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The Pros and Cons of Pro and Prebiotics

What are Probiotics and Prebiotics?

Have you heard the words probiotics and prebiotics and not sure what they mean? Or maybe you have heard them associated with nutrition and digestive health, but exactly sure what they do? Well probiotics and prebiotics work together in the body but are different. Prebiotics are natural non-digestible food components that help with promoting the growth of helpful bacteria in the gut. They promote the “good bacteria” which are very beneficial to our GI tract. We find prebiotics in a variety of foods including banana, garlic, onion, leeks, asparagus, artichokes, and whole-wheat foods. Also dietary fiber and resistant starches are considered prebiotics.

Probiotics are the actual “good bacteria” which are naturally found in our digestive system. Good bacteria help to digest food, destroy disease-causing microorganisms, maintain a healthy gut flora, and promotes overall good health. Probiotics are found in kimchi, live cultured yogurt, kombucha, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, kefir, Probiotics have also been known to help with the symptoms associated with IBS.

In a nutshell, we need prebiotics for probiotics. In addition to found to the common foods listed above, prebiotics and probiotics are also found in pill form. Although the pill is available, food sources are readily available and the foods are able to easily be absorbed and digested in the body.
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