According to Marvin Singh, MD, founder of Precisione Clinic, the first step in optimizing your gut health is supporting the diversity of your microbiome, or the community of good bacteria in your gut. "The gut is home to the gut microbiome, which 'makes up' at least 70 percent of our immune system and is central to inflammation, chronic disease, and overall health," says Dr. Singh. "We can improve our microbiome’s diversity by eating a variety of foods, including probiotic-rich foods, or some may choose to add a probiotic."
But beyond eating your probiotics—and/or supplementing with one—what else can you do? Take it from an expert: Adding prebiotics in the form of fiber is the gut-friendly bonus you might be missing. "A plant-rich diet high in fiber is a great way to support the growth and diversity of a healthy gut microbiome," says Dr. Singh.
And prebiotics and probiotics make a seriously good duo. "Probiotics are a supplement of beneficial bacteria," Dr. Singh says. “Prebiotics are basically a type of fiber that acts as fertilizer to the good microbiomes in our gut. Together they may make a good team and can help balance the gut microbes and your digestive symptoms."
Despite how important the gut microbiome is to overall health, only five percent of Americans consume the recommended daily amount of fiber. But if the thought of adding fiber-rich foods on top of a daily supplement and probiotic-fueled meals feels overwhelming, Benefiber Advanced Digestive Health Prebiotic + Probiotic Stick Packs can make it much easier to incorporate prebiotics without overhauling your routine.
The on-the-go packs come in handy powder form to dissolve into any bev or soft food (hot or cold) and are loaded with both probiotics and prebiotic fiber that is gluten-free and sugar-free. Together, they can help support your overall gut health and help relieve occasional constipation*.
Once you have your probiotic and prebiotic situation on lock, Dr. Singh says it's all about how you're taking care of yourself on a daily basis. "Don’t underestimate the value of lifestyle factors," he says. "Things such as sleep hygiene, exercise, stress reduction, toxin avoidance, and enjoying our social interconnections are all factors that help support a good and healthy gut microbiome." So catch some zzzs, toss a Benefiber stick in your bag, and meet up with a friend. Your gut health is in good hands.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Top photo: Getty Images/Peathegee Inc
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