Did you know that your gut carries roughly 100 trillion bacteria? Do not get scared; these are just good bacteria, called ‘gut flora’ or ‘gut microbiota’, which improve your digestive system. One way to ameliorate the proportion of healthy bacteria such as probiotics and prebiotics is to consume nutritious food and supplements that help increase.
The difference between probiotics and prebiotics is that the former is the good-for-the gut microorganisms whereas the latter ones are non-digestible carbohydrates that feed the former. However, there is another food list that one can keep in mind; the synbiotic food list, which can help you aid the process of digestion and keep your gut clean and healthy.
So, let us understand what synbiotic food is and how we can inculcate them in our daily lives.
What is a synbiotic food?
As mentioned earlier, there are gazillions of healthy bacteria in our gut that are highly influenced by time, genes, environment, and certain medications we consume, as some antibiotics can kill both good and bad bacteria.
According to studies, it is revealed that healthy gut bacteria can prevent certain digestion problems such as diarrhea, diabetes, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and other digestive disorders. The proportion of good bacteria can be increased through consuming probiotics. The growth of probiotics can be promoted by consuming prebiotics, which are generally non-digestible carbohydrates.
Probiotics are generally prevalent in food products such as yogurt, kimchi, and kombucha. On the other hand, foods like green bananas, asparagus, and artichokes have huge amounts of prebiotics.
However, apart from these two, there is a third one called symbiotic food which is a mixture of the two. Synbiotic food is generally formed when you get your prebiotics and probiotics at the same time, which could escalate the process of probiotics and help in the process of digestion.
In addition to this, there is an added advantage to synbiotics over the two. Probiotics, as per some researchers, sometimes fail to make it through our small and large intestines. On consuming probiotics and prebiotics together, synbiotics make sure that all the gut-friendly microorganisms and bacteria reach the gut successfully, cleaning it all the way through.
What are the health benefits of synbiotic food?
- Aids in digestion:
As mentioned earlier, synbiotic food is the combination of probiotics and prebiotics which help in forming the good bacteria in your gut and aid in the process of digestion. Probiotics are known to improve the health of your gut by reducing all digestive problems, from diarrhoea to irritable bowel syndrome.
On the other hand, prebiotics are known to escalate the production of healthy bacteria. This process often leads to the formation of butyric acid, one of the short-chain fatty acids. Butyric acid is known to improve digestive conditions and solve any problem.
- Improvement in mental health:
Consuming symbiotic food products daily has shown an improvement in the cognitive abilities of a person. In addition to that, it is also known to ameliorate the mental health of the person.
As per the study published in the Journal Of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, bacteria such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are considered to hone one’s memory and also depict an improvement in a person’s anxiety, depression, autism, and even obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
A similar study was conducted in Iran which revealed that consuming probiotics for a significant period has shown a decline in the symptoms of depression in the group. Not only that, but it has also shown a decline in symptoms of anxiety and improved the ability to deal with stress.
Now that we know the benefits of symbiotic products, let us know how we can use them in our daily lives. One of the best ways of adding and consuming more synbiotics is to consume certain types of foods.
Here is the list of a symbiotic food list that you can consume, in breakfast, snack, lunch, and dinner:
You can take some yogurt and top it with some banana slices on it. As mentioned earlier, yogurt contains probiotics and bananas contain prebiotics. However, whenever you are shopping for some yogurt, make sure that the label reads, ‘contains live active cultures.
For lunch, you can use some grilled chicken along with a whole-grain bun and unpasteurized sauerkraut. In this dish, the whole-grain bun contains prebiotics and sauerkraut contains probiotics.
For snacks, you can simply take whole wheat seeded crackers and consume them with cheese like gouda. The cheese in it is the main thing as it contains probiotics.
For dinner, you can consume some soybeans as a source of prebiotic food and miso soup for probiotics. To spice it up, you can also eat a fried fish with tofu or shrimp, along with a salad containing onions, garlic, and asparagus.
Are there any side effects of consuming synbiotic products?
No matter how good and healthy symbiotic food products sound, it is better to think twice before picking them up from a supermarket. The benefits of synbiotics are not studied thoroughly and therefore concrete research is lacking in this area.
There is no question to the fact that probiotics and prebiotics are individually good for the health of your body. Apart from supporting the growth of probiotics, prebiotics also helps in the absorption of nutrients and ameliorate your bowel movements.
However, just because probiotics and prebiotics are healthy on their terms, it does not necessarily mean that they will be good in the form of synbiotics. It might not prove to be a prudent assumption for your body.
Therefore, it is necessary to consult your doctor before you start consuming anything.
In addition to this, upon researching on the Internet and going through various websites, you will also know that certain nutritional supplements are not well checked and regulated. Due to lack of research and insufficient deductions, inculcating a synbiotic food list in your daily life might prove to be perilous to the health of your body.
Therefore, until and unless one does not get comprehensive and concrete research on the synbiotics food list with reliable deductions, it is best to stick to the conventional forms of consuming probiotics and prebiotics individually. If not, it might affect one’s health severely.