Prebioitcs and probiotics work together to keep your gut healthy. The lining of your gut is covered with microscopic creatures. These are mostly bacteria. There are nearly 1,000 different species of bacteria in your gut. They are also called probiotics. If you have a good balance between these bacteria, you will have a healthy gut. There are two ways to have a healthy gut.
- You can add healthy bacteria to your gut. That means adding probiotics.
- You can go a step further and give the probiotics the type of foods that they like. This means adding prebiotics.
Don’t Confuse Probiotics with Prebiotics
- Probiotics are tiny living microorganisms, including bacteria and yeast, which are good for your gut. Probiotics produce certain substances that acidify the colon. This is actually a very good thing. Probiotics also serve as a nutrition source for the colon’s own cells.
- Prebiotics are special plant fibers that help healthy bacteria grow in your gut. They are food for probiotics.
Probiotics are specific strains of bacteria. When you eat them, you are adding to the number of healthy bacteria in your gut. You can add probiotics through food and supplements. Probably the most common probiotic food is yogurt. Other choices are sauerkraut, kombucha and kimchi. Probiotic supplements also contain live organisms that are good for your gut. Probiotics turn prebiotic fiber into something called butyrate. Butyrate is like an anti-inflammatory for your colon.
Prebiotics are the fuel for probiotics. Here’s a list of what they do:
- Help you absorb calcium.
- Change the rate at which foods cause spikes in blood sugar.
- Ferment food faster, so that the food spends less time in your digestive system.
You can find prebiotics in fiber-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Look for artichokes, bananas, barley, legumes, and oats. Some products have added prebiotics. Look for fortified bread, cereal and yogurt.
Prebiotics and probiotics work together to build and maintain a healthy gut. This helps your digestion and keeps your overall health.