Why You Can’t Live Without Prebiotics and Probiotics

July 24, 2020


Why You Can’t Live Without Prebiotics and Probiotics

why you can't live without prebiotics and probiotics

What are prebiotics and probiotics – and why do they matter?

First, let’s talk about the common denominator between these two: Life.

These are just two of the many things your body needs to have a full and rich life–weight loss, gut health, and mental wellness. 

Additionally, these feed the life living inside you. This life must be harmonious with your own, or else you cannot live in health and happiness. 

This harmony is achieved through your probiotics and prebiotics. I’m about to show you exactly how their health benefits may enhance both lives. 

The Inside Life

The microbiome. You may have heard of it, or it may sound like a foreign language. Either way, your microbiome is an important aspect of your health that cannot be ignored. The microbiome is like a community of all the living organisms in your digestive tract and even your brain!

Now I know what you must be thinking:

I have living organisms in my body?

The answer is yes! But don’t be afraid, these organisms are here to help you. Beneficial bacteria live in your microbiome and help fight against sickness, along with other jobs you don’t know they’re doing.

These organisms even have DNA that is different from your own. That means they work for you, but they aren’t a part of you. They live in harmony with your body and are vital to your health. 

Like good construction workers, they do their jobs and clean up their mess. They work quickly, using vitamin B and K to do their work, and don’t disrupt your daily function. 

When this group of organisms is in balance the way God designed, your body is happy. A well-balanced microbiome can mean a longer life, beautiful skin, a sharp memory, and a strong immune system.

Yet, our balance may be off. This is called dysbiosis, and it brings a dark cloud of unhappiness with it: immune system failure, colds, viruses, even eczema, and acne. 

So, it’s important to make sure our microbiomes are in balance. 

Probiotics and Diet

A steady diet of probiotic-rich foods is paramount to healthy living. In fact, the diet you consume determines the health of your microbiome. 

Did you know that each person has a unique microbiome? Like a fingerprint, no two people have the same makeup in their microbiome. 

It even depends on your location: farmers have a vastly different microbiome than city dwellers. That’s how specific they are to our individual bodies. 

Check out my video 7 Powerful Steps to Heal Your Gut that can get your microbiome back to a healthy place again. 

But no matter where we are, the food we eat feeds our microbiome. The best way to do this is to get foods that are high in probiotics. Probiotics work to make sure that our microbiome is flourishing and doing its job. 

This is essential especially after taking antibiotics, which will kill the good gut bacteria. But what does it mean to have a healthy gut and beneficial bacteria? I’ll show you: 

Health Benefits of Prebiotics and Probiotics

benefits of prebiotics and probiotics

What can prebiotics and probiotics do to your body?

Here are just some of the numerous benefits that foods rich in pre- and probiotics can do for your health.

1. Help with the metabolism of nutrients

The nutrients in your body need to be delivered to different areas. Probiotics can make sure they get where they need to go. 

2. Build immunity

You’ll have less sick days and shorter sick days when you occasionally catch a cold. 

3. Help metabolize cholesterol

This can help keep your cholesterol levels low and your heart happy. 

4. Increase digestive health

When your gut bacteria is balanced, it can break down foods easier and you’ll have less digestional issues. This means fewer symptoms for irritable bowel syndrome and others.

5. Help the body be stress resilient

If stress really affects your body, having probiotics in your system will help you defend against the physical symptoms of a busy work week. 

6. Improve brain function

According to a scientific study featured in the Harvard Health Publishing, probiotics are beneficial to a person’s mind and mood.

Since the gut and the brain are connected, having healthy gut bacteria can actually improve your brain function and your overall mood. 

7. Lower inflammation

Inflammation is linked to many diseases and chronic pain, so anything to lower this risk is a safe investment. 

8. Reduce homocysteine

High homocysteine levels can cause blood clotting and other heart damage. Take probiotics regularly to avoid increasing the risk of heart issues. 

9. Help prevent cancer

Because of its effects on the immune system, probiotics can help your body naturally fight off any invaders–including cancer cells. 

10. Help lessen radiation side effects

Radiation leaves a residual similar to fireworks on the 4th of July when the debris is all over the ground. Probiotics help with the day-after cleanup. And in the case of radiation, the clean up can take up to 7 years. 

11. Help prevent candida

Candida is basically a yeast infection, and you don’t want that. Having a healthy microbiome can lessen the chances of getting this type of fungal infection and help starve the yeast.

12. Promote weight loss

Because you’ll need less food to help your body function properly or to fill your hunger, you may experience weight loss. 

Check out this video where I discuss the many benefits of prebiotics and probiotics to your body.

Or if you would rather listen to the teachings in this video, here is a podcast episode that covers this topic, as well. Please give it a listen and/or download it to share with your family and friends who may benefit from the lessons I shared here.

