Wait, what? What’s a prebiotic? Is it a new sexual orientation? Am I a prebiotic?
Let us introduce you to the trillions of tiny little creatures living in your belly, the so-called “gut microbiota” . Feel itchy all of a sudden? No need to worry, these creatures are not nibbling on your insides, they just chop up the leftover food that we cannot digest.
You see: after we eat, our body breaks down the food into tiny components, pieces small enough to be absorbed by the so-called epithelial cells on the wall of our bowels, after which they’re passed into our bloodstream. We have a whole bunch of mechanisms to slash up the food into nutrients ourselves, but we need the help from our little gut gang to break it down, so that we can absorb these nutrients. The gut gang has the ultimate set of knives and scissors to chop up your food .
Another mechanism they help us with is preventing harmful bacteria from settling in our bowels by leaving no room for them and by ratting them out to the immune system . So yeah, it’s like an eighties mob movie in your gut.
The relationship you have with your gut microbiota is symbiotic, like a relationship. It’s a balance between give and take. We feed them, and they help us. Okay wait, that’s not exactly how a healthy relationship works—that’s more like... feeder territory. So you’re in a feeder relationship with your gut microbiota. And how do you feed them? With their favourite: prebiotics! These are non-digestible carbohydrates that benefit us by stimulating the gut microflora so that we get health benefits .
Plenny Shake V 2.1: feeding you, feeding your gut gang
At Jimmy Joy we are committed to bringing you the healthiest meal scientifically possible. And keeping your gut gang happy is an important part of that—we don’t want them to get angry and put a horse’s head in your bed. That’s why we’ve decided to add prebiotics, originating from inulin, oats, soy and flaxseed. Let’s have a look into why we chose these sources.
We added inulin because it serves as a direct food source for some of the good microflora in your gut. They help you stay healthy by claiming their turf in your bowels, and leaving less room for mischievous bacteria to grow. Inulin also helps in weight management and increases the calcium absorption [3, 4].
Oats are the main ingredient in our Plenny Shakes, and the main prebiotics in oats are soluble fibres called β-glucans. β-glucans do a lot for you: they don’t just confuse you about how to pronounce their name, they can also reduce your blood pressure and blood cholesterol level. As a result, they can lower the risk of diseases in your heart, which comes in handy if you have one . On top of that β-glucans help improve the response rate to glucose after meals and thereby improves insulin sensitivity [6-8].
We need to have a little chat about an unavoidable side effect of food: poop. The faster your stools leave your body, the better, because it lowers the time carcinogenic compounds are in the gut . Soy has lots of insoluble fibers: mainly hemicellulose and cellulose, which are polymers that make up the cell walls of plants . These compounds help increase the weight and volume of your stool. And if you remember Newton and the apple, gravity will get your heavier stools out of your gut faster. It’s like a Formula One race in your bowels, with turds instead of cars. We’re very sorry about this visual.
Last but not least: flaxseed. Flaxseed is an excellent source of viscous fibres , named after how they form gels when mixed with body fluids . These fibers have a general effect on lowering blood pressure, and as a result they may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases . Like soy fibers flaxseed also contribute to the Formula One race by increasing the weight and volume of stools [10, 13].
To top it off, all these fibers can convert into short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) , which makes your immune system function better .
All in all, what you need to remember is that this gang of bacteria living in your gut needs to be taken care of. With Plenny Shake V 2.1, we help you do just that. So that your gut gang can keep cutting the nutrients out of your food, and ward off nasty evil bacteria that try to steal their turf.
- Thursby, E. and N. Juge, Introduction to the human gut microbiota. The Biochemical journal, 2017. 474(11): p. 1823-1836.
- Gaboriau-Routhiau, V. and N. Cerf-Bensussan, [Gut microbiota and development of the immune system]. Med Sci (Paris), 2016. 32(11): p. 961-967.
- Mohanty, D., et al., Prebiotics and synbiotics: Recent concepts in nutrition. Food Bioscience, 2018. 26: p. 152-160.
- Shoaib, M., et al., Inulin: Properties, health benefits and food applications. Carbohydrate Polymers, 2016. 147: p. 444-454.
- Ciudad-Mulero, M., et al., Dietary fiber sources and human benefits: The case study of cereal and pseudocereals, in Advances in Food and Nutrition Research. 2019, Academic Press.
- Wood, P.J., Evaluation of oat bran as a soluble fibre source. Characterization of oat β-glucan and its effects on glycaemic response. Carbohydrate Polymers, 1994. 25(4): p. 331-336.
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- Riaz, M.N., Soy Beans: Processing, in Encyclopedia of Food and Health, B. Caballero, P.M. Finglas, and F. Toldrá, Editors. 2016, Academic Press: Oxford. p. 48-53.
- Ibrügger, S., et al., Flaxseed dietary fiber supplements for suppression of appetite and food intake. Appetite, 2012. 58(2): p. 490-495.
- Chutkan, R., et al., Viscous versus nonviscous soluble fiber supplements: mechanisms and evidence for fiber-specific health benefits. J Am Acad Nurse Pract, 2012. 24(8): p. 476-87.
- Khan, K., et al., The effect of viscous soluble fiber on blood pressure: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, 2018. 28(1): p. 3-13.
- Song, B.K., et al., Colon transit time according to physical activity level in adults. Journal of neurogastroenterology and motility, 2012. 18(1): p. 64-69.
- Tan, J., et al., The role of short-chain fatty acids in health and disease. Adv Immunol, 2014. 121: p. 91-119.