Do you know the difference between probiotics and prebiotics? Although the two sound very similar, probiotics and prebiotics provide very different things. While probiotics are the good bacteria that keep your digestive system healthy, prebiotics are actually the food for the bacteria.  If you are interested in good gut health, here are some of the differences that you are going to want to know:

Probiotics are live bacteria that naturally occur in cultured or fermented foods. They help us maintain healthy levels of good bacteria in our intestines. These microorganisms help keep your gut healthy by aiding with digestion and offering protection from harmful bacteria. Some research has shown that probiotics may even help in treating issues like IBS, or diarrhea from antibiotic treatments.

Prebiotics are actually the food for probiotics, but they also work in an interesting way to help you maintain a healthy digestive system. Prebiotics are often classified as soluble fiber. This means they are indigestible food ingredients that end up stimulating the growth of beneficial gut microbiota. They literally feed the good bacteria in your gut, helping them flourish.

Importance of Probiotics and Prebiotics

Why are both probiotics and prebiotics important? The digestive system is responsible for removing waste material from the body, as well as breaking down food into glucose and nutrients the body needs for energy and nourishment. The digestive system also plays a huge role in the body’s immune system, protecting the body from bacteria and viruses.

It’s easy to incorporate probiotics and prebiotics into your diet. Try probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt, kimchi, miso, tempeh, buttermilk, and sauerkraut. Prebiotic-rich foods include bananas, soybeans, Jerusalem artichokes, whole oats, wheat, tomatoes, and green vegetables.  Although there seems to be a new interest in a probiotic and prebiotic diet, it’s quite possible you are eating these foods already.

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