Probiotics vs. Prebiotics: Know the Differences Between These Gut Allies

Were you reading a health-related article and suddenly you ran into a word that says “probiotics” and you had to take a second look because you were quite sure it should have been “probiotics” instead? Well, the writer of that article did not simply commit a typo — probiotics and prebiotics are entirely different things, although they are very much related to each other. Continue reading to know more about them!

Basically, probiotics and prebiotics differ from one another on two accounts only: what they are and where they can be obtained. However, there is one thing for certain, and that’s the fact that both probiotics and prebiotics are good for you. Definitely, your daily diet should consist of some of the best food sources of these two.


Probiotics are Living Organisms

Chances are that you already have an idea that not all bacteria are created equal — some of them are bad while others are good. Probiotics are actually the good kinds of bacteria, and your gut should be supplied with good amounts of them because they are the ones that keep the population of the bad ones in check!

In a nutshell, probiotics is a sort of fancy name for those good bacteria. Other than preventing harmful bacteria in your gut from multiplying uncontrollably, they also aid in the digestion process and in boosting your immunity.


Prebiotics are Food Those Probiotics

Just like any other living organisms on the planet, probiotics need to eat in order to survive. However, they can’t just feast on the food you are eating. Probiotics need a special kind of diet, in particular one that consists of probiotics. Fortunately, many of the foods you love, particularly the healthy kinds, are loaded with prebiotics.

Actually, prebiotics are simply special kinds of fiber, which is basically an indigestible type of carbohydrates. By including probiotics in your everyday diet, you can be sure that the good bacteria residing in your gut have something to eat, giving them the energy they need to multiply and carry out their various important roles!


Just to Ensure There’s No Confusion

Again, probiotics are good bacteria — they are alive and they need to eat something for survival. On the other hand, prebiotics are food for those probiotics, and they can be obtained from some of the foods that you eat.

Worried that in the near future your friends are talking about something health-related and there’s an opportunity for you to introduce them to probiotics and prebiotics, but you might have them mixed up? Well, there is a really easy way to make sure that you will get things right!

What you need to do is focus on the third letters of both “probiotics” and “prebiotics” — that’s the letter “O” for “probiotics” which stands for living “organisms”, and that’s letter “E” for “prebiotics” which stands for food that those good bacteria “eat”. Easy peasy!


They’re From Different Food Sources

You can supply your gut with probiotics and then provide them with prebiotics by means of your diet. However, both of these gut allies come from separate groups of food. Experts add that there is no food out there that contains probiotics and probiotics at the same time, although there are many supplements that actually do.

Probiotics come from fermented foods — the process of fermentation is the one that gives rise to those good bacteria. Some wonderful examples of foods that are rich in probiotics include kimchi, yogurt, sour pickles, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, tempeh, natto and miso.

On the other hand, some of the foods that contain prebiotics are bananas, garlic, onions, asparagus, leeks, chicory root and Jerusalem artichokes. However, make sure that you consume them raw to keep those prebiotics intact!






Related Posts