What is the difference between prebiotics and probiotics, and why you need both?
Many people have heard of probiotics and the incredible ways that probiotics can optimize physical health. Probiotics live in our digestive tract, fight bad bacteria and keep the gut running smoothly. You may be unfamiliar, however, with another piece of the probiotic puzzle: prebiotics. What exactly are prebiotics, and why would you bother incorporating prebiotics into your diet?
Prebiotics are the essential counterpart to probiotics—so essential, in fact, that probiotics cannot survive without prebiotics. Prebiotics are the food and fuel that probiotics consume in order to flourish.
Prebiotics are carbohydrates which are indigestible by the human body. The most common of these prebiotic carbohydrates is inulin (not to be confused with insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar). Inulin, along with other prebiotics, feed our friendly probiotic bacterial flora to create a healthy, synergistic environment in which nutrients can be optimally absorbed. Prebiotics are so important to wellness that prebiotics were added to infant formula in order to help meet the nutritional needs of babies.
The numerous benefits of taking prebiotics and probiotics are well-documented, and some of the best reasons to increase your intake of both include:
- Preventing digestive disturbance from lactose intolerance, such as diarrhea.
- Reducing cancer-promoting enzymes and bacteria in the gut.
- Alleviating digestive irregularity in healthy people.
- Regulating microbial activity and reduce inflammation connected with gastrointestinal diseases.
- Reducing bacterial overgrowth.
- Preventing respiratory tract infections (common cold, influenza) and other infectious diseases.
Several foods offer a healthy supply of probiotics. Probiotics are found in fermented foods, as the process of fermentation produces probiotics in yogurt, sauerkraut, miso soup, and sourdough bread. On the other hand, prebiotic-rich foods include asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes, bananas, oats, and legumes.
You may be wondering if you can take prebiotics and probiotics together. Absolutely! However, you will not find a food source that offers both pre- and probiotics. In fact, the best way to increase your prebiotic intake along with your probiotics is through supplementation.
If you’re looking for a way to up your intake of prebiotics and probiotics, UB Super’s protein superfood nutritional shake contains the prebiotics inulin and fructooligosaccharide (FOS), along with the probiotics l. acidophilus, b. bifidum, b. longum and l. Rhamnosus. Together, these pre- and probiotics will optimize your nutrient absorption and improve your digestion.
Make your gut happy. Try UB Super’s protein superfood nutritional shake today!