Prebiotics vs. Probiotics

Paying attention to your gut health is one of the most important (and often overlooked) things you can do for your health. Currently, a lot of research has been done around the micro-biome and apparently a happy microbiome is the secret to good health. The key to understanding this very important part of our body is prebiotics vs. probiotics. Let's dive in.

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In simple terms, prebiotics are a form of fiber and probiotics are live yeast or bacteria. This is incredibly important for digestion and gut health. 

The digestible version:

  1. Probiotics: these are friendly microorganisms inhabiting the digestive tract that aids digestion 
  2. Prebiotics: these are non-living and non-digestible carbs that serve as food and fuel for probiotics. 

Food Sources for Probiotics:

  • yogurt (Greek yogurt is best!)
  • kefir
  • buttermilk
  • aged cheese
  • sauerkraut
  • kimchi
  • sourdough bread
  • miso
  • tempeh
  • konbucha
  • beer 
  • wine

Good sources of Prebiotics: 

  • chicory root
  • Jerusalem artichoke and dandelions
  • garlic
  • leeks
  • onions
  • whole wheat
  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • legumes

Probiotics live in our intestinal tract. How do they arrive there? From the foods we eat or supplements. There are many types and each one behaves differently in our gut. Scientists are only now starting to understand the complex symbiosis between the gut, bacteria and how it affects the rest of our body. 

Prebiotics are not alive and most are from a form of fiber. Our body doesn't digest fiber but the bacteria in our gut, including the probiotics digest it.