Feed, Fix and Flourish Your Microbiota for Healthy Gut and Happy You

A road towards immune fitness with functional diet — prebiotic, probiotic and synbiotic

Tanvi Shinde, PhD
Aug 25, 2020 · 9 min read
Image by DataBase Center for Life Science (DBCLS)

1. Feed your microbiota with prebiotic dietary fiber

Be mindful of what type of food you eat. This can have a serious impact on the microbiota and thus on your health and ability to fight diseases. Feeding the microbiota has two aspects -first, eating foods that will support microbial diversity and its metabolic functions, and second, avoiding foods that will cause disturbances in the microbial balance.

Image by RitaE from Pixabay
  • Give preference to fibers that are minimally processed and prepared to preserve the other vital phytonutrients — polyphenols, antioxidants, and other micronutrients.
  • Isolated or purified fibers may support only a limited number of bacteria in the gut while complex whole-plant fibers support a diverse microbiota.
  • Do your homework to check if the claims on the product are backed up by scientific evidence.
Photo by Robin Stickel on Unsplash

2. Fix your microbiota with probiotic

Sometimes disturbed microbiota isn’t the result of questionable food choices alone, but bad luck. Chemotherapy in cancer patients, for instance, is known to drive the loss of beneficial bacteria and bloom of their pathogenic counterparts.

Image from Health.harvard.edu
  • Some interact with our immune cells to influence their function to confer our immunity.
  • Support the populations of beneficial microbes by producing substances that can be used by other microbes to thrive and function.
  • Ferment prebiotic dietary fiber to generate beneficial metabolites (SCFAs) that in turn benefit immune health activities
Image sourced from www.essentiallysports.com
  • The number of colony-forming units (CFU) the product contains until the shelf-life of food or expiration date for supplements. CFU represents the number of live microorganisms in each serving or dose.
  • Suggested serving size
  • Storage instructions — some require refrigeration to preserve probiotic activity
  • Other ingredient information such as the amount of sugar in a probiotic food product.

3. Flourish your gut microbiota with synbiotic — best of both worlds

Synbiotic combines both probiotic and prebiotic for more effective and profound health outcomes. It is an approach to compensate for the shortcomings of either probiotic and prebiotic might have in isolation.

Photo by Wesual Click on Unsplash
  • In the case of synergistic synbiotic, as the name suggests, probiotic and prebiotic ingredients are strategically chosen and coupled for synergy to boost a particular health function or support many functions at once.

To close :

Be a proactive consumer. Think like a detective when it comes to feeding your gut and your body — look at the food labels, look at the nutritional information, understand the ingredients that are sometimes written as numbers, go google them, find out what they do to your body. Do not wait for your body to react badly to those substances and then look for treatments.

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Tanvi Shinde, PhD

Written by

. Biomedical Researcher interested in inflammation and microbiome for gut health and beyond . Published Academic author . Gut Health Evangelist . Mom . Reader .

BeingWell

BeingWell

A Medika Life Publication for the Medical Community

Tanvi Shinde, PhD

Written by

. Biomedical Researcher interested in inflammation and microbiome for gut health and beyond . Published Academic author . Gut Health Evangelist . Mom . Reader .

BeingWell

BeingWell

A Medika Life Publication for the Medical Community

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