Prebiotics and probiotics are nutritional supplements that can improve your immune system, relieve digestive discomfort, and even fight off certain diseases. But what is the difference between prebiotics and probiotics? And how do you know which ones to choose? In this blog post, we will explore the top prebiotics and probiotic foods available in stores.
A healthy diet is all about balance, and to have a balanced digestive system; it is essential to consume probiotics. Probiotic foods are considered “good” bacteria that can help promote better digestion. Foods high in prebiotics are also good for the digestive system because they provide food for the probiotics, which allows them to grow. Here are some top 10 prebiotic and probiotic foods.
What are prebiotics? Prebiotics are essentially certain types of fiber. Fiber itself is not the most significant thing to eat because you can’t digest it, but prebiotic fibers act as fuel for good bacteria which live in your digestive tract. Prebiotic foods encourage these healthy bacteria populations to grow and improve your overall health by fighting off diseases, improving digestion, and even strengthening your immune system.
What are probiotics? On the other hand, probiotics can be live bacteria and yeasts that you ingest with foods, pills, or liquids. Probiotics contain these living microorganisms, and Probiotic foods help the body maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut. In addition, probiotic foods and supplements contain large amounts of good bacteria and yeasts, replenishing beneficial microorganisms in your digestive tract.
Prebiotics and Probiotics: What’s the Difference?
A prebiotic is a dietary supplement that helps build “good bacteria” (probiotics) in your intestinal tract. Prebiotics are essentially non-digestible fiber that acts as food for probiotics.
Probiotics are foods or dietary supplements containing living, active cultures of beneficial microorganisms. These good bacteria help build up the microbiome, the collection of microbes in your body and support the health of your digestive system. For example, they can inhibit harmful bacteria from clinging to your intestines and causing infections.
Probiotics are found in yogurt with live bacterial cultures or dietary supplements containing beneficial bacteria from bifid bacterium and lactobacillus. Lactobacillus is one of the most common types of gut flora, and it’s also found in some fruits and vegetables, including cucumbers.
On the other hand, prebiotics is the fiber that your gut microbiome can use as food. They’re called “prebiotics” because they help create the optimal environment for good bacteria in your digestive system to flourish. What’s more, prebiotics has been found to benefit health by allowing your gut microbiome to ferment your food and extract more nutrients from it.
Prebiotic and probiotic foods:
- Yoghurt – Probiotic yoghurt is the classic probiotic food that most people are aware of. However, you should watch out for yoghurts that contain lots of added sugar because these may not be good for your health. Also, avoid artificial sweeteners; stevia side effects may damage the gut bacteria. Plain yoghurt can help contribute to a healthy digestive system, enhance the immune system, and aid in weight loss. Yoghurt also contains a good amount of prebiotics, which is why it has such probiotic solid properties. The primary source of probiotics in yoghurt is lactobacillus acidophilus, which helps maintain the integrity of the gut wall, making it hard for harmful bacteria to penetrate your digestive system. This popular dairy product helps keep healthy bones, teeth, gums, and cardiovascular health. It also acts as an immunity booster because of the lactobacilli strains it contains, which reduce intestinal gas, which has been linked to improved digestive function. Yoghurt is known for its protein, calcium magnesium, and vitamin B12. Yoghurt is also said to be helpful with fighting against bladder infections, kidney stones, nausea, and thrush.
2. Kefir – This tangy dairy product is similar to yoghurt but with a higher concentration of probiotics and gut-friendly bacteria due to the fermentation process used to produce it. Kefir also contains several vitamins and minerals while being low in calories. It is an excellent replacement for milk and can be used as an alternative in recipes such as smoothies, sauces, dips, salad dressings, or even baked goods to add a probiotic punch! A well-known source of prebiotics and probiotics, kefir contains FOS that feeds the beneficial bacteria in the gut.
3. Sauerkraut – This popular German dish is a type of fermented cabbage that has been around for centuries. Sauerkraut is an excellent source of prebiotics, which feed the probiotics in sauerkraut to keep them alive and viable. In addition, it is a food that can help regulate digestion because it’s high in fiber which helps aid bowel movements.
4. Kimchi – This Korean dish is another type of fermented cabbage (similar to sauerkraut) but with different spices and flavourings such as garlic. Kimchi is a probiotic powerhouse and contains the good bacteria lactobacillus. In addition to probiotics that aid in digestion, kimchi contains FOS that work as prebiotics, keeping the digestive system healthy and balanced. This Korean dish is similar to sauerkraut and has been found to contain Lactobacillus Plantarum, a probiotic that helps keep pathogens from attaching to the epithelial cells of your intestines.
5. Dark Chocolate – Who would have thought that this tasty treat is so good for our digestive system? It contains the prebiotic inulin, which feeds probiotics to keep them alive and thriving. The gut contains more beneficial bacteria than any other part of the digestive system, and these bacteria use the primary type of sugar that comes from chocolate, stachyose, as their food source. So not only does dark chocolate taste great, but it’s also a prebiotic food that can help improve digestion and immunity thanks to its unique combination of probiotics, fibre, and antioxidants. The best dark chocolate to consume regularly is dark chocolate with at least 70 per cent cocoa content.
6. Miso -This Japanese soup can be a great source of probiotics and contains high enzymes that help break down proteins. With over 2 million probiotic bacteria per serving, this popular Japanese seasoning is a great way to get probiotics into your diet. This fermented soybean paste offers more than just great taste. Miso also contains many of the healthy bacteria needed for keeping your gut in shape by keeping you hydrated, which reduces constipation, boosts your immune system, and helps to prevent chronic diseases.
7. Green Olives – What makes these delicious veggies so good for you? They are packed with the prebiotics inulin and FOS, which boosts calcium absorption to strengthen bones.
8. Green Bananas – The starch in green bananas acts as a prebiotic and helps provide food for the probiotics in the digestive system.
Conclusion: include these foods in your diet to grow and maintain a healthy balance of prebiotics and probiotics in your gut.