Samples from Chapters
Select from the following and get a sample of what is
in the book.
Two: Probiotic Food Sources
Nine: Prebiotics, the Familiar and the Exotic
Ten: Probiotics and Prebiotics Through the Life Stages
The cure is within your body — the secret for
wellness! You can restore what aging, stress and anxiety,
lack of sleep, poor eating habits, exposure to infections,
and illness have done to damage this natural process.
Rather than take a bevy of pills, you can take better
care of yourself and bolster your immune system. There
is a natural way to bring internal health and enhanced
immunity back. And it is not hard to do!
As a result of research linking probiotic use to enhanced
immunity and digestive health, the marketplace floodgates
have opened and consumer interest is surging. Meanwhile,
food manufacturers are utilizing research to their advantage
and are marketing a variety of foods enhanced with probiotics.
As scientific articles promote their benefits and consumers
ingest the products with positive health results, the
word is spreading that the cure comes from inside you
and it is within your reach
Why you should care?
Did you know that seventy percent of immune function
takes place in your gut? It makes sense as this is where
the body encounters the majority of pathogens. Think
of your gut as your immune system's command center — responsible
for the regulation of your responses, particularly of
inflammation. Inflammation serves a protective role responding
to tissue injury or infection so that you can heal. However,
if you have chronic inflammation, it can lead to the
development of disabling conditions such as inflammatory
bowel disease, arthritis, atherosclerosis, or psoriasis.
In numerous studies of all age groups, regular probiotic
use enhances immunity. Enhanced immunity gives you the
edge to perform better, have more energy, and stay healthy
Gut Insight will
teach you about probiotics and prebiotics and how they
can positively influence your health and well-being:
what probiotics and prebiotics are, why they are necessary
for gut health and immunity, which foods contain them,
and how to integrate them into meals and snacks.
You will gain insight into how probiotics and prebiotics
work together to create a healthy environment in your
gut, which will in turn positively influence immunity
and well-being. You will find resources for shopping
emphasizing whole natural foods. You will learn about
specialty probiotic foods and beverages. You will become
skilled at preparing foods using ingredients that enhance
probiotic effects with our recipes and resources.
time The amount of time it takes for
ingested food to travel through your GI tract
and pass out as stool.
of digestion, absorption, immune function, and
Lactose intolerance The
inability to digest lactose, the natural sugar
of milk. Symptoms may include bloating, gas,
diarrhea, and discomfort.
Milk allergy Hypersensitivity
to milk protein.
bacteria Disease causing bacteria which
can cause both damage to the gut tissue and
food ingredients that selectively stimulate the
growth and/or the activity of beneficial bacteria
in the colon and improve health.
microorganisms which, when consumed in adequate
amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.
Researchers in the fields of immunology, infectious
disease, and basic science have been examining this microbial
world that resides within us. They are progressing towards
an understanding of microbes’ role in the prevention
and treatment of chronic conditions and diseases. Obesity
has been the recipient of a great deal of research and
researchers have now suggested that overweight people
have different kinds of microbes in the gut than lean
people. They recognize that this may be related to the
breakdown and storage of food. The initial interpretation
is that the obese person may have the ability to extract
more calories from their food.
More discussion of research and benefits in particular
conditions follow in future chapters. For now we summarize
the benefits of probiotics currently described in the
scientific literature as well as those under investigation.
Benefits described by scientists are:
- immunity enhancement
- improvement in lactose digestion
- management of diarrhea in infants
- treatment of constipation
- improved tolerance to antibiotic therapy
- reduced symptoms of respiratory infections
Chapter Two: Probiotic
Searching for Probiotics in Foods
Reading labels on food packages can be overwhelming.
To teach you about reading labels let’s start with
an example of one of the most popular probiotic containing
foods: yogurt. The same criteria apply whether the yogurt
is dairy or soy.
are two important things to consider when scanning
Does it have live and
Easy to tell from the label.
||Do the cultures qualify
as proven probiotics?
Difficult to tell as manufacturers may
not identify strains.
The cultures refer to the bacterial cultures and live
means they are living or viable. They must be live to
be of any benefit. The starter cultures used for fermentation
of milk to make yogurt are commonly Lactobacillus
bulgaricus and Streptococcus
thermophilus, which are added to milk after pasteurization.
