Probiotics are foods or supplements that contain living microorganisms intended to maintain or improve the “good” bacteria (normal microflora) in the body.
Prebiotics are foods (usually foods with a high fiber content) that act as foods for the human microflora. The prebiotics are used with the intention of improving the balance of these microorganisms.
Probiotics are found in foods such as yogurt and sauerkraut. Prebiotics are found in foods such as whole grains, bananas, vegetables, onions, garlic, soybeans, and artichokes.
In addition, probiotics and prebiotics are added to some foods and are available as dietary supplements.
What foods are PROBIOTICS?
Basically, our intestine contains hundreds of different microorganisms that we need for optimal health. A probiotic contains these living microorganisms that live in our intestines and do wonderful things.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I am a great believer in the importance of a daily probiotic supplement.
When I started taking a daily probiotic supplement, I noticed a big difference in my overall health. I had better digestion, better concentration, less fatigue and better immunity.
If you are not taking a daily supplement of probiotics, there is no problem. There are many foods that probiotics can obtain through:
- Soft Cheese
- Sourdough bread
You could notice a trend. Many of these foods are fermented. Without going into too much detail, fermented foods are excellent because, as they ferment, their sugars and carbohydrates become agents “stimulating bacteria.”
But wait! There is more!
Benefits of PROBIOTICS
The beneficial effects of probiotics have been amply demonstrated. Health professionals often recommend probiotics as a supplement to antibiotics in an attempt to repopulate the colon with desirable bacteria after the antibiotic treatment has eliminated both beneficial and undesirable bacteria.
Some find that taking probiotics can combat the gastrointestinal side effects of the medication and reduce the bacterial growth that leads to fungal infections.
Since each body is different, it is necessary to determine what probiotics will be useful for the system itself.
Also, it’s important to make sure that the bacteria in the probiotic supplements are alive. Probiotic bacteria are fragile and can be easily eliminated by stomach acid, time and heat.
What foods are PREBIOTICS?
Before going out and buying expensive prebiotic supplements, remember that many foods contain them naturally.
This is because prebiotics are types of fiber found in vegetables, fruits, and legumes.
These types of fiber are not digestible by humans, but their good intestinal bacteria can digest them.
Foods that are rich in prebiotic fiber include:
- Legumes, beans, and peas.
- The bananas.
- Jerusalem artichokes (not the same as common artichokes).
- Lion teeth.
One of the things that your good intestinal bacteria do with prebiotic fiber is to turn it into a short chain fatty acid called butyrate.
Butyrate has been studied extensively and has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects within the colon.
It can also influence gene expression, block the growth of cancer cells and help fuel healthy cells so that they can grow and divide normally.
Benefits of PREBIOTICS
Researchers have discovered that prebiotics are useful for increasing useful bacteria that are already in the intestine and that reduce the risk of disease and improve overall well-being.
Prebiotic fiber is not as fragile as probiotic bacteria because it is not affected by heat, stomach acid or time. Nor does the fermentation process differ according to the individual.
The scientific literature indicates that the increase in prebiotic fiber intake supports immunity, digestive health, bone density, regularity, weight control, and brain health.
Maintaining the balance of intestinal bacteria is important for many aspects of health.
To do this, eat many prebiotic and probiotic foods, as they will help promote the most ideal balance between good and bad intestinal bacteria.
At the end of the day, the optimization of the intestinal flora can have important health benefits.