What are Prebiotics?
Prebiotics are basically food that feed and nourish the healthy bacteria in your digestive system.
They are naturally occurring fibre components in food that pass undigested through the stomach and small intestine.
When prebiotics arrive in the large intestine, they are used as food to promote the growth and activity of beneficial (probiotic) bacteria that reside there.
Having a healthy balance of gut bacteria benefits your health in many, many ways including assisting with digestion, the absorption of minerals and most importantly the production of important fatty acids (SCFAs), such as butyrate, propionate and acetate.
These substances have been shown to help intestinal cells mount an immune defence against invading pathogens and prevent inflammation in the gut. They can also boost systemic or whole-body immunity during an immune response by enhancing gut barrier function and recruiting immune cells to fight invading pathogens.
Overall, SCFAs are thought to be highly beneficial for our immune system due to their ability to reduce inflammation and improve our immunity.
Prebiotics are found in fruit, vegetables, legumes and wholegrains.
To achieve and maintain a good level of diversity, you need to consume a wide range of prebiotics to feed and nourish the assortment of bacteria that have made our guts their home.
To do this, eat a variety of plant-based foods of all different colours, as this will provide the microbiome with an array of prebiotics.
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