As the saying goes, “you are what you eat.” Natural probiotics are a pretty safe bet, but balance is important.

Dieting can be damaging to our gut microbiome. The problem with common diets is they often restrict eating carbohydrates which are healthy in prebiotics fibers such as grains, bread products, and fruits. These are nourishing to the gut’s microbiome, which can contribute to a decrease­ in bacterial diversity, according to a March 02, 2023 article in Dance Magazine (1).

Dr. Carolyn Williams, PH.D., RD, says “Sauerkraut, cottage cheese and yogurt (Greek) with live cultures, kimchi and kombucha are all whole-food sources of probiotics,” as reported in a February 14, 2023 issue of Eating Well. Kefir (a dairy-based drink) and Tempeh (a traditional Indonesian food) were also mentioned in this article (2).

Healthy prebiotics include artichokes, dragon fruit, garlic, mushrooms, oats, and soybeans. Williams emphasized the importance of eating fresh refrigerated foods with minimal processed ingredients (Eating Well). The role of prebiotics are types of fiber that are not digested but in the colon, where they are fermented to provide “food” for gut-healthy probiotics.

In addition to fresh produce, health experts recommend consumers look for labeling marked “contains live cultures” or “contains active cultures”, according to a March 4, 2023 CNET article (3).




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