You’ve probably heard of probiotics, the friendly bacteria, found in foods like yogurt, that your digestive system needs to operate at an optimum level. But to work their best, probiotics need something else – prebiotics.
Prebiotics are a class of nutrients that serve as a food source for probiotics. So, prebiotics are necessary to help those good, immune-supporting bacteria grow and multiply in the colon. Especially as we age, populations of beneficial bacteria in the lower intestine decline, which can lead to problems, and even diseases, in our gastrointestinal tract.
Prebiotics have been used typically to help prevent traveler’s diarrhea and constipation. However, research suggests that regular consumption of prebiotics may also help ease other problems, such as colitis, as well as improve one’s immune system. It’s thought prebiotics may even help lower cholesterol, by stimulating the strain of probiotic growth which in turn helps to increase cholesterol excretion.
Prebiotics occur naturally in some foods, especially high-fiber fruits, vegetables and grains, including flax, oatmeal and some berries. However, you can also take supplements to make certain you’re getting the prebiotics you need, helping your system function smoothly.
At FRESH, we offer two forms of prebiotics in our Health and Wellness Department. One, called ARA-Larix, by Nature’s Plus, is a convenient tablet, taken daily. Or, if you prefer to take supplements in a liquid form, we suggest Arabinogalactan Powder, made by FoodScience of Vermont. Simply mix it with water and enjoy.