Why should we take probiotics for the health of our gut?
Probiotic: It is a word that literally means ‘for life’. They are microorganisms that benefit by making the intestinal flora better. In fact, they are friendly bacteria that cover the surface of our intestines and have a direct effect on our intestinal health. In addition, these bacteria also contribute to the production of vitamins such as vitamin K and vitamin B. There are over 100 trillion bacteria in our guts. Increasing the number of friendly ones has a positive effect on our intestinal health and therefore our health in many ways. However, the important thing is that probiotics can reach our intestines while being digested without being affected by stomach acid.
What are probiotic sources?
Probiotics are both naturally found in fermented foods and commercially available in dietary supplement forms. Naturally found foods are foods that are formed by fermentation such as yogurt, cheese, kefir, ayran, pickles, turnip, boza, tarhana. Commercially, it can be found as an addition to ready-made products such as yoghurts, baby foods, and breakfast cereals. Or there are forms sold directly in pharmacies as sachets or capsules. The use of food supplements, which are sold as sachets and capsules, is safe. For this reason, it can be used by any age group from birth, except for special cases.
Without prebiotics, it would be difficult to benefit from probiotics
Prebiotic: These are the nutrients that enable the proliferation and survival of these friendly bacteria, namely probiotics, in our gut. Especially inulin, froctooligosaccharides, galactooligosaccharides are fiber types that are good sources of prebiotics. In vegetables, chicory, artichoke, mussels, asparagus, celery, onion, garlic, leek, tomato, mustard plant; apples, strawberries, bananas in fruits; Lentils, beans from legumes, flaxseed from oil seeds, walnuts, almonds are among the best prebiotics. Peribiotics have also been added commercially in forms of inulin or nutritional supplements such as baby foods, breakfast cereals, enteral products.
Why are probiotics so important?
Because nowadays, it has been started to be revealed by research that the unhealthy intestines are not only constipation but also a precursor of many diseases.
Our intestines have begun to be accepted as an organ that can manage itself with the many hormones and enzymes it secretes.
Studies have stated that the reason why the gut microbiota resembles an organ is that it affects food intake, energy balance and ultimately the control of body weight. Today, it has begun to be revealed that not only constipation, diarrhea and gas are the cause of complaints, but also intestinal disorders are the basis of many diseases from the immune system to skin diseases, from insulin resistance to colon cancer, from asthma to allergic reactions, especially in children. In particular, studies have begun to reveal that health problems such as obesity, insulin resistance, and fatty liver are related to intestinal health. Therefore, it is recommended that those who have such health problems should enrich their diets in terms of probiotics and prebiotics.
What affects the health of our gut?
One of the most important factors on the intestines is the diet. Intestinal health is at the heart of our recommendation as experts to ‘make sure to eat pulp’. Of course, not only nutrition affects the health of the intestines. In fact, there are many factors, from the way of birth to the drugs taken. It is stated that giving birth normally causes babies to be born with a healthier intestinal flora at birth. Apart from these, the use of antibiotics, excessive stress, and lack of physical activity are among the factors that negatively affect our intestines.
How should we eat for a healthy gut?
Getting plenty of fiber is effective from bowel movements to blood sugar regulation. Therefore, for a healthy intestine, we must first get enough fiber. So where does the pulp find it? It is abundant in vegetables and fruits, legumes and whole grains. Meat group does not contain pulp. Again, consuming plenty of water will increase our bowel movements. However, eating too much, consuming too much processed meat, eating too much fat, eating one-way, living sedentary are among the factors that negatively affect our gut health. We should take care to consume foods containing probiotics and prebiotics on a daily basis.
What should we add to our diet for probiotic and prebiotic contribution?
An average of 5 servings of vegetables and fruits per day (especially onions, garlic, leeks, cabbage, artichokes, bananas, strawberries, pickles with low salt)
1-2 legumes per week (as a meal or in your salad)
Yogurt or its derivatives every day (although the probiotic feature of homemade yogurt is higher than ready-made yogurts, it can be used in yogurts with added probiotics. Or it can be replaced with kefir or ayran)
Definitely a lot of water