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Prebiotics and probiotics: what’s the difference?

by | Mar 8, 2017 | Digestion

Prebiotics vs probiotics – what’s the difference?

 

Prebiotics and probiotics are becoming very popular… and with good reason! There are around 100 trillion bacteria in your gut and every day science is finding out more about just how much they control in your body from blood sugar regulation, immunity, mood to skin health.

What’s the difference between prebiotics and probiotics? Let’s get the definitions out of way: Prebiotics are food for probiotics. Probiotics are strains of live bacteria that are beneficial to our gut health.

Prebiotics and probiotics are both essential for our well being and today we’ll discuss why their important for your health and how you can get them into your diet.

 

Why are prebiotics and probiotics important for your health?

The specific ingredients in foods that makes them prebiotic is the fructo-oligosaccharides, inulin and polysaccharides. These are indgestible fibres which are fermented by your gut bacteria. Prebiotics important to your health because they provide the main food source for your gut bacteria.

Probiotics perform a wide range of essential activities from regulating bowel motions to synthesizing vitamins and hormones like serotonin. Current research suggests they are far more important to our health and well being than we ever realised before.

 

What foods are prebiotics and probiotics found in?

Probiotics are usually taken in a supplement but are also found in yoghurt and fermented foods like sauerkraut, kefir and kombucha.

Prebiotics foods include onions, leeks, garlic, asparagus, chicory root and bananas.

 

How do I get prebiotics and probiotics into my diet?

You can either take a supplement for either or you can use the food sources mentioned above. It’s quite simple to get them into your diet, you can have a banana and yoghurt for breakfast, followed by some kefir during the day and include garlic and onions in your cooking with dinner. For bonus points you could add a side dish of sauerkraut to your dinner.