You may have noticed that both probiotics and prebiotics are becomingly increasingly hot topics in the world of nutrition. In fact, in the UK alone we spend three quarters of a billion pounds on probiotic products.
Yet despite these figures, many individuals don’t know the difference between the two; and why they are both important to your overall health. This article will help to explain what they are and what their role is within the human body.
What Are Probiotics and Prebiotics?
Whilst both are play important roles within the body, they are two very distinct entities:
- Probiotics – Live bacteria that are found in wide variety of foods. They provide a range of health benefits such as preventing the spread of bad bacteria and inflammation in your gut
- Prebiotics – These substances are usually found within carbs and fibre that we can’t digest. They act as food for the beneficial bacteria within your gut.
So now the difference between probiotics and prebiotics has been explained, you may be wondering why it’s important to get enough of both.
What Role Do Probiotics and Prebiotics Play?
In short, they heavily influence the processes that occur within your gut, particularly with regards to the gut flora, which is more commonly known as gut bacteria.
By ingesting balanced amounts of both probiotics and prebiotics, you can help your body to have the right proportions of each bacterium within your gut flora, improving your overall health.
Good bacteria help to prevent gut inflammation whilst simultaneously protecting you from other harmful entities such as harmful bacteria and fungi. Therefore, it’s important that you have enough of it.
However, our diet has a major influence on which type of bacteria grows within our digestive tract.
For instance, diets high in sugars or saturated fats cause the harmful types of bacteria to overgrow and overrun the good bacteria. What’s more, if you continually feed the wrong type of bacteria, it begins to grow and colonise easier than good bacteria.
So it’s important to eat a balanced diet whilst looking to increase consumption of foods high in both probiotics and prebiotics.
How Can You Increase Probiotic and Prebiotic Consumption?
There are a range of foods that are rich in either probiotics or prebiotics, if you’re looking to actively encourage the growth of good bacteria within your gut. There’s no need to buy expensive supplements to do so.
With regards to prebiotics, the following fibre-rich foods are a great source:
- Beans (most types)
Whereas those foods that offer a great source of probiotics are as follows:
- Pickled vegetables
- Kombucha tea
When it comes to probiotics, yogurt is one of the best foods you can eat as it contains live bacteria cultures. The other foods on that list are mainly fermented, therefore make sure to avoid pasteurised versions, since that process destroys probiotics.
You can take probiotic supplements if for some reason you can’t eat any of the food on the provided list above. However, the quality of the bacteria is rarely as good as that found in foodstuffs, and they don’t come with any prebiotics to feed the good bacteria contained within them.
Improve Your Gut Health Today with Probiotics and Prebiotics
Prebiotics and probiotics help the good bacteria within your gut flora to protect your body from other harmful bacteria, fungi, and inflammation.
Here at DocHQ we can help you improve your intake of both substances by giving you discounts on some of the biggest health and wellness brands in the industry.
Better still, you can download the DocHQ app to gain fast access to information regarding your ailments with our on-the-go symptom checker. To learn more simply download the DocHQ app for iOS or Android today.
DocHQ Ltd is a Health Tech company improving choices. We help you connect efficiently to health support and advice whether you are at home, work or travelling. See our website for our services or call us on 0330 088 0645.