Each culture encourages the growth of the other and together
they rapidly acidify the milk, resulting in yogurt. The
amount of live and active cultures that are in the yogurt
when you buy it is important.
Chapter Three: Prebiotics
Scientific Criteria for Prebiotics
Just as there are lots of different bacteria but only
a few designated as probiotics, there are relatively
few designated prebiotics. Scientists have developed
criteria for a substance to qualify as a prebiotic. Establishing
criteria encourages research and identification of substances
in foods which promote the growth of probiotics.
Professor Glenn Gibson of the University of Reading
Food Biosciences Department in the UK and Marcel Roberfroid
of the Université Catholique de Louvain in Brussels,
Belgium coined the word “prebiotics” and
developed criteria for a food substance to qualify as
A prebiotic food substance must:
- be nondigestible by the upper part of the gut.
- be utilized by beneficial microflora in the colon.
- result in selectively altering the microflora in
the colon to a healthier composition.
- induce effects that are beneficial.
Based on these criteria, scientists and food manufacturers
are isolating these substances and reintroducing them
to foods — for example, inulin is added to yogurt,
pasta, cereals, and cheeses. Natural food sources of
prebiotics have been part of the human diet for centuries.
We recommend that natural plant foods be part of your
Prebiotic “Stars” and Prebiotic Potentials
Although all plant foods have nondigestible carbohydrates,
not all plant foods have been studied and tested to determine
if they are sources of prebiotics. The table below includes
plant foods we consider to be prebiotic “stars” since
they are the foods listed in the scientific literature
as sources of prebiotics. We consider them to have a
standing above other foods in importance. They contain
the nondigestible carbohydrates that the probiotics need
in order to thrive. We consider the foods in the list
below without a star designation as prebiotic potentials
meaning there are studies suggesting they may have a
prebiotic effect, but they need more research, particularly
human studies, to reach prebiotic status.
and Prebiotic Potentials
Chapter Nine: Prebiotics,
the Familiar and the Exotic
In this chapter, we will discuss the use of the familiar
and introduce you to exotic prebiotic foods. We include
prebiotic stars and potentials. We will teach you about
them with a guide that includes photographs, descriptions,
and information on how to select, store and use them.
We have included all the pertinent information we can
find on these foods. Simple recipes are provided to encourage
their use. Plus we provide internet sites that have the
kind of recipes you might consider using if you are feeling
Familiar prebiotic foods are those that should be available
in any well-stocked supermarket when in season. Prebiotics
stars are designated with an asterisk, prebiotic potentials
are without one.
Genus and Species: Cynara scolymus
Native to Mediterranean. Grown in North America.
Eaten by themselves, used in soups and salads,
or stuffed, there are many simple and extravagant
preparations for artichokes. They are also available
canned for out-of-season use.
Find out everything about artichokes with recipes
Find further recipes at www.oceanmist.com.
Learn how to eat an artichoke with an online
video at www.oceanmist.com
Photo source: Loves PLC
Also called oyster plant.
Purple Genus and Species: Tragopogon porrifolius
Black salsify, Scorzonera
Genus and Species: Scorzonera hispanica
Native to Europe and Asia, grown in North America.
Salsify must be prepped by scrubbing by the
root, running it under cold water and then peeling
it after cooking. If you chop or cut it before
cooking, drop the cut pieces into acidulated
water (vinegar or lemon juice added) to prevent
discoloration. Use in recipe of choice.
Chapter Ten: Probiotics
and Prebiotics Through the Life Stages
The role and impact of the microbiota has been underestimated.
Recently, as researchers uncover mechanisms for protection
against diarrhea, malnutrition, inflammation, and gastrointestinal
diseases, the tiny microbes are gaining new respect.
Pregnant women and their physicians and mid-wives are
beginning to understand the importance of vaginal delivery
and breast-feeding which promote the exchange of microbial
protection. Everyone is interested in the prevention
of disease whether it is allergic disease, infectious
disease, or the inflammatory response associated with
the development of chronic disease. It is exciting to
think that mothers can improve and ensure the future
health of their children by their choice of delivery
and feeding methods. Mothers should understand that the
colonization of the gut of a vaginally-delivered, breast-fed
infant resembles that of the mother. The role of the
microbiotia is to protect the infant and contribute to
the development of his or her immune system.