Nope, I don’t mean probiotic, I mean PREbiotic. At any given moment, there are tens of billions of bacteria making their residence in your intestine – around 10 times the number of cells in your entire body! That’s a lot of bacteria fighting for supremacy. It would be great if all the bacteria were good, unfortunately that’s not the case. In order to increase the amount of good bacteria and decrease the number of bad bacteria, you need to ingest things that support your microbiome, that’s where probiotics and prebiotics come in.
So what’s the difference between pro- and pre-biotics?
Probiotics are the good bacteria found in yogurt, kim chi, sauerkraut and other fermented foods. You can also supplement them in capsule or powder form. When you add 5-10 million (not many when you compare it to the tens of billions of bacteria already living there) probiotic organisms to the gut, they work to reproduce and out-number the “bad” bacteria living there.
Prebiotics, on the other hand, are food for the good bacteria. They help the probiotics multiply at a faster rate than if you tried to colonize the gut by taking probiotics alone. When you ingest prebiotics, you’re assisting the good bacteria and keeping the scales tipped in favor of the good guys.
You find prebiotics in plant foods like onions, carrots, leeks, yams, flax/pumpkin/chia seeds, bananas, chicory, dandelion, marshmallow root, asparagus, Jerusalem artichoke and burdock. All of these foods contain insoluble fiber that make it through the stomach and small intestine undigested. This means they’ll make it into the large intestine where the majority of our bacteria live. Once there, the good guys use it as food by the process of fermentation (it does not feed the bad bacteria).
There are different kinds of prebiotics that act on different parts of the large intestine and we can get almost all of them in our prebiotic honey: inulin, fructo-oligosaccharides and pectin. The honey itself contains isomalto-oligosaccharides, which means this honey packs a lot of nutrition and power for your microbiome as well.
Why take prebiotic honey?
You can get your prebiotics by eating foods that contain them, but it can sometimes be difficult to get enough. If you keep this honey on hand, you can get a quick kick a couple of times a day to begin to build the strength and numbers of your good bacteria.
What are the health benefits?
- Improved immune function (yes, our gut is closely related to our immune system)
- Helps your body produce vitamin K
- Better bone density
- Improved digestion and elimination
- Less inflammation
- More energy
If you’re ready to learn MORE about holistic health and using herbs to improve your own wellness and the wellbeing of your family, check out our selection of online courses!
- 8 g ground dandelion root
- 8 g ground burdock root
- 4 g powdered marshmallow root
- 4 g chicory (optional and tastes wonderful!)
- 1/2 c raw honey (local, if possible)
- Grind herbs into a powder using a coffee grinder or blender
- Mix into the honey
If you have not been eating a lot of whole foods (grains, vegetables, fruits) then start out slowly with 1/2-1 tsp a day for a couple of weeks, and build up to 1 T a day.