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Nutrient - Food for friendly bacteria

By Nutri People

Friendly bacteria living in our gut need food to grow and flourish. This food is known as a ‘prebiotic’ and is a type of carbohydrate found naturally in fruit, vegetables and wholegrain cereals.

Prebiotics are not digested in the body like normal food. Instead, they pass through the stomach and upper gut still intact, and enter the lower gut where they feed the ‘good’ bacteria that normally live there, especially Lactobacilli and Bifidobacterium.

Good bacteria break down prebiotics to special substances called ‘short chain fatty acids’ (SCFA), which stimulate the growth of the gut lining and hinder the growth and survival of ‘bad’ bacteria, such as E. coli, Salmonella and Clostridia. Bad bacteria make toxic fermentation substances, which are harmful to the gut. Prebiotics do not feed these bad bacteria.

Modern ways of storing plant foods can dramatically reduce their prebiotic content. By the time they reach the table, plant foods may not contain ideal amounts of prebiotics to feed the friendly bacteria.

Supplementing the diet daily with prebiotics is the best option for optimal gut health.

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