Many people are aware of the benefits of probiotics. Probiotics, of course, are the microscopic, “good” bacteria that inhabit our digestive system. These perform an array of vital functions, including aiding in digestion, manufacturing certain nutrients, immunity and keeping the balance in our guts in favor of good bacteria instead of bad bacteria, yeasts, fungi, etc.
Probiotics are an important part of The Kaufmann Diet. Often, beneficial bacterial colonies in the body are depleted due to poor diet, mycotoxins in the diet and antibiotic usage. Antibiotics are likely some of the worst offenders when it comes to wrecking beneficial bacterial colonies, because antibiotics kill bacteria indiscriminately. Ultimately, when these colonies are depleted, pathogenic yeasts and fungi can flourish and ultimately cause health problems that manifest in many ways and can be difficult to diagnose. This problem, called dysbiosis, is often the root of fungal problems that The Kaufmann Anti-fungal Diet seeks to address. Once yeasts can colonize in the gut, it is theorized that they can proliferate to other parts of the body.
Ultimately, as you kill fungi and yeasts in the body by starving them with the diet, it is important to replenish these beneficial bacteria. There are a number of foods, such as plain yogurt and sauerkraut, that you can incorporate into your diet to aid in accomplishing this, but often a high quality probiotic supplement is recommended in tandem with probiotic foods and The Kaufmann Diet.
Prebiotic foods are distinct from probiotic foods in that they do not contain bacteria but contain high amounts of fiber such as inulin and pectin that support internal gut flora. Prebiotic foods are essentially food for probiotics.
There are a number of foods that are considered prebiotic foods. Some are not encouraged on The Kaufmann Diet. Among the foods thought of as prebiotic that are on The Kaufmann Diet, however, are artichokes, asparagus, chickory root, flax seeds, garlic, greens, green apples, leeks, onions and seaweed.
Prebiotic foods are an important part of maintaining healthy gut flora, which is an important part of the anti-fungal program. Maintaining healthy gut flora is an important part of eliminating what might be an existing fungal infection and preventing further fungal overgrowth in the gut. Subsequently, there are a legion of other benefits to be gleaned from maintaining the delicate balance of good bacteria in the gut. While supplementing with probiotics and eating probiotic foods is a good first step, incorporating prebiotic foods into your diet is another vital step towards protecting your health.
The distinction is important, but both are necessary.