Feeding your Good Bacteria with Prebiotics

We’ve talked much about the power and importance of probiotics both here on my blog and in my upcoming book, Brain Maker. The good bacteria that make up your microbiome play a vital role in not just your digestive health but your overall well-being.

But how do we best set up these friendly “good bacteria” for success? By eating a diet that includes sufficient amounts of “prebiotics,” the fuel that feeds your success. Popular prebiotics include garlic, onion, Jerusalem artichoke, dandelion greens and more.

Watch above as I discuss the power of prebiotics, and learn more about your microbiome in Brain Maker – available April 28.

  • Larry

    He’s quite good at self promoting. Although, it’s nothing that we don’t already know.

    • Melissa Osten

      Not everyone knows these things. Like me. I have learned many things from reading and listening to Dr. P. What you call self promotion, I call making a living.

      • Shelley

        Even though I have heard this information before, I love to hear it from different experts and hear how they perceive it and what they emphasize and why they say that. It helps me integrate the information. I have become very knowledgable just from all the free (self promoting) summits, podcasts, newsletters and reading Dr. P’s and well as other’s books. I have been able to do much more to help my autoimmune condition from all this free information than I did in the years of just seeing my health care practitioners. I see Dr. P’s videos as a win/win because not only does he make a living selling his books but he is helping so many people to learn how to eat, helping his community to reverse conditions and prevent future ill health. He does us a service. We are living in a world that is full of toxins and unhealthy foods and practices. Many of us have chronic illnesses or have loved ones and friends with chronic illness. Turning the ship around takes a lot of people and a lot of effort. So I hope Dr. P continues to make his videos. I look forward to them! And I share them with people I care about too.

        • Rita Dhawan

          I ditto.

    • tata

      He is very good at what he investigates and promotes. Many of us learn from him a lot. If you know so much and don’t think you learn from him, maybe you should no be on his page but teaching all you know!

    • Lloyd Stewart

      We just learned that eating prebiotics like garlic, onion, Jerusalem artichoke, and dandelion greens is a good thing from a neurologist who made a video available to everyone at no charge, and your focus is on “self promoting”? Geez, whatever happened to being grateful and showing some appreciation? So he mentioned his book. So what? He didn’t put a gun to your head, did he?

      Wow, how does one get to the point in life where the focus is so heavily on the dark side? Ah well, I guess I’ve done the same thing from time to time.

      • Lynn Dell

        Your comment to Larry made me laugh – the part about “putting a gun to your head.” I must have been thinking of the IRS and tax day or something. You answered Larry for me and raised my “happy hormones,” so thanks two times!

      • Rita Dhawan

        Focus is on the dark side because the good bacteria are missing from his gut….as the book explains. Larry, you need to read and learn….if not from Dr. P, then from someone, anyone, that you trust.
        Dr. P….I have been a biologist (with Ph.D in Medical sciences) all my life, and even i did not know as much about the latest research on Gut Bacteria, as i learned from your book. Scientists are focusing on drugs to treat symptoms only…and that is not enough to save this ailing humanity. Neither are the doctors paying attention to this new information….I have to push my FP and Ophthalmologist to consider this new information in evaluating my ailments….!!!!! Thanks for summarizing all the current research on Gut Bacteria in one place….Brain Maker. It needs to be promoted and i will…at least to all my family and friends. in the end…they can take it or leave it…we can only give information….each one’s destiny is in their own hands.

  • JR new zealand

    I am thinking Dr P may not need to make a living. but may just need to fund his work for us and LONG may he continue. I could never put a value on the health benefits I am enjoying from what he shares..

  • Kate

    I don’t get it. Why do we need good bacteria? What are fermented foods? This message could have been better contextualized, no? It is not useful.

  • Fran Bernitz

    This is certainly not new information but it is great to see enhanced focus on probiotics and the foods that feed them, prebiotics. Thank you, Dr. Perlmutter, for educating on this critical, transformational topic. I teach classes on Fermentation including primers on Digestive Health through my practice in the Berkshires and Southern New Hampshire. In my opinion, the best in the business on fermentation is the original fermented foods lady, Donna Gates, and you can learn a lot more about probiotics at Body Ecology. (You can also purchase various probiotics, a prebiotic called EcoBloom and a variety of other goodies.) Good health certainly begins in the gut where 80% of our immune system lies. Also of note is that most of the functional medicine practitioners including Dr. Josh Axe and JJ Virgin, to name just a couple, are talking about the microbiome. For those in the know, this video snippet reinforces what we already know. I do find that many clients are initially daunted by the world of pro and prebiotics, fermented foods, kombucha, kefir and the like. I may be biased but I think that if you are interested in this topic, studying with a Culinary Nutrition/Holistic Health Practitioner who doesn’t just focus on supplementation but on eating real, whole foods is a great idea – Fran Bernitz, CNE, AADP HHP, CGP, CHLC, BES, MBA.

