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Probiotics vs. Prebiotics: What's the difference?

Probiotics and prebiotics have dominated the gut health scene over the past few years. But why? Here we’ll take a closer look at the difference between probiotics and prebiotics, why we need them, and how you can incorporate them into your daily diet.


What are Probiotics?


Probiotics are live yeast and bacteria found in certain foods or in supplements. When ingested, probiotics populate the gut and become part of the microbiome. While it may sound counter-intuitive that ingesting bacteria can be healthy for you, we couldn’t survive without the help of these “good” bacteria. Your gut already contains trillions of microorganisms that help keep you alive. Some microbes extract nutrients from food to make energy, some make vitamins, and others help protect you by destroying harmful pathogens.


So, by taking probiotic supplements (especially strains like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium) or eating foods rich in probiotics, you can significantly improve the power of your gut microbiome – and your overall health.


Where to Find Probiotics
  • High-quality probiotic supplements

  • Yogurt

  • Kefir

  • Sauerkraut

  • Kimchi

  • Pickles

  • Miso

  • Tempeh

  • Natto

  • Kombucha

  • Active culture cheeses


What are Prebiotics?


While probiotics are living bacteria, prebiotics are the food for these bacteria. Prebiotics are usually food sources that contain carbohydrates (mostly fiber). Humans can’t digest this fiber, but our gut bacteria thrive on it.

One major benefit of eating more prebiotics is that they help your probiotics and gut flora work better. This leads to a healthier gut, better digestion, clearer skin, a more powerful immune system, more balanced mental health, and other benefits.

Research also shows that a diet high in prebiotics may also help improve metabolism for easier weight management. They also increase calcium absorption for stronger bones.


Where to Find Prebiotics
  • Oats

  • Bananas

  • Berries

  • Legumes, beans, and peas

  • Jerusalem artichokes

  • Asparagus

  • Garlic, leeks, and onions

  • Dandelion greens


How to Cultivate a Happy Gut


Improving your gut health is easier with the help of probiotics and prebiotics. By eating more foods rich in probiotics and prebiotics or taking a probiotic supplement, you can improve the balance and health of your entire gut microbiome.


Even so, probiotics and prebiotics are just one part of a bigger picture. A truly healthy gut requires a nutritious diet, exercise, hydration, colonics, and other lifestyle habits that keep the system working properly.


Ready to improve your digestive and overall health beyond supplements? Schedule your colonic or lymphatic drainage visit today to start on the path towards a healthier gut.


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