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If you read our previous blog, we were talking about gut health and the role of prebiotics and probiotics in maintaining the balance of one's gut. With the increase in nutritional awareness recently, this topic is quite hot but shrouded in slight confusion. What are Probiotics? What are Prebiotics? Where can we find sources, and why do we need them? Let us answer some of these questions.
What are PROBIOTICS?
Our bodies are home to a mix of good and bad bacteria. They're pretty much everywhere — the mouth, gut, and skin. Probiotics are live bacteria that are good for your gut health and keep your digestive system healthy. Lactobacillus, Saccharomyces boulardii, and Bifidobacterium are some examples of probiotic strains.
What do PROBIOTICS do?
Probiotics have a wide range of effects on the body. The Good bacteria’s role is to fight off the Bad bacteria to create a barrier. They are like the warriors of the gut. They fight for the cause of a healthy gut and restore your community of microorganisms if disturbed. These famous Gut-dwellers keep pathogens (harmful microorganisms) in check, aid digestion and nutrient absorption, and contribute to immune function. Who knew bacteria could do so much good for our bodies?
Why do we need PROBIOTICS?
At this point, it must seem silly that the need for probiotics is a question. Apart from improving digestion, it also plays a vital role in preventing conditions such as diarrhoea, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers, urinary tract infections, yeast infections, and Crohn's Disease, among others. Probiotics also affect the production of Serotonin in our body. Furthermore, antibiotic treatment may disrupt the composition and diversity of bacteria found in the gut, resulting in uncomfortable symptoms and Probiotics help counteract this.
Where can we find PROBIOTICS?
Some sources of Probiotics:
- Green Peas
- Fermented food items
- Soy beverages
What are PREBIOTICS?
Does the name Prebiotics sound unheard? Don’t worry Prebiotics is not an aspect of gut health that has as much traction as the name Probiotics. However, it is just as important as they function side by side.
Prebiotics are specialised plant fibres that act like fertilisers to stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. Prebiotics are in many fruits and vegetables, especially those that contain complex carbohydrates, such as fibre. Although all prebiotics is fibre, not all fibre is prebiotic. Some examples of Prebiotics other than fruits and vegetables include inulin and fructo-oligosaccharides.
What do PREBIOTICS do?
Prebiotics stimulate the growth of good bacteria and maintain the balance of your gut microbiota. They’re indigestible by your intestines, so they move to your lower digestive tract, where they act like food to help the healthy bacteria grow.
Why do we need PREBIOTICS?
Apart from its most important function of maintaining your gut microbiome, Prebiotic foods are excellent sources of magnesium. Magnesium helps to maintain normal nerve and muscle function, supports a healthy immune system, keeps the heartbeat steady, and helps bones remain strong. It also helps adjust blood glucose levels. Incorporating more fibre-rich foods can help keep you full longer and stabilise your blood sugar levels preventing spikes and dips in blood sugar.
Where can we find PREBIOTICS?
Some sources of Prebiotics:
- Whole grains
To conclude, eating balanced amounts of probiotics and prebiotics can help ensure that you have the right balance of these bacteria to keep your gut microbiota healthy. We hope we have answered all your questions, and every reader is now a mini ‘Gut Expert’. We are looking forward to seeing you soon.
~The Lil Goodness Family