Everything You Need To Know About Pre And Probiotics

Everything You Need To Know About Pre And Probiotics

Our gut plays a crucial role in our overall health and well-being. The human gut is a complex system teeming with trillions of microorganisms like bacteria, fungi, and viruses. This gut microbiome helps with digestion and nutrition absorption. Pre and probiotics aid in improving gut health. But little is known in common knowledge about what is pre and probiotics and how they differ. In this blog, let us delve into the difference between prebiotics and probiotics and how they help your gut health. 

What Is Pre And Probiotics? Are They the Same?

Though they sound similar, both are not the same and play different roles in the human body. Both pre and probiotics together are referred to as gut flora or gut microbia. They aid in preserving a healthy population of gut bacteria. 

Difference Between Prebiotics and Probiotics

Let us understand the difference between prebiotics and probiotics and how they work for gut health.

Probiotics - The Bacteria Army

Probiotics are live microorganisms that are also called ‘good bacteria’ in the gut. These ‘good bacteria’ help the gut in various ways. 

1.Aids in Digestion - Probiotics help break down complex carbohydrates and aid in nutrition absorption.

2.Compete with Pathogens - These ‘good bacteria’ compete with the harmful bacteria and prevent their overgrowth.

3.Support Immune System - Probiotics boost the defense against infection.

4.Nourish Gut Cells - Certain probiotic strains produce short-chain fatty acids that nourish gut cells and improve overall gut health.

Sources of Probiotics 

Probiotics can be found naturally in various fermented foods that we might be having in our regular lives.

Here are some foods that are high in probiotic live culture:

  • Yogurt
  • Paneer
  • Cheese
  • Buttermilk
  • Idli
  • Dosa
  • kimchi 
  • Kombucha
  • Unpasteurized pickled vegetables 
  • Soy
  • Sour Cream 
  • Cottage Cheese 

Remember, pasteurization of dairy products uses heat to kill bacteria, but probiotics-rich live cultures are added later. While choosing probiotic-rich food, choose unpasteurized buttermilk or read the labels for added probiotics.

Other Ways Of Getting Probiotics In Your System

Probiotic supplements often offer a concentrated dose of specific strains. Look for probiotic strains like Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Saccharomyces boulardii. It is always better to look for quality supplements as the potency and viability of cultures may differ. 

Prebiotics - Food For The Friendly Bacteria

If you are wondering what is pre and probiotics or prebiotics sound confusing, let us clear the air for you. 

Prebiotics are not living organisms but rather a type of dietary fiber that our body cannot digest. However, prebiotics act as food for the ‘good bacteria’ in our gut. It is the key difference between prebiotics and probiotics.

Here’s what prebiotics do. 

1.Promote Bacterial Growth - Prebiotics are like readily available food sources for the ‘good bacteria’, that foster their growth and activity.

2.Support Short-Chain Fatty Acid Production: Prebiotics stimulate the production of short-chain fatty acids while nourishing gut cells and contributing to overall gut health.

Sources of Prebiotics 

Prebiotics can be found naturally in various fruits and vegetables. 

Foods that are high in prebiotic fiber are 

  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Apples
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Oats
  • Legumes
  • Garlic
  • Onions 
  • Leek

Benefits of Taking Pre and Probiotics

Both pre and probiotics are good for your gut health. While probiotics are the ‘good bacteria’ prebiotics are the food for the ‘good bacteria’. 

Prebiotics and probiotics work synergistically for optimal gut health. Prebiotics provide nourishment for good bacteria (probiotics), while probiotics further contribute to a healthy gut ecosystem.

Let us understand the various benefits of including pre and probiotics in your diet. 

Digestive Health 

Often referred to as the ‘good bug’ or ‘good bacteria’ probiotics restore the imbalance in the gut microbe and relieve you from digestive issues like bloating, flatulence, Irritable Bowel Symptoms, or constipation. 

For instance, Bacillus coagulans, is a clinically proven ‘good bacteria’ that replenishes natural gut flora, helps reduce bloating and gas, and helps restore normal bowel function. 

These probiotics are beneficial, especially for people who suffer from constipation, indigestion, or piles. 

Read - What to eat when you are constipated

Mood Disorders & Mood Swings

Did you know, our gut health affects our mental health? If you've been experiencing mood imbalances, it may be your body's way of telling you to take care of your gut. Probiotics could be the best way to achieve this. 

Prevent Yeast Infection

Yeast infection is a common infection seen in ladies caused by an imbalance in the microorganisms within the body. Pre and probiotics supplements can help restore the normal balance between yeast and bacteria, particularly after medications like antibiotics that may have upset it.

Prevent UTI (Urinary Tract Infection)

The primary causes of urinary tract infections are an imbalance in the microbiome and an increase in yeast. Probiotics assist in re-establishing the proper balance between bacteria and yeast in the body and help treat urinary tract infections. 

Maintain Hormonal Health

Hormonal imbalance can be detrimental to health. Fortunately, pre and probiotics can enhance the effectiveness of antioxidants and potentially even balance hormones by increasing the levels of antioxidant-boosting enzymes that generate glutathione.

Moreover, the gut microbiota has a major impact on the levels of estrogen and short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) production. It is advised to incorporate probiotics into your diet on a daily basis to attain optimal hormonal health.

Recovery from Antibiotics 

Antibiotics have become common to treat infections in the body. While antibiotics can heal the infection, they also disrupt the ‘good bacteria’ while reducing the bad ones. A pre and probiotic-rich diet will help you correct this imbalance faster.

Where to Start while Adding Probiotics to Your Diet

You can include fermented foods in your diet to reap the benefits of the ‘good bacteria’. You can also look at supplements like probiotic-rich Gut Health Gummies to get them in your system.

The Takeaway

Now that you know the key difference between prebiotic and probiotic, you must have realized, that regular consumption of probiotic foods appears to be the most effective way to maintain gut health. However, high-fiber plant-based foods containing prebiotics will nourish the probiotic microbes. Prebiotics are best consumed regularly. 

Plan a diet with pre and probiotic-rich food and take probiotic health supplements to enjoy good gut health. Choose supplements with high-quality natural ingredients without added sugar. In case you are lactose intolerant it is better to look for probiotic-rich health supplements that are lactose-free.

When you treat your body well, the gut health improves. Processed food, refined sugar, deep-fried food, alcohol, and acidic foods can be detrimental to your digestive health. Alcohol consumption can also increase the risk of pancreatitis or inflammation of the pancreas. 

Sustaining a healthy gut microbiome requires not just pre and probiotics but a healthy lifestyle too. Here’s what you can try. Eat a balanced diet high in fiber, control and manage your stress, exercise moderately, and get adequate sleep at night. 

Remember, that digestive health plays a major role in general well-being. Stay hydrated, and include fiber-rich foods to maintain good digestive health. 

Making educated decisions and giving your gut health priority can open up a world of potential advantages, such as improved digestion, a stronger immune system, and improved mood. Thus, trust your instincts – they may hold the secret to a happier, healthier you!





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