There are many factors that contribute to a healthy lifestyle: diet, exercise and sleep just to name a few, but did you know the bacteria living in our guts can impact our overall health more than any other lifestyle factor? Yep, it’s true. Your gut flora are small, but mighty and can ultimately make all the difference between a happy, healthy gut and one that needs a little extra TLC. The good news is one of the easiest ways you can improve your gut health, and overall health, is by incorporating probiotics and prebiotics into your daily health and wellness routine.
Good Gut Flora and the Importance of Probiotics
Probiotics are the foundation to a healthy gut, but what exactly are they? Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that support the gut, which is the foundation of our immune system. Today's inflammatory Western diets (i.e. sugar, gluten and dairy), lack of sleep and rising stress levels are all causing our guts to suffer. This is why it’s essential to give your gut some extra love with a daily dose of probiotics.
Probiotics support and nurture our health by optimizing our digestion and metabolism. They can even improve sleep quality, energy levels and help to elevate our moods. (Talk about a win-win!) Probiotics also work to improve vitamin and nutrient absorption within the body. This allows the body to get the most nutritional value from the foods we eat. Think about it. If you are going to make the decision to eat healthy, don’t you want your gut to reap all of the benefits of that healthy diet? We certainly do.
As if you needed another reason to love probiotics, they can also help with muscle recovery. In a clinical study conducted by GanedenBC30, GanedenBC30 probiotic improved protein absorption among athletes resulting in quicker muscle recovery time between workouts. See? Small, but mighty!
Additional Benefits of Probiotics:
- Increase the body’s ability to tolerate stress
- Reduce inflammation
- Regulate hormones
- Balance blood sugar
- Defend against leaky gut and other digestive issues and ailments
- Alleviate allergies
- Provide protection during cold and flu season
- Help maintain a healthy pH balance
Similar to how we need nutritious foods to help us feel our best, probiotics also require healthy fuels to perform efficiently. Enter, prebiotics.
Bolster Your Flora with Prebiotics
Although they often get less attention, prebiotics are just as important, if not more important, than probiotics. That’s because they are the fuel that helps our good bacteria thrive. This is important because our good bacteria competes with harmful gut bacteria that feed on sugar and other inflammatory foods commonly found in the Standard American Diet (SAD). Think foods like gluten, alcohol, dairy and other processed foods. So these prebiotic plant fibers are a crucial fuel that help our friendly gut flora flourish.
Prebiotics also improve digestion, enhance mineral absorption, decrease stress and anxiety, increase weight loss and optimize immunity. Probiotics make all the difference when it comes to our gut and overall health, but what we feed those beneficial bacteria makes all the difference in how they respond to creating a healthy gut.
Top Foods for a Healthy Gut
Although probiotics and prebiotics can be taken in supplemental form, they can also be found in foods you may already have in your kitchen.
The Probiotic Hit List:
- Sourdough Bread
The Prebiotic Hit List:
- Allium Vegetables (i.e. Chives, Garlic, Leeks, Onions, Scallions)
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Chicory Root
- Dandelion Greens
- Jerusalem Artichoke (Upwild packs these prebiotics in all of our smoothies)
- Sprouted-Grain Breads
- Wheat Germ
If going to the grocery store and stocking up on probiotic and prebiotic rich foods is too much work, you can always grab an easier, more convenient option, Upwild.
Get a Flora Boost with Upwild
No need to worry about eating probiotic and prebiotic foods every day. Instead, keep things simple by drinking an Upwild. Not only are these shakes packed with 16 grams of complete plant-protein, but each bottle contains 1 billion probiotic CFUs (GanedenBC30) and prebiotics in the form of Jerusalem artichoke. Upwild’s shakes are 100% plant-based, certified organic and they’re loaded with superfoods like acai, turmeric, chia and maca. Upwild harnesses nature’s most powerful ingredients to give you an all-natural, performance and recovery formula. Fuel your best health, and your best self, with Upwild.
Be sure to follow us @drinkupwild and tag us so we can see how you enjoy probiotic and prebiotic foods to fuel your workouts, your life and your best self.