You’ve heard of Probiotics, now what are Prebiotics?

prebiotics and probiotics kefir

So you now know (and are hopefully regularly consuming) the benefits of probiotics especially kefir made with live grains like Yorlife.  But have you ever heard of prebiotics?

Prebiotics are the much lesser known uncle of probiotics- you know the one you might forget to invite to the party until you get to the big day and realise it isn’t quite the same without them, yeh that one.  The definition of prebiotics is; a non-digestible food ingredient that promotes the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the intestines.  Put simply it is not bacteria but rather fibre which feeds the existing bacteria we all have in our guts and creates a nice environment which good bacteria wants to live in so that when you ingest probiotics they can get to work more easily rebalancing your flora.  Got it? Good.

So where can you find these wondrous fibre friends?  Well like probiotics there are a number of different sources.

 

Certain fruits and vegetables:

Apples, asparagus, bananas, chicory, cold potatoes (I’ll explain that one in a bit), bananas, chicory, fennel, garlic, Jerusalem artichoke, leeks, onions, Pak choi and pulses to name a few.

The reason cold potatoes and the other veggies listed are such excellent sources of prebiotics is that they are all high in resistant starch.  Resistant starch passes through the upper digestive tract without being affected by the acid & heat of our stomachs and through to the large intestine and colon where it stimulates fermentation and the production of short-chain fatty acids like butyrate.  Which, to put it simply, makes a more hospital environment for good bacteria and one which is less favoured by bad bacteria so that when you then take your Yorlife kefir it’s got a head start on filling your gut with the good stuff.  We actually add a small amount of potato starch to our kefir already to help stabilize it so you are off to a good start of your RDA with your daily Yorlife serving.

 

Prebiotic Supplements:

Supplements such as Prebiotin Prebiotic Fibre Powder can be added to water, smoothies or sprinkled over food as it is almost tasteless (it has a mild sweetness to it which is quite pleasant) and provides a full spectrum prebiotic.  This is a quick and easy way to ensure you are getting the right level of prebiotics but as with any supplements we would never suggest using instead of a balanced and healthy diet full of both pre and probiotics foods and nutrient dense vegetables.

We are going to be posting a couple of great prebiotic rich recipes over the next couple of weeks so keep your eyes peeled for them!

 

Let us know how kefir has helped you and if you have any other handy hints for beating the dreaded bloat.

Team Yorlife x

Beat the Bloat

beat the bloat, drink kefir to ease digestion

Oh the dreaded bloat.  As a culture us Brit’s are not good at talking about our digestive health, or much other than the weather to be frank.  It would appear that at some point in our childhood it is drummed into us to not discuss our bathroom habits and while that is all very well it seems that as a result there are far too many people suffering digestive discomfort in silence.  Bloating is now endemic in today’s society and I have a sneaking suspicion that modern western diets laden with processed foods and refined sugars have more than a little to do with it.  It is estimated that between 7-10% of the population have IBS in varying degrees of severity, this rate of incidence increases by 1.5 for young women.  Gastrointestinal disorders are frequently linked to poor diet, stress and bad eating habits, all of which are prevalent in our culture today.  I myself used to be regularly plagued by the dreaded uncomfortable fullness associated with bloating as well as the added rotundness of my belly which always seemed to strike exactly when I was planning on wearing anything remotely slinky.  Until I began my love affair with kefir.

Lactose Intolerance

One major cause of bloating is an intolerance to lactose.  Now please, please don’t confuse intolerance’s with allergies, real allergies are actually exceptionally rare affecting just under 2% of the population.  A food allergy will cause a severe and often dangerous reaction normally extremely quickly when consumed as the body’s own immune system goes into attack mode while intolerance’s, though often uncomfortable and unpleasant are likely to be much less severe and generally limited to digestive symptoms such as the dreaded bloat.