Probiotics are an army. We have trillions of good bacteria in our body–but also bad bacteria. When we keep these bacteria in balance, by having a daily dose of probiotics, then they work towards our good health. 

When all of this bacteria is destroyed by medications, processed foods, alcohol, older age, and antibiotics this allows our body to be vulnerable to disease, viruses, and bacterial infections. Our health improves only when our bodies can prevent and fight invaders. 

It is so beautiful to see how God continues to reveal his fingerprints in the design of our body. Probiotics are part of that reveal.

Probiotics for Weight Loss

When our body and health are balanced properly, less food is needed to get that full feeling. The hormone in charge of that feeling is called Leptin. Leptin talks to your appetite and says “you can stop eating now!”

When this balance is off, you may eat and eat and not get that full feeling. This means weight gain and lingering hunger. Many people suffer from this phenomenon and have no idea why. Finally, feel satisfied by getting your microbiome back in check and lose the need for snacking. 

Along with the balance it brings to your hormones, probiotics also make it easier for your body to metabolize food. This means easier weight loss and an increase in overall health!

They also help keep your fat content low by not storing as much fat from the foods you eat. Studies show that obese people have different microbial makeup than healthy people. To start your journey to health, it starts with the right microbiome. 

Give your body the probiotic foods it needs to be healthy and happy. 

Probiotics Food Sources

Foods are the key source for good bacteria. Many of these are fermented foods, which can have a strong taste. But an even stronger effect on your body (for good!).  

Hopefully, you have read my book Treasures of Healthy Living Bible Study in which I teach 3 principles for eating. These 3 principles will always lead you to healthy food choices. These food choices include healthy probiotics!

Here are the key foods for good bacteria to populate:

Yogurt 

Get the full-fat yogurts. It may seem counterintuitive, but I promise it’s healthy! The heating process they use to make low-fat yogurts kill most of the good bacteria.

How to buy Yogurt

Look for organic, unsweetened. No flavors added.

I prefer you to add flavoring. This increases the likelihood of the probiotics being active for your body to benefit.

Kefir

This is a fermented milk drink that’s similar to yogurt, but with a thinner consistency. It’s great for your health if you can handle the slightly sour taste. 

How to buy Kefir

Similar to yogurt; buy organic and unsweetened.

Kimchi 

kimchi

This Korean dish is salted and fermented vegetables. If you like sauerkraut then this will be a favorite. You can either eat it as it is, or you can add it to another meal like rice. 

*NOTE: a serving size of kimchi is 2 tablespoons

How to buy Kimchi

This food is becoming popular in all stores. Here’s my favorite brand of kimchi that I trust and absolutely love!

An alternative to buying kimchi is making your own.

Kimchi Recipe

I found this recipe online at this site, and fell in love with it. I switched it up a bit to make it more biblically healthy for you. You can trust it will still be delicious and healthy for you. 

Ingredients:

1 Head of cabbage

¼ cup kosher salt

Water (best if filtered)

6 cloves of grated garlic

1 teaspoon peeled ginger

1 teaspoon sucanat 

3 tablespoons water

1 to 5 tablespoons red pepper flakes

8 punches Korean radish, peeled and cut thin

4 scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-inches

Directions:

  1. Cut Cabbage: Cut it into 4ths. Remove the cores from each piece. After cutting into 4ths, cut these pieces into 2-inch wide strips.
  2. Salt: Put cabbage in a bowl and season with salt. Mix the salt into the cabbage until it softens. Cover the cabbage with water. Place a plate on top of cabbage and use a heavy object to weigh it down, so the cabbage is pressed. Let it sit for 1 to 2 hours.
  3. Rinse: Rise the cabbage off 3 times with cold running water. Let it dry in a colander while you complete the next steps.
  4. Make the paste: In a bowl, add garlic, ginger, sugar, and water and stir into a paste. Stir in Korean red pepper flakes. Set aside until the cabbage is dry
  5. Combine: When the cabbage is dry, add it to the spice paste. Add radish and scallions.
  6. Store: Press the kimchi into a 1-quart jar, making sure that the brine rises to cover the vegetables with 1 inch. Seal the jar and place at room temperature. 
  7. Ferment: Let the jar sit for 1 to 5 days, checking on it once a day and pressing down on the vegetables to help the fermentation process. Taste it every day and place it in the refrigerator when it tastes right to you. 

Give this kimchi recipe a try and feed your body will all the beneficial bacteria it needs!

How to Buy a Probiotic Supplement

overdose on probiotics

There are 300 – 1000 bacteria species in the gut but there are millions of strains comprising the billions of bacteria total. Supplements can be an easy way to get these various strains consistently. Look for companies that guarantee the survival of the probiotic throughout your digestive tract. 

