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Prebiotics to Improve Gut Health: Plantiful Kitchen’s Guide to Healthier Digestion

Many people these days are wondering how to improve their gut health, and the answers might seem overwhelming at first. Thankfully, more research is now readily available to show how our gut microbiome is essential in improving our overall well-being. But which foods improve gut health, and how do they work? In this post we are going to explore prebiotics in food and the pivotal role they play in our gut.

Prebiotics vs. Probiotics

First, let’s clear up some confusion regarding prebiotics and probiotics. Probiotics are alive, a beneficial bacteria that can be found in foods such as yogurt and kimchi. They actively reside in our gut, promoting the growth of good bacteria—microbiota—aiding in immune system support and digestion. They are essential for balance in your gut microbiome.

Prebiotics—found mostly in fiber-dense foods—are basically food for probiotics and other helpful microbiota living in your gut. They act as nourishment, and can be found in foods such as bananas, garlic, and greens. So whereas eating food with probiotics adds beneficial bacteria to your digestive system, foods with prebiotics help your microbiome to flourish by feeding the useful bacteria.

Why Gut Health is Important and How to Achieve Better Gut Health

More scientists are paying attention to the digestive tract these days, seeing the correlation between a happy gut and better health. Essentially, your gut microbiome plays a crucial role not just in your digestion, but also in your metabolism, bodily functions, immune system function, and mood regulation. An imbalanced system is linked to a range issues including digestive disorders, autoimmune diseases, obesity, and even mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. Maintaining a diverse and balanced microbiome is crucial, so let’s look at a few ways you can help regulate, starting with prebiotics:

  1. How Prebiotics Work: As mentioned earlier, prebiotics are necessary for nurturing the “good” gut bacteria. Incorporating foods with prebiotics therefore promotes healthy digestion. You should also focus on probiotics, as they also help to support your gut.

  2. Eat a Range of Wholefoods: Try to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables and legumes into your diet to feed your gut microbiota with different types of fiber and nutrients. Eating many different plant foods in a day encourages the growth of beneficial and diverse bacteria. In fact, it is said you should eat 30 different plant foods in a week!

  3. Avoid Processed Foods and Added Sugars: Highly processed foods and excessive sugar consumption can disrupt the balance of gut bacteria and contribute to inflammation in the gut.

  4. Manage Stress: Chronic stress can negatively impact gut health by altering the composition of gut bacteria. Practice stress-reducing techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, and regular exercise.

Ingredients in Baking That Are Bad for Your Gut

First and foremost, a giant contributor to an unhealthy gut is highly processed wheat, the thing used in myriad baked goods from bread to cupcakes. Refined flour is unfortunately high in anti-nutrients gluten, phytic acid and lectina, which bombard your body by absorbing nutrients and messing with your blood sugar levels. Non-organic wheat is also drenched in the herbicide glyphosate which has been shown to disrupt gut bacteria, preferentially killing beneficial forms and causing an overgrowth of pathogens. It’s also been shown to cause cancer.

Opting for baked goods without flour of the processed variety is a great choice for your health.

Other common ingredients found in your baked goods include artificial sugars, guar gum, seed oils, and additives, all of which disrupt your microbiome leading to inflammation, gut issues, and inflammatory diseases. Even vegetable oils promote chronic inflammation across the whole body. Examples of the oil culprits include safflower oil, grape seed oil, canola oil, and sunflower oil. Always make sure to check your labels, and consider alternatives like grain-free bread.

The Prebiotics Found in Plantiful Kitchen Gluten-Free Bread and Sweet Treats

Our delicious baked goods are specifically designed to help your digestive tract, and we use prebiotics to improve gut health. So not only are you avoiding irritating your gut with the consumption of something like refined flour, you are actively working to keep things balanced when biting into our bakes. Let’s take a look at the ingredients we use that contain prebiotics:

  1. Cassava: This is a root vegetable rich in resistant starch, which acts as a prebiotic fiber and feeds beneficial gut bacteria.

  2. Flax: Packed with soluble and insoluble fiber, flaxseeds promote digestive regularity and support healthy gut microbiota.

  3. Psyllium Husk: Derived from the seeds of the Plantago ovata plant, this is a soluble fiber that promotes digestive regulation as well as blood sugar regulation and lower cholesterol.

  4. Banana, Apple, and Cacao: Not only do these ingredients add natural sweetness to our treats, but they also contain prebiotic fiber. Cacao is also rich in antioxidants, apples provide valuable nutrients like vitamins, and bananas have potassium that helps with your heart health. And that’s barely scratching the surface of all the potential health benefits!

  5. Almonds: These nutrient-dense nuts are a good source of prebiotic fiber, as well as healthy fats and protein.

The health of your gut plays a key role in your overall well-being, and as we have discovered, prebiotics are fundamental in keeping things balanced and working well. At our bakery, we are committed to providing tasty treats that both satisfy your cravings and nourish your gut. Join us on our journey to healthy eating by ordering some of our grain-free bread and other baked delights!