What Is Prebiotic Fiber And Why Do We Need It For Gut Health?
Gut health is one of the single most important components of our overall health. The gut is connected to so many different functions in our body, so if our gut health is off, there’s a domino effect in our mind and body.
Fortunately, taking care of your gut doesn’t require a crazy diet or expensive supplements. The formula for great gut health is simple:
- Stay plenty hydrated
- Get enough sleep each night
- Eat clean
- Load up on probiotics and prebiotic fiber
See, promoting good gut health is simple! And that last one is especially important—we need both probiotics and prebiotics for great gut health. You may have heard plenty of buzz around probiotics lately, but what is prebiotic fiber exactly?
In this complete guide to prebiotics we’re answering all your questions about prebiotics. Find out why prebiotic fiber foods are so great for gut-friendly bacteria, digestion, and weight loss.
The Importance of Gut Health For Overall Health
So many functions in the body are linked to our gut’s microbiome.
Gut Health and Allergies: The microbiome trains the immune system. When gut microbiota is imbalanced, foods and environmental allergies can develop. There’s loads of new science pointing to poor gut health as a clear link to allergies like atopic dermatitis, peanut allergies, and asthma.
Gut Health and Skin: As our biggest organ, it’s no wonder our gut wants to have a relationship with our skin! Our skin is our great detoxifier and is also linked to our immune system. Like the gut, the skin is healthiest when good bacteria dominates its surface. Our response to bacteria imbalance is inflammation or irritants with rashes, patches, hives, breakouts, and autoimmune skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
Gut Health and Weight Loss: The foods we eat impact our gut health and, as a result, our weight! The types of fats we eat are specifically linked to weight changes. Dr. Hyman, a family physician and 9-time New York Times Bestselling Author, says it best, “I said it before and I’ll say it again: the types of fat we eat matters. The wrong fats increase inflammation, promote the growth of bad bugs, and create resistance to weight loss. The right fats decrease inflammation and help with weight loss.”
Gut Health and Mental Health: Our gut now has the fun nickname “the second brain” because it communicates with so many body functions, including our actual brain. An unhealthy gut is linked to mood swings, irritability, anxiety, and depression.
Gut Health and Inflammation: Inflammation is our body’s natural response to pathogens, toxins, environmental irritants, and cell injury. Acute inflammation can happen with bug bites and allergic reactions. And chronic inflammation can lead to chronic diseases and illnesses like autoimmune diseases and cancers. A healthy gut balances inflammation and helps fight off the triggers of inflammation.
Gut Health and Digestion: This may seem like an obvious one, but proper gut health is crucial for a healthy digestive system. A healthy digestive system helps us break down food and absorb vital nutrients to keep us healthy. An imbalanced gut can lead to digestive issues like bloating, IBS, constipation, and diarrhea.
Do you know when your gut health is unhealthy? Identifying the symptoms can be tricky if you don’t know what to look for. There are dozens of signs of an unhealthy gut. Here are six of the most common unhealthy gut signs.
- Your stomach is upset often
- You’re craving foods that are high in sugar
- Your weight changes often
- You struggle with mood swings, irritability, and mental health issues
- You’re not sleeping well
- You have skin rashes, acne, or eczema
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, don’t worry—there’s plenty you can do to get a healthy gut. You can heal your gut by introducing supplements for gut health and gut-healing foods into your life daily.
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What Is Prebiotic Fiber?
Incorporating prebiotic foods and supplements into your daily routine is a great place to start when it comes to gut healing. But what is prebiotic fiber exactly?
Prebiotic fiber is a type of inulin soluble fiber that’s part of many foods. What makes this fiber so special is that it has the superstrength to remain undigested by our bodies.
The fiber travels through the small intestine, withstanding the gut’s harsh conditions—temperature and stomach acid.
When prebiotic fiber reaches the colon, it meets its living bacteria friends, probiotics. When the gut healthy friends meet, the probiotics munch on the prebiotics for food. They give the probiotics the energy they need to populate the gut with healthy bacteria.
And, prebiotic fiber does more than just that! Prebiotics also have the ability to strengthen the immune system, increase the absorption of magnesium and calcium, support healthy bones, and lower the risk of weight gain.
The Difference Between Prebiotics And Probiotics
Although prebiotics and probiotics work together in the body to repopulate healthy bacteria in the gut and promote great gut health, the two are very different.
While prebiotics are nonliving, probiotics are living microorganisms that exist as live bacteria. Probiotics are extremely sensitive. Unlike prebiotics, they can’t withstand extreme temperatures in the body and die easily (poor probiotics).
Although they’re so different, incorporating both prebiotics and probiotics into your diet or supplement routine is important for proper digestion and great gut health.
When incorporating prebiotics and probiotics in your diet and developing healthy digestion, you’ll discover some great health benefits. Better sleep, a healthy immune system, balanced moods, and weight loss are all signs of healthy digestion. Pretty great, right?
Can You Take Prebiotics And Probiotics Together?
The big question is how to take prebiotics and probiotics. Prebiotics and probiotics are most effective when taken together. As probiotics make their way to your gut, prebiotics remain undigested and act as food and energy for the probiotics.
We now know that both prebiotics and probiotics are helpful for the gut, but knowing when to take prebiotics and when to take probiotics is also an important element of this gut health journey.
The most effective way to take prebiotics and probiotics is on a regular basis. Both of these gut-friendly components can be taken as supplements or eaten in many different foods daily. A healthy routine will help replenish the friendly bacteria in your gut and promote positive health and proper digestion.
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Incorporating Prebiotics and Probiotics Into Your Diet
Incorporating prebiotics and probiotics in your daily routine is helpful for positive gut health, but how much probiotics do you need each day? And what about prebiotics? Each person is different and needs different amounts of both prebiotics and probiotics depending on their own individual health and body.
Because there are so many different probiotic organisms, there is no set amount of probiotics that you need to consume daily.
As far as prebiotics go, if you follow the standard dietary guidelines for fiber and daily calorie intake, you’ll want to eat around 25 grams of fiber each day, also making sure to include foods that contain prebiotics.
Again, each person is different, so ask your doctor how many prebiotics and probiotics you should be consuming daily.
Rowdy: The Prebiotic Power Energy Bar
You might be worried that incorporating prebiotics and probiotics into your diet to promote proper digestion, weight loss, better sleep, and a stable mood requires loads of time cooking in the kitchen. But think again!
There are plenty of convenient prebiotic and probiotics snacks that are readily available to you at any time, during any type of busy day. Here are two of our favorite convenient probiotic and prebiotic snacks.
Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt comes in all sorts of easy on-the-go containers and flavors. Although all greek yogurt seems healthy, there can be artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors, modified corn starch, and fructose hiding in these snacks. Make sure to check your labels and look for whole, natural ingredients.
Rowdy Bars. Rowdy Bars are the sustainable energy bar that's packed with prebiotics and protein. Each of these gut-healthy bars is loaded with yacon root, Rowdy’s prebiotic superhero. Yacon root syrup is a natural sweetener that isn’t short of prebiotic fibers. Try any of our four Rowdy Bar flavors now!