We’ve all heard of probiotics – live bacteria we get from foods and supplements that are known to provide many benefits for the gut and overall health. But have you heard of postbiotics?
The new term on the block, ‘postbiotic’, refers to the metabolic by-products or ‘waste product’ of those probiotic bacteria. Postbiotic bacteria produce and excrete compounds into our digestive tracts, which research is finding is responsible for many of the beneficial effects of probiotics such as promoting enzyme production, balancing bacteria and pH levels, and assisting in the healthy digestion of food in the gut.
Short-chain fatty acids are one example of by-products of bacterial metabolism.
So, what can you do to support the production of postbiotics in your digestive system? Well, because postbiotics are a by-product of probiotics, the direct source of postbiotics are probiotic-rich foods that can help increase the concentration of postbiotics in the gut. Probiotic-rich foods include:
• Apple cider vinegar and coconut vinegar
• Saukraut and Kombucha
• Mycelium – which is a fungus extract containing enzymes and antimicrobials which assist with healthy digestion
• Kefir and pickled vegetables
• Miso soup
• Sourdough bread
• Soft cheeses
• Natural/Greek yoghurt
• Grape pomace – which are the toughest components of grape, such as seeds, stems, and skins.
• Shilajit – a herb which provides a good source of fulvic acid.