What's the Difference Between Prebiotics and Probiotics? And Do I Need Both?

What's the Difference Between Prebiotics and Probiotics? And Do I Need Both?

Posted by Charlotte Tzabari on

As you embrace a healthier lifestyle, it's equally important to incorporate both prebiotics and probiotics into your diet. In fact, without prebiotics, your other efforts to fix your gut may be in vain. Here's why.

What's the Difference Between Prebiotics and Probiotics

First, What Are Prebiotics?

In short, prebiotics are the fibers that feed your gut bacteria.

Scientists researching the value of prebiotics in treating diseases have more recently described a prebiotic this way:

A prebiotic is a partially digested ingredient that allows specific changes that confer health benefits to the host when ingested and digested by the gut microbiota.

 

To be prebiotic, the food ingredient must:

1. Resist digestion processes in the stomach and intestine

2. Be digestible (fermentable) by the gut microbiota

3. Stimulate the growth or activity of the intestinal microbiota

4. Confer a health benefit to the host

Bottom line: prebiotics are fibers that the good bacteria in your gut eat and subsist on. (1)

Prebiotics lay the foundation for maximizing the benefits of probiotics. That's because prebiotics nourish and strengthen gut flora.

When it is strong and nourished, the gut microbiota can be ready to receive the full benefits of live cultures, probiotics, and enzymes from the fermented foods we eat.

Prebiotics and probiotics functioning in symbiosis will create a digestive environment that optimizes good health in the body.

So How Do I Get More Prebiotic Foods Into My Daily Diet?

1. First, eat more plants, which have a beneficial prebiotic effect.

Nutritionists have spoken of the need for fiber in a healthy diet for years. Dietary fiber is defined as "a carbohydrate that does not contribute much in the way of food energy (calories), even though it is often included in the calculation of total food energy just as though it were a sugar." (2)

Further contemporary research shows that although fiber may not translate directly into calories through our digestion processes, fiber provides a nutrient base for our gut flora to grow and thrive. (3)

2. Look for high-fiber opportunities within your existing daily habits.

If you start your day with a power smoothie, make sure it's fiber-rich (add some spinach leaves, half an avocado, or a scoop of fiber supplement).

If you prefer to juice, by all means, save that fiber to incorporate into soups which can be blended into a delicious veggie bisque to enjoy for lunch, alongside sauerkraut.

3. To take your gut health to the next level, know about the prebiotic superfoods.

These include chicory root, onions, garlic, oatmeal, asparagus, dandelion greens, Jerusalem artichoke, barley, and apples with skins.

4. Eat foods that pack both a prebiotic AND a probiotic punch.

If you guessed that the best ones are pickles, kraut, kimchi and olives, you guessed right.

 

Conclusion

By now, it's clear: it's not just about the probiotics. It's prebiotic fibers that are at the foundation of excellent gut health.

To read more about this subject, check out Why You Should Eat For Your Microbiome (And How To Do It Easily) another great read to continue your journey towards better health.

 

 

How to Eat Fermented Foods For Gut Health

How do I eat fermented foods for my gut health?

Our quick guide has the answers. Get 20+ meal ideas, tips, hacks and snacks for your best gut ever.

 

 What’s the Difference Between Prebiotics and Probiotics? And Do I Need Both?What’s the Difference Between Prebiotics and Probiotics? And Do I Need Both?What’s the Difference Between Prebiotics and Probiotics? And Do I Need Both?What’s the Difference Between Prebiotics and Probiotics? And Do I Need Both?What’s the Difference Between Prebiotics and Probiotics? And Do I Need Both?What’s the Difference Between Prebiotics and Probiotics? And Do I Need Both?

Olive My Pickle

Founded in 2010, Olive My Pickle began as a farmer’s market business in Jacksonville, Florida. Specializing in fermented and probiotic foods, the company’s product line has over 35 varieties of pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi, olives, vegetables and brines that ship nationwide.


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How to Eat Fermented Foods For Gut Health

How do I eat fermented foods for my gut health?

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Disclaimer: This website does not provide medical advice

The content on this website is for informational or educational purposes only and does not substitute professional medical advice or consultations with healthcare professionals. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider(s) with any questions you have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen.