A few weeks ago I got to go on About Life‘s masterclass on pro- and pre-biotics hosted by nutritionist and founder of Fitness Food, Patrica Rufus.
It was an eye-opener for me because I thought that making these probiotic foods, meaning foods containing “good bacteria” that promote healthy intestinal flora, were really hard to make. But, as I discovered, most of the work is all in the prepping.
Natural forms of probiotics can be found in fermented foods, such as pickled vegetables, miso, yoghurt and sauerkraut. Fermenting has been around for centuries and is a process that preserves and sustains foods that have a beneficial relationship with our digestive tract.
Perhaps the best way to describe the beneficial effects of probiotics is that it helps in producing the digestive enzymes that help you to digest and absorb the nutrients from the foods you eat.
Everyone can benefit from probiotic-rich foods but if your digestive system is particularly weak or has been compromised from medications, sickness or an unhealthy diet, then it’s absolutely essential to re-establish the gut. Probiotics can be felt when we have less bloating, constipation and other not-so-nice side effects of our modern lifestyles.
Prebiotics are also important in the gut flora equation. They are fibre that can’t be digested and are essentially food for the probiotics. They help these beneficial bacteria is your digestive system to grow and flourish. Prebiotic-rich foods include vegetables such as artichokes, chicory, garlic, onion, leek, fennel, green peas, corn, cabbage, and legumes such as chickpeas, lentils and red kidney beans.
Overall, I really enjoyed the mini-lesson about these healthy gut promoting foods as well as making them!