You may have noticed these two terms popping up more frequently in recent years - whether buying health foods in the supermarkets or supplements in pharmacies.
But what exactly do they mean...?
They both sound very similar, but have very different roles:
Probiotics are the good bacteria living in your gut. They help break down food, support gut health, boost your immunity and are beneficial to your overall wellness.
Prebiotics are the food for the good bacteria (i.e probiotics). They come from non-digestible fibre in certain foods, and help your gut flourish.
Both are necessary for a healthy body and mind.
We need the right balance of each to ensure the gut can function optimally.
How do I get the right balance?
Eating the right foods can make all the difference. So make sure you eat a mix of both probiotic and prebiotic-rich foods to boost your gut health.
Probiotics are mainly found in fermented foods such as miso, yoghurt, kefir, tempeh, sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha.
Whilst prebiotics are mainly found in plant-based foods like oats, bananas, apples, berries, cocoa, chicory root, seaweed, onions, flax and chia seeds.
Do I need supplements?
Most healthy people do not need to take prebiotic or probiotic supplements. This is because a diet that consists of a variety of fruits, veggies, whole grains and fermented foods, already provides sufficient amounts required by the body.
However, those with weakened immune systems or underlying illnesses might be advised to take such supplements.
Note: If you are unsure, please consult and doctor or dietitian for specific advice on your individual needs.
What are the benefits?
By eating the right balance of gut-healthy foods, you will feel good - physically, mentally and emotionally:
Maintains good digestion
Reduces bowl inflammation
Keeps strong immune system
Improves cell growth
Promotes weight loss
Lowers cholesterol & cardiovascular disease risk
Improves mental health
Where do I start?
Remember to eat plenty of both probiotic and prebiotic foods!
Keeping your good and bad gut bacteria balanced is important for many aspects of health.