Prebiotics and probiotics are beyond buzzy in the wellness community – but for good reason. The health of our entire body, including our brain, depends on the wellbeing of our gut microbiome. And in order to maintain a happy balance, we need to fuel ourselves accordingly. While you can take prebiotic and probiotic supplements – and there are plenty on the market – I wanted to dig into how we can fuel ourselves naturally.
What you do today can change the balance of your gut microbiome by tomorrow – and it all depends on your lifestyle. So pay attention to the foods you eat, your sleep habits, exercise levels, stress levels, how much time you spend outside, etc. The bacteria in our microbiome (probiotics) help digest our food, regulate our immune system, protect against other bacteria that cause disease and produce vitamins like vitamins B, B12 and K. But if you’re not eating prebiotics, you might not get to experience the full benefits of probiotics. Prebiotics are the nondigestible fibers that feed probiotics, so you have to make sure you’re giving your biome the proper nutrients with prebiotic foods.
This study found that we are now at a much higher risk of depleted gut health because of sterile environments limiting our exposure to bacteria of all kinds, as well as modern agricultural practices that deplete the soil of powerful bugs and nutrients. Lucky for you, I have had more than a few gut health experts on The Blonde Files Podcast (check out the list at the end of this post!). So here are the best prebiotic and probiotic foods to add to your diet.
-Raw garlic (contains about 17% prebiotic fiber per ounce, but once it’s cooked, most of the fiber is converted into sugars)
-Onions (cook them just enough so that they’re easy to chew but not overly soft; you’ll be able to maintain most of their natural prebiotic benefits this way)
-Bananas (it’s better to eat these on the greener side! As bananas get riper, it’s more likely the fiber has broken down and converted to sugar)
-Unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
-Greek yogurt (the best source of probiotics! This yogurt bowl with *all* the toppings is my current go-to breakfast!)
-Cottage cheese and some aged, soft cheeses like cheddar, mozzarella, gouda, parmesan and swiss
In case you missed it or just want to listen again, here is a quick checklist of gut health episodes on The Blonde Files Podcast:
–EP91 – Nutritional Psychiatry & What to Eat to Feel Good with Dr. Uma Naidoo
–EP88 – Intuitive Eating, Shedding Emotional Weight and How to Find Peace in the Moment with Robyn Youkilis
–EP86 – Wellness Without White Knuckling & How Our Food Choices Affect Our Bodies with Kelly LeVeque
–EP84 – Fasting, Hormones, Gut Health and Optimizing Our Circadian Rhythm with Dr. Amy Shah
–EP74 – How to Eat for Your Goals Without Going Crazy, Emotional Eating and Food Trends with Vanessa Rissetto
–EP71 – Myth Busting Diet Trends (Keto, IF, Food Combining & More!) with Dr. Spencer Nadolsky
–EP63 – All Things Gut Health with Dr. Will Bulsiewicz (aka The Gut Health MD)
How do you like to incorporate prebiotic and probiotic foods to your diet – and what are your favorites? I’d love to hear!