Probiotics vs Prebiotics

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeast. They are the “good bacteria” that keep your gut healthy and moves food through your intestines.

Prebiotics are the food for probiotics. They come from fiber and other carbohydrates that we cannot digest. The probiotics and other bacteria in the gut eat prebiotics.

Why are they important?

Probiotics help absorb nutrients and fight infections. They have been shown to improve your immune system and help treat many digestive issues. The digestive system is one of the largest neurological systems in our body, so a healthy digestive system can help prevent many issues and fight many illnesses. They can reduce skin issues, fight auto immune disorders, as well as prevent and fight colds and flus.

There are many types of probiotics with different benefits. They are mostly classified into two groups:

Lactobacillus: found in fermented foods and dairy products. This type can help with diarrhea and help people who are lactose intolerant.

Bifidobacterium: found in dairy products. This type of probiotic has been shown to ease irritable bowel syndrome.

Consuming probioitics:

  1. Sour foods, like apple cider vinegar and fermented vegetables. The acid in these foods help support the growth of probiotics in your gut.
  2. Consume more probiotic rich foods like yogurt, kombucha and kefir. There are many foods that are enriched with probiotics now, such as chocolate!
  3. Take a probiotic supplement!

Consuming Prebiotics:

  1. Legumes
  2. Oats
  3. Many high fiber fruits, like bananas and berries
  4. High fiber vegetables, such as asparagus, garlic, dandelion greens, leeks, and onions
  5. Take a prebiotic supplement!

Some foods are considered synbiotic, meaning they contain both preboitics and probiotics. An example is sauerkraut.

 

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