Probiotics and Prebiotics - Is There A Difference?
It seems like any packaged food with Probiotics or Prebiotics printed on the label is a healthy choice and the more you can get the better.
For those who have seen the terms but are new to the health lingo, here's what they mean. And there is a difference between probiotics and prebiotics, but they work together for your benefit.
Probiotics are good bacteria that are found in your digestive system, specifically in your gut. They count in the billions and they counteract the bad bacteria to promote healthy. When you gut has a good level of probiotics, it boosts your immune systems, fights disease, and even improves your mood. Your gut sends signals to your brain when it's feeling good, and it's happy when there's plenty of probiotics.
Prebiotics are food for the probiotics. Prebiotics are the non-digestible fiber from the plant-based foods you eat. They are essential to feed the existing good bacteria in your gut as well as any extra probiotics that you consume. The diets or most Americans are very low in fiber, so the probiotics that exists are not getting the nourishment they need to survive.
Since both Probiotics and Prebiotics work in tandem, it's important to get both. Some research suggests that it's not possible to alter the gut consistency of bacteria by consuming probiotics, so it's just as important to each prebiotics to keep the good bacteria that you have happy.
The next time your at the grocery store, try a fermented food to get probiotics such as kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchee, tempeh, and miso to see if you feel a difference. Then make sure to buy kale, asparagus, yams, and legumes, to enjoy and feed the gut bacteria as much as you can.
You can also find probiotics and prebiotic foods on the Treatmo App. Download the app for free and shop fiber rich snacks and foods and check out the probiotics options such as sauerkraut (Fall & Winter) and probiotics enhanced pistachios.
by Spiro Zefferys
Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition