Imagine a bustling city inside your belly called the microbiome, where trillions of microorganisms work tirelessly, much like a well-oiled machine. This microscopic metropolis plays a starring role in our health, and it’s high time we give it the VIP treatment it deserves. Chloe McLeod reveals the power of tribiotics.
What Are Tribiotics?
Tribiotics aren’t just an overnight trend or suddenly made fashionable by TikTok; they’re a comprehensive strategy for gut wellness. Most of us are familiar with probiotics, the friendly bacteria populating our gut, and prebiotics, the dietary fibres that feed them. But let’s shine a light on postbiotics – the unsung heroes produced when this dynamic duo teams up. Together, these three ‘P’s – prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics – form the powerhouse known as tribiotics.
Think of these as the ultimate ‘foodie’ for your gut bacteria. Fascinating research shows that gold kiwi fruit powder (1), a potent prebiotic, is instrumental in nurturing beneficial bacteria such as Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, a key player in combating inflammatory diseases. Loading up on prebiotic foods is a bit like investing in gut health. When you munch on fibre-rich choices like oats, nuts, and legumes, you’re giving the beneficial bacteria in your large intestine the nutrients they need to thrive. Think of these foods as the support squad. More of these foods in your diet equals a happier, healthier gut. So, don’t skimp on the fibre—it’s essential for keeping your internal ecosystem in tip-top shape(2).
Diminished concentrations of the gut bacterium have been associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, depression, asthma, and the exacerbation of COVID-19 symptoms
These are the ‘good guys’ in your gut’s neighbourhood, helping keep the peace and balance. You’ll find them in yoghurts and fermented foods, ready to reinforce your gut’s defence team. Remember, if you’re calling in reinforcements through supplements, it’s all about the right amounts. Enough of the good guys, and your gut will be thriving, keeping you feeling your best.
When probiotics have had their feast on prebiotics, postbiotics are what they leave behind. These aren’t just leftovers; they’re powerful substances that reinforce the walls of our intestines and give our immune system a leg-up.
The Inner Workings of Tribiotics
By now, you might be thinking, “Sounds great, but how does this all work?” It’s like a well-orchestrated symphony in your gut. Tribiotics cover all the bases, ensuring that each component of the gut microbiome is nurtured, leading to better overall gut health and a happier you.
The Market’s Take on Tribiotics
The wellness market has caught on, and now there’s a burgeoning shelf of tribiotic products. These are designed to take the guesswork out of gut health, offering a balanced mix that caters to your digestive system’s needs. It is important to note that the below options may vary in their efficacy or suitability, so is always important to speak to your health practitioner prior to use.
Capsules and Pills
The most common form of tribiotics comes in capsules, conveniently and precisely dosed to ensure you get the right balance of the three Ps. These are easy to incorporate into daily routines and are favoured for their portability and shelf-stability.
Tribiotic powders are gaining popularity for their versatility. They can be mixed into smoothies, juices, or even just water, making them an ideal option for those who might not like swallowing pills or want to integrate their tribiotic intake into mealtime.
For people who prefer something a bit more palatable, chewable tribiotics offer a friendly alternative. They often come in various flavours and are especially appealing for adults who have difficulty with traditional pills.
Yoghurts and Fermented Drinks
Some companies incorporate tribiotics into foods and beverages, such as yoghurts or kefirs. These offer a dual benefit of providing a nutritious snack or drink while also delivering the benefits of tribiotics.
Gummy tribiotics are a fun twist on the traditional supplement. They’re often flavoured and sweetened.
When choosing a tribiotic product, it’s important to consider the quality of the ingredients, the reputation of the manufacturer, and the specific strains and types of fibres included, as these can vary widely and may be targeted towards different health outcomes.
Why Your Gut Deserves a Standing Ovation
The benefits of a healthy gut go beyond avoiding an upset stomach. It’s about mood regulation, keeping your heart ticking nicely, and even fending off those extra kilograms. So, it’s clear – a happy gut is pretty much your ticket to a happy life.
Building a Gut-Friendly Lifestyle
While tribiotics sound like a magic pill, they’re more of a supporting actor than the star of the show. A diverse diet brimming with plant-based foods is your best bet for gut health. Add to that the trio of regular exercise, restorative sleep, and stress management, and you’ve got a recipe for success, particularly as the holiday frenzy hits.
This article was contributed by Chloe McLeod. Chloe is one of Australia’s leading dieticians and the founder of Verde Nutrition Co. She specialises in gut health, food intolerance and sports nutrition, and previously was the Head of Nutrition at the Parramatta Eels National Rugby League team for 5 seasons.
This article originally appeared in the Summer 2024 print issue of Professional Beauty.
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