Our bodies are home to millions of living bacteria. During digestion, these “friendly” bacteria help us to absorb vitamins and micronutrients, send helpful signals to our immune system, and increase our disease resistance and immunity from the inside out.
You can easily increase the number of these beneficial bacteria by eating more natural probiotic foods or through probiotic supplements. Probiotics are the live microorganisms most often found in fermented foods like yogurt and cultured foods and beverages. But for optimal health, you should also add prebiotics to your diet. Prebiotics are naturally occurring nutrients found in plants and many foods containing dietary fibers that the probiotics feed on; together they work as a team to keep our digestive system functioning properly. By combining both probiotics and prebiotics you will increase the amount of good bacteria in your intestines and “gut”.
While the primary benefits of prebiotics and probiotics are digestive related – more efficient food digestion and increased nutrient absorption, they can also promote body-wide positive health changes. Improved digestive health has a direct impact on the immune system, less susceptibility to many illness, lower cholesterol levels, and improved physical strength. Maintaining healthy digestion is vital to good overall physical and emotional health.
Adding prebiotics and probiotics to your diet and improving your digestive process may be the secret to improving your overall health and wellness. Your digestive system including your esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and colon. In addition, the enteric nervous system, which is embedded in the lining of the gastrointestinal system can function independently of the brain and the spinal cord. The enteric nervous system is a complex system of neurons that can influence your mood and emotions through the production of serotonin. This serotonin allows chemical messages to travel between your central nervous system and your enteric nervous system. You have probably experienced this link when you were stressed, or nervous, your brain signals your gut, and your stomach responded by churning or becoming distressed.
The direct physical aspect of probiotics and prebiotics is much more straightforward – no matter how well or how healthy you eat, if you are lacking the good bacteria and enzymes directly related to pre and probiotics, your digestive system isn’t properly breaking down and absorbing the nutrients in your food, and your body can’t possibly get what it needs to keep you healthy.
Your digestive lining is host for your body’s immune system and defends you from invasions of harmful viruses and bacteria. Adding the “good” bacteria from preboitics and probiotics, will help protect you from viruses and the “bad” bacteria. This can help reduce or eliminate illnesses ranging from colds and flu to food poisoning or serious infections including H. Pylori or gastroenteritis.
The simple addition of foods containing probiotics and prebiotics to increase your natural beneficial bacteria will help your body properly digest and absorb the nutrients you need from your food, boost your immunity to illness and help to improve your physical health, as well as overall wellness and vitality.