Recently on Thrive, we have focused a lot of probiotics and their role in optimum gut health. But here's a little more info on prebiotics, where they come from, why they're important and how much we need. If you think of probiotics as good seeds that you sprinkle into your gut to keep it healthy. PREBIOTICS are like the fertilizer that ensures the seeds proliferate. So including prebiotic foods in your diet is pretty important to create a sustainable little ecosystem of healthy bacteria in your gut.
The problem is that 70% of the prebiotics in a typical Western diet comes from wheat. So when you give up gluten or refined grains (as proposed in the Paleo diet), suddenly you have lost your major source of prebiotics.
HERE'S WHAT I SAY TO THAT: GOOD RIDDANCE!!!!
I don't want my major source of prebiotics to come from gluten or refined grains. And neither should you! WHY?
After a lifetime of grain-based meals in the form of pasta & white carb dishes, breakfast cereals, granola bars and added sugar, I had a serious yeast problem in my gut that was giving me symptoms like:
- bloating & sleepiness after meals;
- sudden onset of allergies to dust and dustmites and pollen;
- memory loss, a.k.a baby brain;
- major sugar cravings;
- PMS symptoms; and
- not feeling rested even after a full night's sleep.
So frankly, if you've got any of these symptoms, you've got to manage your intake of prebiotic foods from wheat and refined grains really carefully so that you don't end up feeding the bad yeast in your gut too.
Here's where Thrive's #TRADEUP philosophy comes into play. Forget the sources of prebiotic foods that feed the bad yeast in your gut too. Trade up and use the sources of prebiotics that have no downside. These include RAW foods like:
- onions, leeks
- Jerusalem artichoke
- chicory root
- other sweet root vegetables and fruits like carrots, beets, potatoes, bananas & apples
N.B. If you're reacting badly to other prebiotic foods such as garlic or onion, then some research is showing that you may have some bacterial overgrowth in your small intestine that needs to be addressed.
#TRADEUP your refined grains for whole, gluten-free grains like quinoa, amaranth, millet & buckwheat. That way you won't end up right back where you started.
Now - I know what you're thinking:
Cristina - Jerusalem artichoke? Chicory root? Seriously. Exactly how am I suppose to find these foods? And if I ever did, do they cost an arm and a leg? Do the even taste good? And what's with the "RAW" business? Can I have it cooked?
Forget the exotic ingredients. They are FYI in case you ever saw them and wanted to give them a go. But seriously, we only need 5g of PREBIOTICS a day -- that's a teaspoon. So really, by including onions, garlic and other root veggies in our day to day diet, you should be totally fine. And yes, cooking these foods, destroys the prebiotic fibres so it is best to eat them raw or as lightly cooked as possible.
Here's a great PREBIOTIC FRIENDLY SALAD DRESSING that you can use over mixed greens, thinly-sliced red onion, shredded carrots & quinoa salad. Sprinkle some seeds or nuts over it and you're good to go!
PREBIOTIC ASIAN SALAD DRESSING
- 1 tbsp almond butter
- 2 tbsp fresh Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 tbsp Bragg’s aminos (substitute for soy sauce)
- 1 garlic clove minced
- Water to thin.
Whisk or blend together until thoroughly combined. Store left-overs in a glass jar and keep in the fridge.
And hey - it's never too late to evict the pathogenic yeast and reboot your digestive system. My #IKILLEDMYSUGARBEAST BOOTCAMP does just that and it launches again in January.
Can't wait until then? Get in touch!