Know What's What To Build a Healthy Gut

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Are you among the many Americans who suffer from stomach discomforts like bloating, gas or constipation, on a daily basis? Have you tried a variety of dietary supplements and gas lessening medications for short-term relief? The answer may not be in your medicine cabinet, but in your refrigerator!

That's right! The key to relief may come from including certain foods in your diet. Foods that are high in fiber, prebiotics, probiotics or a combination of the three, can help you increase natural flora in your digestive system.

The recommended daily amount of fiber is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. If, like most Americans, you don’t get enough fiber, increase your intake gradually, over a period of six to eight weeks, and be sure to drink plenty of water, too. Legumes, berries, and whole grains are all great sources!

Probiotics are “good” bacteria that help maintain a healthy digestive system by controlling the amount of harmful bacteria. Prebiotics, simply put, are foods for probiotics.

Probiotics are found in high amounts in fermented foods. Among the best sources is yogurt, but not just any yogurt. Brands with the important live cultures lactobacillus or bifidobacteria, will have it labeled right on the package to help you make the right choices. Other sources include sauerkraut, miso soup, fermented soft cheeses like Gouda, and even sourdough bread.
Food sources of prebiotics are few, but definitely staples in a healthy diet. These include bananas, oatmeal, asparagus and legumes.

For more information on sources and food pairings, visit http://www.fermented-foods.com/content/synbiotics-art-combining-prebiotics-and-probiotics