A hallmark of every new year is people promising themselves to make a change for the better in terms of their health. While research has proven diet is more important than exercise, a new product from Food First, LLC based and manufactured in Walhalla, may provide the means to get a healthy gut and, in turn, better overall health.
By Melissa Anderson
Food First, LLC was launched in 2012 and is the sister company to well-known SweetPro Feeds. The nationally known brand of livestock supplement is where Bob and Jordan Thornberg first realized the potential that one of their products, ProBiotein, could also be helpful to human health. ProBiotein went further to become a food grade prebiotic fiber source that’s specially formulated for people.
“ProBiotein started out as an ingredient in our cattle and horse feed supplements, SweetPro and EquiPride. Customers were seeing such good results with their animals that they started saying, ‘If it works so well for them, you should make some for us’,” Jordan Thornberg explained. “Being a feed company, we didn’t immediately pursue the human food market, but as our feed customers’ demand for a food-grade product grew, we basically got pulled into it. So now we produce ProBiotein in a new food-grade facility under the sister company name Food First, LLC.”
ProBiotein is made from organic whole wheat, organic oats, organic flax and organic barley malt. Food First, LLC uses a special fermentation process to remove the starches and concentrate the proteins. It provides nutritional yeast, plus provides four important prebiotic fibers and four digestive enzymes.
“These fibers are naturally found in the grains we use, but the fermentation process removes the starches and concentrates the proteins and other valuable components, so you don’t need to eat a truckload of wheat to get what your body needs,” Thornberg said.
The four prebiotic fibers used in ProBiotein come from food but are not digestible by the stomach or small intestine. These fibers survive to reach the large intestine, where they’re broken down through fermentation to feed your probiotic bacteria. The blend of four fibers together nourishes the beneficial bacteria more than a single prebiotic fiber can.
“We’ve had years of experience in the feed world and university studies to help understand the inner workings of why our products are so helpful,” Thornberg stated.
Food First, LLC first made food-grade ProBiotein in a smaller test kitchen seven years ago with the MicroBiome bar coming a few years later. Within the MicroBiome Bar package customers will find two bars containing over a tablespoon, or a daily amount, of ProBiotein with a combined net weight of 80 grams. It is the largest bar of its kind on the market.
The bars are a quick and easy, not to mention healthy, snack currently available in P-Nutty Cranberry and Razz-Apple Almond. Additional flavors of Choco-Cherry Almond and Sunny Saskatoon berry will also soon be available. Every package of the MicroBiome bar provides prebiotic fiber, Omega-3 fatty acids, Beta-glucans and fermented protein from grains that’s designed to help support the good bacteria found in your gut.
“[MicroBiome Bars] demonstrate how ProBiotein can be used as an ingredient in other goods. So seeing ‘Made with ProBiotein’ labeled on your favorite bread in the future is not unreasonable to imagine,” Thornberg said.
Why be concerned with the bacteria in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract? If you search recent news on GI tract bacteria and the benefits of having good bacteria outnumbering the bad, studies have shown that it can help regulate your immune system, digest your food, create energy and even synthesize vitamins within your body.
In simple terms, when your good bacteria thrive, you’re at your healthiest, and when they’re diminished by antibiotics, illness or an unhealthy diet, the intricate, internal interactions of your ingenious systems can’t work at their best.
By nourishing that beneficial bacteria in your GI tract with a good supply of prebiotic fibers, you are helping them to flourish and in kind to reduce pathogenic or bad bacteria. Prebiotic fibers are the fibers found in food that cannot be digested but instead are fermented in the large intestine for the probiotic bacteria to use as nourishment.
This is where the MicroBiome bar comes in. Even though there are prebiotics found in thousands of everyday foods you eat, the amount of the prebiotic is not very high. The foods with the highest prebiotics include some grains like whole wheat, raw oats and unrefined barley. Prebiotics are also found in vegetables, such as chicory root, onions, leeks, garlic and asparagus and fruits such as bananas.
So if your diet includes large amounts of foods that contain prebiotic fibers, then the probiotic bacteria in your digestive tract can thrive. But if your diet is not high in these foods, which is the case for many Americans, your beneficial bacteria may not get what they need to keep you healthy. Many, in fact, have a diet that is too high in sugars, starches and processed foods. This type of diet could lead to an environment in your gut where bad bacteria can multiply.
“We’ve heard and seen some wonderful reviews and results from folks who have spent far too much time with their systems out of whack. Since 70 percent of your immune system response is in your gut, ProBiotein can help with several different issues that all relate back to gut health,” Thornberg shared.
One aspect of ProBiotein and the resulting MicroBiome bar that should be noted is that it is not a fiber bar, per say, but it does help your body better digest the food you eat. Thornberg explained that the purpose of many of the popular fiber products available on the market help provide bulk throughout the stomach and small intestine to keep you regular.
“However, ours are designed to target the large intestine, where the probiotics, the good gut bacteria, reside,” Thornberg said.
“Prebiotics from ProBiotein feed that microbial population so they can thrive. Rather than adding more probiotics that might not survive or stay in your system; we’re feeding the ones that are already there.”
The easiest way for people to find ProBiotein and MicroBiome Bars is on Amazon or the company website, ProBiotein.com. However, for those who can’t wait to try the MicroBiome bars, they are currently available at local retailers including Langdon Community Drug, Walhalla Prescription Shop, Blue Fox Coffeehouse in Cavalier, Edinburgh General Store, and Luscious Boutique in Grafton.