If you suffer from an intolerance to lactose you might find a daily dose of kefir very beneficial.  Stick with me here I know drinking a dairy drink sounds counterproductive but the enzymes in kefir actually digest 99% of the lactose in the kefir.  And it doesn’t stop there, those same enzymes when ingested regularly can help your body’s own ability to process lactose.  In a recent study participants reported having little or no symptoms associated with lactose intolerance after drinking kefir. In fact, drinking kefir reduced flatulence frequency by more than half when compared with milk, no more awkward post-latte pumps!

IBS Symptoms

As I mentioned earlier cases of IBS are on the rise.  While IBS is not actually a disease, rather a grouping of symptoms that is not much comfort to anyone who has experienced the excruciating cramps, dashes to the bathroom and uncomfortable bouts of constipation which plague sufferers.  A recent study conducted with participants with varying degrees of severity of IBS whereby they were given probiotics, sufferers reported a significant reduction in the symptoms associated with their IBS.

As well as not feeling the most glamorous bloating can make you feel sluggish and lethargic and with summer upon us you want to feel your best so grab a daily kefir and kiss goodbye to the bloat!

Let us know how kefir has helped you and if you have any other handy hints for beating the dreaded bloat.

Team Yorlife x

Kefir for all the Family

Yorlife chocolate week

Back in the days before hand sanitiser and kitchen spray, when kids played outdoors till it got dark and toys consisted of sticks, mud and, shock-horror, our imaginations, we were exposed to all sorts of germs and somehow we all survived and made it (somewhat) successfully to adulthood.  However nowadays there is such an emphasis placed on sanitising and cleansing that bacteria have ended up getting a rather bad name for themselves. Overuse of hand sanitisers and prescription antibiotics can have an effect of the good bacteria living in our gut just as much as the bad and as research is proving time and again that the bacteria in our gut is vital to ensuring a strong immune system and over all well-being.

Building a strong immune system from an early age is vital to ensuring kids grow into healthy adults with a good resistance to all the nasties they will be exposed to as they journey through life.  Anyone with young children knows that nurseries are basically breeding grounds for every bug under the sun and while we can’t protect them from everything, we can give them a good head start by ensuring their gut health is as strong as possible.

Kefir is a delicious way to make sure the whole family are getting their daily dose of gut love as well as being a fantastic source of calcium, essential for growing strong teeth and bones.  Now we know that getting kids to eat things that are good for them is the bane of most parents lives, lord knows I have spent enough evenings scraping rejected broccoli from the kitchen walls! While we at Yorlife think kefir is a delicious drink on its own we know that little ones tend to have a sweeter palate and so we have a few suggestions which may help in persuading your little darlings to make the right choices.

Our Blueberry & Elderflower and Mango & Passionfruit flavoured kefir are naturally sweeter than our Original flavor and so will probably appeal to children more but here are some fun ideas you can try which the whole family will love.

 

Frozen Kefir Lollies

All you need for these fab summer time favourites are some lolly moulds and you can experiment to you hearts content!  My daughter loves the Yorlife Blueberry & Elderflower with some added whole fresh blueberries.  You could also try Original Yorlife with crushed raspberries, or Mango & Passion Fruit dipped in fresh passion fruit seeds for a mouthwatering treat, the possibilities are endless!

 

Cacao “Chocolate Milkshakes”

Blend Cacao nibs (raw cocoa, much lower in sugar) with Original Yorlife, a tablespoon of coconut oil and whole hazelnuts for a Nutella-esk indulgent smoothie, the kids won’t know the difference and you’ll find yourself finishing off theirs and making seconds!

 

Do it Yourself Breakfast Pots

Best way to get kids excited about healthy food?  Let them get involved and get their hands dirty!  Normally on a weekend morning (because we have a bit more time) I will put out little bowls of crushed almonds, granola, fresh berries, chai seeds, soaked oats- whatever I can find really, and a big jug of kefir of course.  Then I give my daughter a bowl and let her go to town!  It’s important to talk to children about food from a young age and to ensure that they grow up with an understanding of how to eat a balanced diet and equally importantly have a healthy relationship with food and themselves and getting them involved in food preparation is a great way to get started.

 

We would love to see you pictures and comments of how these recipes turned out for your family and always welcome suggestions for future recipe ideas!

Team Yorlife x