All disease begins in the gut - Hippocrates
Much has changed since ancient Greece, but time and modern science have taught us that Hippocrates was right; gut health is one of the most critical aspects of overall health. With over 70% of your pet's immune system residing in their digestive tract, one of the most impactful things we can do is support their gut.
BUT HOW DO WE SUPPORT THE GUT?
Gut health relies on the community of microorganisms, called the microbiome, residing in your pet's digestive tract. High quantities of friendly bacteria are necessary to keep harmful bacteria in check. Enter Probiotics!
WHAT ARE PROBIOTICS?
Probiotics are live microorganisms (good bacteria and yeasts) that help to fight off harmful bacteria to keep your pet's gut microbiome balanced. They contribute to many aspects of your pet's health that you may not even realize are gut-related. Probiotics may help reduce inflammation, regulate hormones, better absorb nutrients, prevent diarrhea or constipation, and boost your pet's immune system.
Gut health = overall health!
Here are a few easy probiotic-rich options you can add to your pet’s bowl:
- Fresh raw food: raw dog food like Steve’s Real Food that has not been sterilized or processed with heat is naturally rich in probiotics.
- Raw goat milk: raw dairy products are a great natural source of probiotics and digestive enzymes; for an even bigger boost of probiotics, you can culture them!
- Fermented foods: fermentation is an effective method to increase the probiotic content in foods; for more info, check out our blog on fermentation!
WHAT ARE PREBIOTICS?
Now that we know probiotics support our pets' health, we must ask how we support probiotics—the answer: Prebiotics. If probiotics are the worker bees of the digestive tract, prebiotics is the nectar on which they feed. Prebiotics are the plant fibers that probiotics use as a food source.
Excellent sources of prebiotics found in Steve’s Real Food products:
- Collard greens
Feeding a fresh diet incorporating high-fiber fruits, vegetables, and natural supplements is the best way to ensure your pet gets the prebiotics their microbiome needs to thrive!
WHAT ARE POSTBIOTICS?
Postbiotics is a term that few people are familiar with; even in the conversation of pre and probiotics, it seldom makes a debut. Probiotics feeding on prebiotics create postbiotics. When we talk about the benefits of adding probiotics and prebiotics to your pet's diet, we’re often actually talking about the benefits of creating postbiotics! Many of the health benefits associated with the consumption of probiotics are also due to specific postbiotics. For example, the boost to your pet's immune system when taking probiotics can stem from creating short-chain fatty acids like butyric acid, a postbiotic that can help regulate immune responses. Postbiotics also include vitamins B, K, and amino acids, essential nutrients for overall health.
A SOLUTION: PROTEIN BITES
Let food be thy medicine - Hippocrates
Another quote from the “father of medicine” resonated strongly with us here at Steve’s Real Food and influenced our newest product! We’ve partnered with the fantastic people at Gussy’s Gut, a supplement company based in Colorado that specializes in wild fermentation, and chief advisor Dr.Ian Billinghurst, the “Father of Raw Food.” This freeze-dried treat uses meat as the ultimate delivery system for prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics. Our shelf-stable Protein Bites utilize 20% wild-fermented superfoods, making them a gut health powerhouse! The fruits, vegetables, herbs, and botanicals we have chosen are naturally high in prebiotic fiber, and the fermentation process increases their natural probiotic content and creates postbiotics!