel movements, regulates cholesterol, blood sugar levels and even helps to improve one's moods. In fact, research suggests that probiotics can help improve gut health, colon health and even delay cognitive decline.
But did you know that eating foods rich in probiotics alone might not help? Researchers are of the opinion that in order to reap the benefits of probiotics one needs to eat a good amount of prebiotics too. Yes, we know you haven't heard about them yet. In fact, a lot of research is underway to unravel the bounty that prebiotics can offer. As for now, we know that prebiotics help probiotics to work better. Here is how probitoics can help to keep depression at bay.
What are prebiotics?
Prebiotics are not similar to probiotics. Unlike probiotics, prebiotics are not living organisms. They are soluble, fermentable fibres our stomach is unable to digest. So wondering how something that is non-digestible t can help to promote good health and that too improve functions in the gut? Well, these soluble fibres progress to our intestines, where they get mixed with the probiotics and are fermented into short-chain fatty acids. And it is these fatty acids that help in improving the gut flora even after yo u ate the yoghurt long since. Here are eight foods that help to add more fibre to your diet.
It is essential to take care of the gut flora or the good bacteria that promotes digestion and other functions of the intestine reduce inflammation, improve symptoms of IBS etc. Good gut bacteria needs nourishment to grow and flourish; in short, it needs nourishment to keep your gut healthy. So, if you are not eating the right kind of foods the balance of good and bad bacteria can go haywire and make you prone to various gastrointestinal troubles.
No, eating foods rich in probiotics alone won't help. To ensure you get benefitted by the same you will need a good amount of prebiotics in your diet too.
How does prebiotics help?
As mentioned, prebiotics works in conjunction with probiotics and make for a healthy gut environment. Now when you eat foods rich in probiotics like yoghurt, fermented milk or cottage cheese, the good bacteria in them need carbohydrate and sugar to remain alive inside the gut. No, we aren't telling you to up the amount of carbohydrate and sugar in your diet. Instead, include prebiotics which will act as fuel for the good bacteria and help them go about doing their work in the gut. In a way, the prebiotics will help to keep the balance of good and bad bacteria intact as the good bacteria will flourish for longer nurtured by prebiotics.
What are the sources of prebiotics?
Yes, you might want to know how you can bring a balance in your diet and get the right amount of probiotic and prebiotic. Now, to include prebiotic in your diet you don't have to do any major changes in your diet. In fact, foods that are high in soluble fibre content are rich in prebiotics onions, garlic, beans and legumes. So, ensure that you have them in your diet along with your curd during meal times.
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