What is the Difference between Prebiotics and Probiotics
Prebiotics and probiotics can be mutually beneficial aids to digestion and intestinal tract health, yet they approach the issue from very different ends of the spectrum.
Probiotics, most know about; and have heard of, they are live microorganisms that can assist the micro-flora that reside in our stomachs to properly digest and assimilate fuel (Food). The word probiotic when broken down, stands for “pro” meaning “for” and “biotic” standing for “life” or “for life”. Probiotics live symbiotically with life and that’s a good thing.
Two very common Probiotic foods are live cultured yogurt, kombucha, and Kefir. These products are sold online. They can also be found in whole foods and health foods stores. All three of these can even be cultured at home.
- To make kefir, you’ll need kefir grains.
- To make kombucha, you’ll need either the kombucha mushroom or a small amount of live cultured kombucha tea.
- To make yogurt, you’ll need a yogurt starter culture.
The difference between prebiotics and probiotics are many
Prebiotics are (generally) a non-soluble fiber derived from certain fruit sugars (or honey sugars) or other non- soluble fibrous material that, upon contact with the micro-flora in your stomach; can selectively stimulate growth of the beneficial micro-floras, thus increasing the beneficial micro-flora balance within your system.
When this does happen, it is an all -around bonus for your entire digestive tract, including the colon. When paired together, the difference between prebiotics and probiotics create a synergistic reaction that should boost digestive processes enormously for a certain amount of time. Rather than asking, what is the difference between prebiotics and probiotics, you should be asking should I be eating both.
The difference between prebiotics and probiotics in foods
Some great examples of foods that are probiotic include: Kefir, cultured yogurt, miso in both the soup and paste forms, yeasted breads and Tempeh, dark chocolate, and believe it or not, pickles. Yes, pickles and just about any other type of pickled green vegetables are a great source of prebiotics and probiotics. Starting to see the difference between prebiotics and probiotics or are you starting to see how they relate to each other.
Many green leafy vegetables are high in probiotic count, especially if they have a hard stem or base which can be considered an insoluble fiber. Prebiotics are found in whole grains and legumes, collard greens, onions, asparagus, artichokes and garlic.
There are also many fine prebiotic supplements. All natural and designed solely for the job of keeping the probiotics functioning properly.
Mixing together both prebiotics and probiotics, whether in one meal or throughout the entire day can be a double shot of good for your digestive system. While the prebiotics are increasing the micro-flora counts, the probiotics could be supercharging the capacity of your intestinal microorganisms to do their job.
Intestinal health is very important to your overall health, so the difference between prebiotics and probiotics might be worth looking into.
There are certain foods and drinks that contain both prebiotics and probiotics, but they are generally not naturally occurring; which is to say, they are foods or drinks that have been infused with one, or the other, or both additives in order to create a one stop power drink that you can purchase and drink in order to gain the synergistic benefits of both ingredients.
Kefir contains huge quantities of probiotics, and Kombucha tea contains great quantities of probiotics, many supplemented drinks contain both elements. Check your health food store or natural grocer for what is available. You can also shop online and find a wide variety of foods, drinks and supplements that contain both prebiotics and probiotics.
Probiotic foods serve many beneficial purposes within your system, and assisting the flora of your stomach to process, digest and eliminate foods and materials better is just one of those benefits.
Another one is that most probiotic foods are absolutely excellent tasting; yogurt, chocolate, any kind of a pickled vegetable, (better to stick to the pickled veggies that were originally green) many commercially available smoothies, Miso and certain varieties of hummus, not to mention Kombucha tea,and other slightly fermented drinks.
Prebiotics vs Probiotics or prebiotics and probiotics?
Kombucha and kefir are quite often an acquired taste, so if you want to try them out, don’t buy the largest serving the first time around. All of these foods have prebiotics and probiotics in them, so, as you can see they are synergystic, and the question: What is the difference between prebiotics and probiotics is not the question.