Probiotics are the billions of good/healthy bacteria in your gut. Fiber keeps your intestines clean and at maximum nutrient absorbing capacity, while healthy bacteria keeps bad bacteria and pathogens at bay. They also help strengthen your immune system by fighting bad bacteria and increasing T-cells responsible for immune defense. Thanks to scientific research we now know that the gut microbiome is even more important to our overall health and longevity than previously understood.
• The gut microbiome affects our mood. If you eat crappy food, have poor digestion, and have a proliferation of bad bacteria and yeast in your gut––or limited diversity of bacteria––that can lead to increased anxiety and likelihood of depression.
Read this: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/06/gut-bacteria-on-the- brain/ 395918/
• An unhealthy gut is also linked to obesity, cancer, allergies, and autism.Read
this: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/06/in-autism-the-importance-of- the-gut/276648/
• The best case environment for a healthy microbiome includes multiple strains of good bacteria. Consume different strains by eating a number of different probiotic rich foods. Great choices are yogurt (I like coconut best), fermented veggies, miso (don’t add to boiling or very hot liquid), vegan kefir, tempeh, kombucha, and even sourdough bread!
• Probiotic supplements are great! I’ve enjoyed the Renew Life brand. Try that, or go to a reliable vitamin store and ask for a great soil-based probiotic. Make sure it is vegan; many contain dairy.
• You should understand prebiotics too. Dietary prebiotics are indigestible carbohydrates that support a healthy balanced gut microbiome. They’re basically food for the probiotics. By eating a vegan diet full of fiber and a variety of whole foods you are getting plenty of prebiotics. A few foods notable for their prebiotics are asparagus, bananas, beans, bananas, and Jerusalem artichokes (delicious!)
--Jenné: Piece originally published as part of a longer article for the 30-Day Buddhalicious Challenge (re-launching soon!)
Jenné & Isabelle
We're both passionate vegan foodies with backgrounds in nutrition. We decided to bridge our skills to create Buddhalicious; a program that guides members to find balance, excitement, and flavor on their plates, and in their lives.