Prebiotics and probiotics might sound like something out of a sci-fi flick, but trust us, their powers are real! From boosting your immune system to enhancing your mood, your gut holds the key to a healthier, happier you. And we've 'gut' everything you need to know!
Gut ready to rumble! Want to embark on a journey into the world of gut health but wondering which would work best for your and your needs? Or just trying to figure out the differences and benefits of prebiotics and probiotics without having to do endless website searches only to receive confusing, contradictory information? It’s often the common struggle, and not just for gut health, but in every facet of learning more about our bodies and what works best for us, there’s so many different opinions that sometimes get blurred into fact or later debunked, it’s overwhelming, especially when first starting out on a health journey! Well, here’s a brief and hopefully easy to understand article of the differences between prebiotics and probiotics and how they can impact your gut health!
Let’s start with prebiotics first:
While probiotics are the active, happy bacteria for your tummy, think of prebiotics as the behind the scenes type of bacteria, one that helps out with running the production so that probiotics can really shine! Often overlooked, prebiotics are definitely like the middle child with the eldest child responsibilities, they encourage growth and often brings about a harmonious gut biome and ecosystem, which lets all the good bacteria that probiotics often gives us, thrive even more! Prebiotics in a more scientific-y sense, are essentially a type of dietary fiber that’s found in certain foods like chicory root, apples, even garlic, that your tummy doesn’t stress in digesting, instead, it slips through your stomach and small intestine bouncers and heads right to the club; the large intestine, where all the good vibes and gut processing happens! They essentially serve as the food for all the other bacteria there (which is a little less fun to talk about than the whole party and vibes analogy we have going on) which helps them thrive and keep your tummy and good times rolling!
About probiotics next:
You’d find them anywhere, really, even around the corner inside a yogurt cup in your convenience store! Probiotics are kind of like the everyday superhero for your gut health, keeping digestive discomfort and inflammation at bay with their probiotic peace and prowess. They’re the live, active bacteria that’s most commonly found and made in the bacteria fermentation process, so things like yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, even some cheeses, will naturally have some probiotics! Of course, probiotics can also be made and curated into supplements if fermented foods aren’t your thing, we get it, acquired tastes and textures and all that, regardless of how you’re getting them, they will do your gut good by keeping things in check! Probiotics can help in so many different ways, from boosting your immune system to help in making you feel good (because when our tummies are happy, then we’re happy)! Essentially, probiotics are definitely pro-active in how it impacts your gut health, so make sure you don’t pass over this healthy gut bacteria!
What’s the difference?
The difference between probiotics and prebiotics is truly in their names and how they interact with your body. Probiotics are the proactive, live, healthy gut bacterias, whereas prebiotics assist in those pre existing bacterias, like probiotics! They can easily go hand in hand because they’re more a tag team in supporting your gut health. So, if you’re in the midst of debating which would be better for you and your diet, it really depends on what you’re already fueling your body with. If you love yourself some fermented foods, then focus on elevating those probiotics by getting some prebiotics in your system! If you’re lacking in getting some probiotics in your meals and diet, then consider buying some kombucha or kimchi, or even probiotic supplements so that all those prebiotics have some live bacteria to pump up in your gut and to keep your gut health thriving! Just because they’re different doesn’t mean that they both can’t be good for you, both are, it’s just a matter of tweaking your diet to get the best of both worlds and maintaining your gut’s natural ecosystem! Instead of having regular iced teas, try out an iced tea with prebiotics, or if you like yourself some bubbly beverages but want to get a little more benefit out of your bubbles, try a prebiotic soda instead! These little changes that you can integrate in your diet make all the difference! Whether you’re chowing down on sauerkraut with your hot dogs or having a morning cup of yogurt, you’re already doing great things to support your gut health and you’re off to a great start on your health journey, it’s truly that easy!
Always remember that it's not just about eating the healthiest stuff, it’s what makes you feel good, that’s what healthy living, especially for your gut health, is all about!