When I started working for Abigail’s Oven, there was one thing that confused me. I knew that this wonderful sourdough bread has probiotics before you cook it, that’s what makes the bread rise slowly over ten hours and gives it that lovely, tangy taste, but some customers insisted that it still had probiotics after its baked.
We bake our bread at a very high temperature, and I was sure no probiotic could survive that. And they don’t. But I learned that prebiotics do.
The fermentation process uses all those friendly bacterias to make the bread rise and break down the gluten, which results in many of the gluten intolerant being able to eat our bread without a negative result. The process also breaks down the phytic acid. The phytic acid binds to other molecules—therefore, your bread may have awesome nutritive properties, but the phytic acid doesn’t let you absorb the minerals and vitamins. Fermentation makes the phytic acid give up its death grip and lets you actually absorb the available nutrition.
That’s where the prebiotics come in. Prebiotics, to quote Dolly Levi, are “like manure—pardon the expression.” It fertilizes the good bacteria in your gut, provides nutrition to your colon, and leads to a healthy digestive system.
Basically, prebiotics is a type of fiber that feeds the probiotics in your digestive system, releasing more nutrients into your body. It’s an ideal situation for your health.
So eat some bread, drink some kefir, and throw a party for your gut.
And then everybody’s happy.
Author: Michelle Hubbard is a graduate of Brigham Young University with an English degree and an editing minor. She won Leading Edge’s “Best First Chapter” award and later joined the publication as a slush reader and editor. After attending the Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers conference in Sandy, Utah, she became a volunteer and this June will be her ninth year as an assistant. She is also a writing officer for Misha Collin’s charity Random Acts. A draft of her middle-grade novel, Oscar and the Ghosts of Paris, placed second with the Utah Arts Council. She lives in Pleasant Grove with her husband, sister, two children, and far too many pets