Probiotics and prebiotics: Why you need both and where to find them

Probiotics and prebiotics: Why you need both and where to find them

probiotics and prebiotics

Looking to step up your health and give a little something good to your gut? Adding probiotics and prebiotics can give your diet a dash of extra nutrition.

Let’s break them down, though, just so it’s easier to tell them apart, understand their differences and digest their benefits.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics, according to the Mayo Clinic , are a “good” type of live bacteria that along with your body’s natural good bacteria, can be an effective shield against harmful bacteria, which cause disease.

The microorganisms get to your gut when your natural bacteria are out of balance, and help clean things up. Stress, illness and even travel can throw off good bacteria’s balance, which is when probiotics come in handy.

What do probiotics do?

Prevent and treat vaginal yeast infections
Prevent and treat urinary tract infections
Treat interstitial cystitis
Treat irritable bowel syndrome
Reduce bladder cancer recurrence
Promote treatment of some intestinal infections
Prevent and treat eczema in children
Prevent and reduce cold and flu symptoms, aid the immune system
Reduce bloating
Help regulate sleep patterns
Increase overall energy levels
Help the body absorb calcium, iron, chromium, vitamins A, D, E, K

Where are probiotics found?

Yogurt
Kefir
Probiotic-enhanced dough
Sauerkraut
Pickles
Kimchi
Miso soup
Pistachios
Tempeh
Red wine
Cheddar, Swiss, parmesan, gouda cheeses
Skin Cream (Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Night Cream)

What are prebiotics?

Prebiotics are specialized plant fibers and carbohydrates that the body doesn’t actually digest, but instead, uses them as a fertilizer to grow probiotics, nourish good bacteria and maintain a healthy gut.

What do prebiotics do?

Improve overall gastrointestinal health
Enhance calcium and magnesium absorption
Defend your immune system
Fight off allergy symptoms
Reduce symptoms of lactose intolerance
Strengthen bones, increase bone density
Control blood sugar
Slow the aging process
Promote weight loss by regulating the appetite

Where are prebiotics found?

Whole grains
Bananas
Onions
Garlic
Honey
Artichokes
Asparagus
Soybeans

 

Sources: Jackson | Siegelbaum Gastronology, Eat Right Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Woman’s Day Magazine, Men’s Fitness, Walgreens