The Difference Between Probiotics and Prebiotics

Snap Fitness

Typically when we think of bacteria we envision something that causes sickness and disease. In reality, there is both good and bad bacteria. Microorganisms like probiotics and prebiotics may help with digestion and assist in protecting you from harmful bacteria. Let’s review the basics and how these microorganisms affect you.

 

What Are Probiotics?

 

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that benefit your health, especially your digestive system. Although they are naturally found in your body, probiotics are also found in some foods and supplements.

 

There are two different types of probiotics, lactobacillus and bifidobacterium, that can aid keeping bad bacteria at bay and replace it with good bacteria. This keeps your body and digestion working the way it should while supporting your immune system.

 

Probiotic-rich foods include yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and tempeh – all items you can find at a grocery store.

 

Doctors often suggest probiotics to help with digestive problems like Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

 

What Are Prebiotics?

 

Think of prebiotics as food for your probiotics. They stimulate the growth of good bacteria in your gut by feeding them. Prebiotics are classified as soluble fiber and are nondigestible carbohydrates.

 

The fuel for your probiotics can be found in a variety of foods like raw garlic, leek, banana, cooked or raw onion, and asparagus.

 

Bottom Line

 

Consuming foods like probiotics and prebiotics can aid in a healthier you; although it’s not necessary to pair together for meals, the duo can be delicious. Consider topping your yogurt with a banana or adding asparagus to your kimchi or tempeh.