The digestive system is one of the busiest. Especially if you stuff yourself with unhealthy foods that will take a while to break down. That’s why the health of your gut plays an essential role in your overall health and well-being. With such a complicated system, there’s bound to be countless diseases that come along the way, like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Many of us have heard of these familiar terms — prebiotics and probiotics. In this blog, we break down what these functional components are and how they both help your digestive system.
Prebiotics are natural and non-digestible food components that help in promoting the growth of good bacteria in the gut. Other than improving gastrointestinal health, they also enhance the absorption of important nutrients, just like calcium. Prebiotics include fructooligosaccharides, such as inulin and galactooligosaccharides. To put shortly, they can be found in fruits, vegetables, and many whole grains.
Probiotics are the good bacteria or live cultures existing in your gut. These active cultures help change or repopulate intestinal bacteria to balance the gut flora. In addition, they improve immunity and boost your overall health. In fact, probiotics have been used for the management of irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.
To obtain more probiotics, look for fermented dairy foods including yogurt, kefir products and aged cheeses, which contain live cultures (for example, bifidobacteria and lactobacilli). Be sure include plenty of non-dairy foods which also have beneficial cultures, including kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh and cultured non-dairy yogurts.
How Prebiotics and Probiotics Work Together?
Prebiotics and probiotics ultimately work hand in hand together in the gut. The prebiotics help increase the number of probiotics (good bacteria) to improve your GI health. To maximize their effects, it’s best to work these two together. In your diet, that means enjoying bananas with yoghurt, or stir-frying asparagus with tempeh! It’s important to incorporate health-promoting functional foods, such as foods containing prebiotics and probiotics so you can be a healthier you!
For specific advice on obtaining prebiotics and probiotics for your own specific health needs, especially if you have GI issues or a weakened immune system, you can consult through us! Click here to find out more about it.