With all this talk about the importance of gut health, it’s easy to get confused by some of the important terms. Probiotics vs prebiotics for instance…
While PROBIOTICS and PREBIOTICS sound similar, they are VERY different and play totally unique roles in the way your digestive system works.
1. Your Gut As A Garden
If you imagine your gut as a garden, think of probiotics as the seeds you plant, and think of prebiotics as fertilizer and water for the seeds. With the right foods, you can keep the weeds (bad bacteria) down, keep your good bacteria flourishing (prebiotics) and keep everything fed, watered and blooming with the right fertilizer (prebiotics).
In human terms, eating balanced amounts of both probiotics and prebiotics can help ensure that you have the right balance of these bacteria, which should improve your health.
Let’s talk about the differences and why they are so important in your quest for improved gut health.
First off, alphabetically speaking, are prebiotics.
2. What Are Prebiotics?
Prebiotics are essentially specialized plant FIBER. It’s a special kind of fiber though.
That is, the fiber in plant foods that is non-digestible. Because it’s not digested in the stomach and small intestine, this non-digestible prebiotic fiber ends up in the colon. This specialized, un-digestible fiber is called inulin and is found in certain plant foods.
3. What Do Prebiotics Do?
The undigested prebiotic fiber travels past the stomach and the small intestine, to the colon where it starts to ferment. This fermentation process feeds all the beneficial bacteria that live in your gut.