Knowing the strains of bacteria in the product is also as important and a new way of looking for a good product. It is no longer how many names are on the label but what strain is related to it.

No longer do you need to look in the refrigerated section of the store. This is only necessary for certain strains. It may seem like these are more healthy than other versions, but that’s not necessarily the case. Science has evolved to learn about other strains that can be stored at room temperature. 

The best advice I have about buying probiotics is to look for a company you can trust. There’s a lot of companies out there trying to capitalize on buzz-products like probiotics, but they don’t provide reliable products. I’ve called companies right there from the grocery store just to see if they’re worth my investment!

This is why I only trust this probiotic supplement after doing my research and testing it myself. I experienced great results from it, and it’s a true value for my money.

Can You Overdose on Probiotics?

An important point about probiotic supplements is that you can’t overdose. You have trillions of bacteria in your system, and they die off quickly and need replacement. A dose of probiotics in supplement form will deliver billions of bacteria while your system has trillions needed on a daily basis.

While you should maintain the recommended dosage (usually one or two pills per day), don’t live in fear when you accidentally double-up. 

I have been taking pre and probiotics for many years and suggest it with many of my clients, especially those dealing with any digestive or mental issues. When we heal the gut by populating the microbiome we begin the healing of the entire body.  These are the products I use because they help with metabolism, balance gut microflora, improve mental cognition, and help with inflammation markers.

The Dynamic Duo – Prebiotics and Probiotics

We’ve all heard about probiotics — we’ve seen the yogurt commercials. But what about prebiotic foods, and what are their health benefits?

Prebiotics are probiotics’ best friend. Probiotics have a job to do in the body, but they can’t get it done without the support of prebiotics. Basically, prebiotics give probiotics the right “food” that gives them the ability to do their job. 

If probiotic foods help digestive health, then it needs prebiotic foods to help get the work done. 

Like how construction workers need to take a lunch break to keep building the house, the probiotics need prebiotics before they can get their work done. 

There are so many prebiotic-rich foods to add to your diet:

  • Green banana
  • Asparagus
  • Garlic
  • Leek/onions
  • Ginger
  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • Jicama

What’s the Link Between Stress and Lack of Prebiotics and Probiotics?

stress and prebiotics and probiotics

I know I don’t have to tell you about the toll stress can have on a body. You’ve experienced it. Many of us feel the ramifications of stress in our digestive tract and feel a decrease in digestive health. Emotions actually influence the gut bacteria. 

You can check out my blog about herbs to help you manage your stress. These herbs can help you overcome your anxiety. 

However, if you haven’t tried those herbs yet, your digestive system might be suffering. It’s in times of stress that our gut needs to be armed with pre- and probiotics to overcome the difficult season. They can help our bodies stay balanced when everything else in our world might feel uneasy. 

If you’re having infrequent bowel movements, or too frequent and painful, this may be a sign that stress is affecting your digestive system. Take a prebiotic and probiotic daily to get your system back into a healthy rhythm. 

These tips can help you and your family members get through a stressful season. 

  • Lots of fiber – Raspberries, green peas, lentils, and whole grains are just a few great sources (check out my blog about  fiber to learn more about it’s benefits)
  • Meditate on God’s word – The Lord promises to give us peace, focus on what He promises in the scripture and remind yourself of His goodness.
  • Breathe – Science shows that breathing can help tell your mind to calm down. By breathing slowly, your mind thinks that you’re relaxed. In turn, it starts to actually relax. 

This can help your body get back to balance. 

What are Phytobiotics?

what are phytobiotics

So, we’ve heard about pre- and pro-, but what about ‘Phyto’? What are phytobiotics? What are their health benefits?

These are antioxidants that are found in specific foods that increase the performance of prebiotics and probiotics. Like a helpful little boost to help them be the most effective they can be. 

These foods help the connection and symbiosis between the brain and the gut. 

Science also shows that phytobiotics help immune system health and strengthen human and animal performance. 

To get a healthy dose of phytobiotics, start including these phytobiotic-rich foods in your diet, which are easily accessible and delicious!

  • Dark chocolate – not your milk chocolate, I prefer you add 80% cacao or higher
  • Grapes – organic and in season
  • Apples – organic, one a day is perfect  
  • Berries – organic if possible

Check out some probiotic-rich foods to help get your body back to the way God designed it. Don’t let a stressful season or unhealthy eating habits make you function at a lower capacity. 

You never know when the next virus will generate. Unlock the health benefits of pre-, pro-, and even phyto- biotics now! Keep your body armed so you can live knowing you are doing your best and let God take care of the rest. 

 

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Annette Reeder, holds a B.S. in Nutrition from Huntington College plus a Diploma of Biblical Studies from Liberty University. She has been studying food, nutrition and medical science for over 30 years.

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