With bloating, nausea and anxiety, I learned the hard way that not all probiotic supplements are created equal. Figuring out what one worked for me took time, professional guidance and practice. In fact, I shared that the first probiotic I took on my Gut Health Journey only had 5 million probiotic strains in it, meanwhile my boyfriend has one with 40 billion daily. If you’re unsure what you should be taking, one tip is to let your gut decide, and seek help. Today, I’m bring awareness to a very similar word, but very different topic: prebiotics. These are also as unique as probiotics in the sense that there’s no one-size fits all, but we need them to thrive. Keep reading to find out how I incorporate this very important gut-boosting stuff in my daily life.
First of all, what the HECK is a prebiotic? And how is it different than a probiotic?
The chicken or the egg
Prebiotics are secondary to probiotics. What I mean is, you must have good gut flora first, before you consider working on prebiotics. Yet, maybe not… you can’t have thriving bacteria in your gut without prebiotics… so prebiotics are at least of equal importance as probiotics.
Once you have good strains of gut flora (and lots of them), in order for it to thrive, prebiotics must be ingested. What are they? Non-digestible fibers from things like plant fibers (veggies FTW!). The process of the good bugs feeding on the prebiotic fibers is known as the fermentation of the veggie fibers that us humans cannot digest. Technically these are called oligosaccharides, and they are broken down in the large intestine. Learn more about the benefits in Dr. Axe’s article here.
Now that you understand the difference in these two look-alike words, it makes sense when I tell you that to treat the good guys well, they need to eat well! And, in today’s world wherein we eat fewer whole foods and more packaged foods (while also fighting chemicals like pesticides and parabens), it’s actually no longer “easy” or natural for you to always get the prebiotics that work for you. As I delved deeper into healing my gut over the past year, I began trying all types of tricks to help my good flora thrive. Below are five tips you can try!
Five ways to keep prebiotics in your daily diet
1.Probiotic fiber in Fat Balls
I began making fat balls as a healthy gut and hormonal health-boosting snack, or breakfast. These high calorie treats (link) arenot only tasty (they look and taste like Reese’s cups), but they contain collagen, adaptogenic powders like maca, and in my recipe– prebiotic fiber!!! I began putting Dr. Gundry’s Prebiothrive powder (flax powder works too) into my recipe, after one of my dear friends offered it to me to try! I started with a little and experimented with the dose, slowly working my way up to 3 scoops per recipe– or, ⅓ the normal serving per fat ball.
2. Asparagus on the salad
This happened by accident when my boyfriend and I began buying too much asparagus last summer. I began taking the leftovers, cooked or uncooked and putting them on salads. Uncooked will pack a bigger bunch prebiotic wise – but again, start with a small dose and try adding some cooked, (but still firm) asparagus to your salad! Super easy, adds flavor and feeds your gut!
3.Garlic (and onion!) – put that ‘ish on everything!
Both garlic and onion terribly upset my stomach at the height of my leaky gut. My traditional doctor threw a FODMAP diet pamphlet at me and showed me the door, saying I should just follow it to see if it helped. RIGHTTTTT. That sucked. For July and August of 2017, I feared I’d never be able to eat these foods again. I thought wrong. All I needed to do was heal my gut, and treat my gut flora first, with good probiotics. After I took Flora Myces and Prebiophage. I was able to start adding onion and garlic back into my life. I began having broccoli with garlic at lunch almost every day!
See my full supplements VIDEO here.
TIP: One trick is to saute your spinach or broccoli in onion and garlic and olive oil in the beginning or the week, and then add it to things as you go! Garlic’s prebiotic properties are best consumed raw, however, I find that I am more inclined to eat raw garlic when I’ve also have some cooked garlic and onion in the mix. Onion is beneficial raw or cooked.
4. Kimchi wraps!
Kimchi was not my favorite thing growing up, but nowadays you can find such great variety of kimchis. While it will alway have a vingar-y taste, I like adding kimchi, hummus and chicken to a wrap, and eating it that way! Kimich is a fermented food that will not only add probiotic strains to your body, but also add prebiotic benefits, due to the veggies it’s made of! If you can’t handle the wrap – just down two spoonfuls like it’s medicine and go on with your day 🙂
5. Apple Cider Vinegar cocktails!
People have always said that ACV is the ultimate “health secret” – longer life, better skin, lower cholesterol, weight loss, blood sugar stabilization, YOU NAME IT! Based on what current microbiome research tells us about how important our gut bacteria is, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the BACTERIA are responsible for this, and the ACV is their “superfood.” Seriously, this stuff is said to keep your gut “in balance” and now it might be more clear as to HOW they do this – they feed the good bugs so they can thrive!
All you need is 1 tbsp (I take it like a shot!) Or you can mix with lemon and water, honey/maple syrup and water.
This might sound weird, but frame your gut flora in your mind like it’s a pet: you have to feed it and take care of it. I kid you not, your gut microbes like being outside in nature, laughing, cuddling, movement and prebiotics. When your gut health is well kept, your whole body– health, spirit and mind will be well, too. Try some of the tips above for daily probiotic doses. As always, let me know if you have questions! If you are wondering about what other types of prebiotic food exist – check out this article!