    • Lynn Dell

      Thanks for the information! I have been blessed to get an advanced copy of Brain Maker, and the information about LPS and its role in disease is fascinating. The role of gut health in general and its impact on CNS health is given a good treatment for the general public, as well as the clear call to deal with neurological conditions such as autism and ms by nourishing and healing the gut, along with some clinical examples. Glyphosate is also discussed. It is of interest to me that the prebiotic fibers Dr. Perlmutter recommends do not include crunchy green bananas and raw peeled potatoes such as Dr. Davis recommends. Of course, gut microbes are discussed. And many good recipes for fermented foods, a 7 day meal plan, and a protocol for probiotic enema administration, among a lot of other info, including his latest advice on supplement recommendations. There are multiple pages of references provided for those wanting to read more.

      My opinion is this book is needed now to give an overview of the latest research to the public so people can continue to make the best food choices for themselves, in addition to the practical advice at the end of the book.

      • Sawyer Rice

        arent bananas and potato resistant starch, not prebiotics?

        • Lynn Dell

          Sawyer, that’s what I said. Yes, they are prebiotic. Dr. David promotes them, Dr. Perlmutter does not. That said, you have to eat potatoes raw and bananas when they are crunchy, green, and taste chalky to avoid the sugars and starches. Not very appetizing, and then they are there to cook or consume when they are not as healthful. I know some people say potatoes cooked then cooled are ok, but the reconversion to prebiotics via cooling cooked potatoes is not that impressive, imo.

    • Lynn Dell

      I just looked up Donna Gates and am almost positive she is the first person I heard speak on fermented foods. She spoke of feeding newborns some kind of probiotics via a dropper, watching their faces always pucker, and noting that several months later how content and peaceful they seemed to be. How I wish I had this knowledge when I was having my children!

  • Emmalee

    I am waiting for the book. Due to IBS and microscopic colitis, I am unable to consume many of the prebiotic foods.

    • Lynn Dell

      How do you make a recovery so that you can consume prebiotic foods? I have heard this from another functional medicine doctor as well, that there may be contraindications here.

    • Giora Zeevy

      Hi. Prebiotic are an important part in contributing to healthy digestive system however it is only one ingredient. If you would like to know how to enhance your digestion by supporting and promoting the functioning of your digestion email me to giorazeevy@gmail.com and I will forward to you a webinar(s) that explain the reasons of your IBS and the solution for it with medical nutrition.
      Giora Zeevy
      Certified Health Coach

    • Marcel

      Microbiome in IBD seems to be different than general population. My online research leads me to believe that in IBD you want to promote firmicutes, bacteria that produce butyrate, which is the opposite from what you want to do with obesity. Seems that oat bran is the best prebiotic for this and is tolerated well.

  • Plants with pesco

    Love the endorsement for fiber, prebiotic foods. 97% of Americans are deficient in fiber and 95% of America’s meat consumption is non-organic, which means it is likely to have antibiotics. So… do not eat any meat that is non-organic or you will be undoing the good when eating prebiotics.

    Mushrooms and wild-caught fish are great sources of protein without the antibiotics when eating out- generally meat at restaurants is not organic, unless stated.

    Also, there are risks in eating raw potatoes, and you will not benefit from the nutrients potatoes provide eaten raw. I would suggest cooking and then cooling sweet potatoes with a little sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg to get the best of all worlds- sweet potatoes were a staple of the Okinawan centenarians during war time. They enjoy longest health and life spans in the world! Cooling potatoes provides more resistant starch (prebiotic) and the cinnamon provides a lowered glycemic response. The nutmeg adds to the antiangiogenic effect of the sweet potato. Blueberries also a wonderful prebiotic offers wonderful anti-oxidant and antiangiogenic protections at 90% carbs- it is not just a good carb, but a super carb!!!

  • TechnoTriticale

    Leaky Brain article posted several days after this one won’t open. If there’s a video associated with it, it won’t play. The URL is just a number, and not the usual compressed variant of the article title.

  • Jeff Stepanek

    Are there any supplements of probiotics that contain bacteria from the Bacteroidetes phylum? If so what brand are they? I have noticed that all of the probiotics I have investigated are all from the Firmicutes phylum. It seems to me like if we are trying to tilt the balance in the favor of bacteroidetes that we would not supplement with firmicutes.

  • Pingback: Improve Your Brain By Healing Your Gut | Fit In My 50's()

  • Deborah

    Is there anything for Trigeminal Neuralgia relieve and possible cure?

  • susan

    Can i ask what is the best prebiotic supplement one can take? I am already aware of the prebiotic food sources….wondering if “Goodgut” is the best prebiotic supplement or is there a better one? And should i take my probiotic at the same time time my prebiotic or alternate days or separate times throughout the day everyday? Through kinesiology i am tested to go down to one MD1 pill a day as far as probiotics go

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