Are you dealing with constipation, bloating, acid reflux, indigestion, and painful bowel movements?
Do you seem to have trouble with your digestive tract?
Prebiotics and probiotics might just be the answer.
Though prebiotics and probiotics sound similar, they are actually very different. Both help your digestive system, but have different roles and come from different sources.
Improving your digestion is important for good gut health and a better quality of life.
In this article, I'll talk about the difference between prebiotics and probiotics, where you can find them, and when to take them.
PREBIOTICS VS. PROBIOTICS
Prebiotics are also called prebiotic fibers. They’re the non-digestible fibers in food that humans can’t digest.
These fibers move past your small intestine and straight to your colon, where they become fermented by the bacteria there.
Probiotics are microorganisms and are known as the live, good bacteria in your body. These good and helpful bacteria are found in fermented foods, yeasts, supplements, and other types of foods.
Prebiotic fibers help the bacteria in your body stay healthy and happy. Prebiotics move food through your system and serve as food to the bacteria already there.
Probiotics help introduce more good bacteria into your body to help with the digestive process. Probiotics eat and survive off of prebiotics. Both of these "biotics" improve your gut health and overall microbiome.
The microbiome is the makeup and combination of all the bacteria, fungi, and virus colonies within and on your body. Generally, the relationship your body has with all these tiny microorganisms is symbiotic. That means the relationship benefits both of the participants involved.
That is the case for good bacteria, fungi, and viruses.
Yet, if these good bacteria and other microorganisms become unbalanced with bad bacteria, it can have a negative impact on your health and results.
We will help you identify different ways in which you can help your microbiome stay healthy and happy.
Prebiotic fibers occur naturally in foods or can be placed into supplements.
These fibers, once in the colon, ferment in reaction to the bacteria they’re eating. This fermentation process produces acids like butyrate.
These short-chain fatty acids provide a lot of different health benefits. These good gut bacteria provide benefits like decreased bloating and constipation.
They increase mineral bioavailability and promote satiety too. Prebiotics and the positive effects they can have on your digestion and gut health can also help with weight loss.
Here’s a list of foods you can add to your diet today to raise your prebiotic levels
Probiotics are commonly found in fermented foods. There are two main types of probiotic bacteria groups - Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, but their names aren’t as important as the health benefits they provide.
Lactobacillus prevents and reduces diarrhea, can improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, and prevent yeast infections. Bifidobacterium helps prevent infections, produces vitamins, can help with constipation and diarrhea, as well as relieve symptoms for irritable bowel syndrome.
By introducing more probiotics into your diet, you will help your gut stay happy and healthy. We have compiled a list of fermented foods full of good gut bacteria below.
• Sauerkraut (Costco sells a great one I use)
• Soft Cheeses
• Sourdough bread
WHEN SHOULD I TAKE PREBIOTICS AND PROBIOTICS?
Prebiotics and probiotics should be a part of your nutrition and supplement routine if needed.
When taking supplements, follow the instructions on the packaging to know how often to take the supplements.
It is recommended that adults consume between 25 and 38 grams of fiber per day to get the proper amount of prebiotics in their diet.
You can get enough probiotics and prebiotics to make a positive change with your health through food alone.
Most people find it easier to take supplements though. A few daily capsules or a few scoops of Opti-Greens 50 can help to improve your gut health.
Our probiotic supplement packs in 8 billion colony-forming units of disease-preventing bacteria. Taking 2 of these tablets in the morning can help rebalance your microbiome.
GI Advantage contains Galactoarabinan to help ensure the proper fermentation process occurs in your colon. This supplement can help with digestion and ease gut inflammation.
Digestive Enzymes isn't a pre or probiotic but has an incredible 500mg blend of digestive enzymes to help you break down food and absorb nutrients. This vegan-friendly product can help you get the enzymes you need to have a healthy gut.