The microbiome project is well underway and in the next few years we will come to understand how important healthy bacteria are for our health. We already know enough to be concerned as most American's take anti-biotics several times a year, most eat from a commercial food supply that is sterile, ie packaged processed foods which can sit on the self for a year or longer (real food rots), eat mostly confinement animal products where antibiotics are used because conditions and diet contribute to poor health, and we are told to cleanse our bodies in anti bacterial soaps.
The message for many years has been that bacteria are bad and now we know that humans are more bacteria than human. The bacterial cells in our body out number human cells 10 to 1. Bacteria line all of the exterior surfaces of our body: our skin, our lungs, our GI tract and act as the first layer of our immunity. Bacteria in the gut/GI tract help us to ferment, breakdown and digest some vitamins and foods. In the colon bacteria ferment fiber from our diet and help supply energy for our colon cells and now are finding most chronic health issues are associated with specific change in bacteria/micro flora. Many experts believe that in the future we will treat illness by balancing the micro flora of the body as they are so entwined with our health that in many labs we cannot separate their metabolites from our own.
For thousands of years we consumed bacteria in the foods we ate. Real whole foods like raw fruits and veggies, raw milk, cheese, yogurt, fermented foods, vegetables and drinks. Today many people are concerned with healthy bacteria levels related to chronic disease/health and take probiotics. Eating probiotics can introduce healthy bacteria into our bodies and help with push out bad bacteria but most people take probiotic pills not understanding the roll of healthy food in bacterial health. Its pretty simple, good food promotes good bacteria and bad food helps the bad bacteria, Even conventional medicine acknowledges the connection between yeast and sugar. The best way to get probiotics into our bodies is to use food as then we get the bacteria (probiotic) with the food and fibers (prebiotic) they and we need. Most important is the supply of healthy food fiber. Below is a list of prebiotic foods. While these foods can contain probiotics themselves; they are prebiotic meaning these foods are a source of food for the probiotics we take or for the good bacteria already in our body. The primary group of prebiotic foods are the crunchy colored fruits and veggies. Makes you wonder about the benefit of taking expensive probiotic supplements without eating these prebiotic foods.