The digestive system plays a crucial role in our overall health and well-being, and taking prebiotics and probiotics either in the form of food or supplements is one way to help it continue to work efficiently.
On World Health Day, observed every year since 1948, team VOI decided to address issues related to the digestive system to create health awareness.
In the gut, there are 100 trillion live bacterial microbes, both good and bad, that determine nutrient absorption, metabolism, immunity, mental health, how well we sleep, and even whether or not we get spots. According to a study conducted at Harvard Medical School, a healthy gut could also prevent some cancers and autoimmune diseases.
A healthy gut can improve sleep quality, according to research from the University of Tsukuba in Japan. The study found that gut bacteria might influence sleep patterns by helping to create important chemical messengers in the brain, such as mood-boosting serotonin and dopamine.
*Difference between Prebiotic and Probiotic
Probiotics are live bacteria that support and maintain a healthy gut microbiome, or gut flora.
However, prebiotics is non-digestible dietary fibres that act as food for good gut bacteria. You can find them in certain foods or supplements.
Probiotics are transient, meaning they survive in the gut for a short period, but do not set up residency. By feeding them prebiotic fibre, we give them the fuel they need to colonize the gut and improve digestive health.
*Foods that contain them:
Apart from these two gut-based bacterias, there are many ways through which one can improve nutrient intake and health patterns. Sima Shah, a practising dietician since 1992, says, ” When I began my practice, there were no such fancy terms which exist today. We are coming up with new diets and eating patterns. The basic ‘diet’ comprises balanced food habits and regular exercise and very simple living. Eventually, only these things will help. I always tell my clients to eat regular food we get around us. I believe in the consumption of simple and staple food. ”
Shah also put emphasis on how simple food habits and sensible eating can improve our overall health. She said, ” In general, people should eat whatever they are eating since childhood. One just needs to mind their eating habits which they have been following for years and not get influenced by what anyone else is consuming. Sensible eating is more important.It is very important to understand this basic rule to maintain our health”
According to Naivil Mahadeviya, dietician and diabetes educator, ” Balancing nutrients is very important. We need each and every type of food in our system. When we consume every type of food, it includes everything from local traditional food to prebiotics etc. I always put emphasis on the consumption of local, seasoned and traditional ways of eating. knowing the combination of the food and timings of consuming the food. It is equally important to know the correct form of consuming something.”
Mahadeviya said ” If we go by Ayurveda, all the rasas are very important from Tura rasa, Teekha rasa to Madhur rasa. Luckily, in our food, we get all these things that we must inculcate. We must eat everything but in moderate form. One must not run behind crazy diet trends. If you are allergic to wheat then you will get to know it through a test but don’t unnecessarily avoid wheat. “