Taking probiotics during pregnancy
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KATV) —
Elizabeth Hayes, Nutritionist Assistant with the Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center, explains how probiotics benefit our bodies, especially during pregnancy.
What is the microbiome?
-The Microbiome is formed by gut Bacteria that are a normal part of our digestive system. In fact, there are some who see the microbiome as another “organ” that has an important role in health and disease.
What are probiotics?
-“Good” bacteria than enrich our microbiome or gut bacteria, and that can provide health benefits when consumed regularly.
-They are found in food or supplements
How are they potentially helpful? (Pregnancy connection) Our research is exploring whether or not probiotics can:
-Balance blood sugars
oImproves the way the body processes sugars.
- Decrease inflammation. When we have excess weight our body has something called “low grade inflammation.” Our research is trying to find out how probiotics taken during pregnancy affects inflammation profiles and ultimately, the health of babies.
-Healthy weight gain
oMay help you feel full longer and store less fat
-Boost the immune system
oPrevent the growth of harmful gut bacteria
oPromote production of natural antibodies
-Improve GI heath/function
What foods have probiotics?
-Look for “live cultures” on products
-Found in fermented foods:
oYogurt – buy individual containers so bacteria don’t die
oPickled veggies like sauerkraut
oTempe – fermented soybeans; full of protein too
oMiso – traditional Japanese seasoning
What about prebiotics?
-Food for good bacteria; a.k.a. fiber; our bacteria use these food components for their normal function
-Found in whole grains, fruits, veggies, beans, and nuts
-Fiber has a ton of health benefits!
oControls blood sugar levels
oHealthy weight maintenance
The concept of synbiotics: Prebiotic + probiotic, yogurt is a great example so that you eat the good bacteria.
-Whole foods come packed with pro- and prebiotics together!
oExample: Fruit and yogurt parfait