Gut Health: The Three P's
Gut health awareness has exponentially grown throughout the past few years. It's become common to hear discussions related to GI and our gut microbiome. Products like prebiotics and probiotics are marketed throughout TV, magazines, and social media. Read on to learn about your gut health and what you should be eating to promote a healthy gut environment!
Let's start at the beginning, what is the gut?
The GI tract is defined as the pathway from your mouth to your colon. The liver, pancreas, gallbladder, and gastrointestinal tract (GI) make up the system that allows for food digestion and nutrient absorption.
The GI tract is lined with bacteria referred to as the gut microbiota. When we hear bacteria, we may think of something bad or something we do not want in our body. However, that is not entirely true. The body needs its share of bacteria to keep a balanced environment. Gut health is essential to our health because it plays a pivotal role in immune function and overall health. Proper gut health has also been seen to have positive effects on chronic diseases. Not only does gut health play a role in these diseases but an unhealthy gut can be associated with the actual development of many of these chronic diseases.
One of the most crucial aspects of gut health is promoting a diverse gut microbiome. Diversity in the gut microbiome helps promotes the proper health and function of our body.
Promoting a healthy gut begins with what we put in it. The list of gut-benefiting supplements is extensive. There are prebiotics, probiotics, even postbiotics. Do we really need them? Can you attain a healthy gut without these supplements?
Prebiotics are the fertilizer and food for the healthy bacteria in the gut. Prebiotics are found in most foods that contain complex carbohydrates. These carbohydrates are not digestible by our body, so they pass right through and become food for the bacteria in our gut. By eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, you are getting a good dose of prebiotics regularly!
Probiotics are live organisms found in food that increase the number of healthy microbes in our gut. Probiotics have been found to aid in food digestion and support the immune system. Probiotics are living organisms and exist in fermented foods. Some common probiotic-containing foods are yogurt, kimchi, or sauerkraut.
For those who do not consume many probiotic-containing foods, supplementation is not uncommon. Speak with your health professional before adding any supplements to your daily routine!
Postbiotics are the byproduct of the probiotic process in the gut. Postbiotics result from the fermentation process and are the components that make prebiotics and probiotics beneficial to the body. For the most part, consuming both prebiotics and probiotics should promote the process of postbiotic in a healthy GI system.
Here at Nutrition for Longevity, your gut health is one of our top priorities. We believe in a good soil microbiome, which creates a rich and nutrient-dense plant microbiome. The fruits and vegetables in our healthy meal plans come directly from our farm to your meals will help you get started on improving your gut health! If you still have questions about your gut health or any of our healthy meal plans, check out our blog to improve your gut health!