Confused Between Probiotics and Prebiotics? Check out the Ultimate Guide of Probiotics vs Prebiotics and Why Both Are Necessary For Your Family's Health (2020)

Confused Between Probiotics and Prebiotics? Check out the Ultimate Guide of Probiotics vs Prebiotics and Why Both Are Necessary For Your Family's Health (2020)

You would probably have heard about probiotics as everyone has been talking about them for years. But do you know what are prebiotics? If you have not heard this term or don't know the difference between the two then you have just come to the right place. This BP Guide will explain everything about probiotics and prebiotics and why taking both is necessary for you and your family's good health.

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Difference Between Probiotics and Prebiotics

Prebiotics and probiotics are both extremely helpful for you with a lot of health benefits. Though the names of the two are very similar, they have a lot of differences and should not be mistaken for one another.

Probiotics are yeasts and some live bacteria that help your digestive system. These are a good and helpful type of bacteria that help keep your gut healthy, among many other benefits like the ones mentioned below. In addition, these bacteria are made with the process of fermentation and can be found in your daily-use foods and supplement such as the ones mentioned later on.

Prebiotics, on the other hand, is the fibre that is non-digestible and just passes through the alimentary canal. Furthermore, these help you in a lot of ways as well. For instance, they help speed up the digestion process and also help in getting rid of the waste. Prebiotics, just like probiotics, can be found in various foods including some fruits and vegetables. However, these do not require a particular process like fermentation to develop.

Health Benefits of Probiotics

They Help Balance the Friendly Bacteria in the Digestive System

Live organisms like probiotics can help your bodies in many ways. For instance, they help in the restoration of the balance of your gut bacteria. If this is not done, it will mean that there is not enough good bacteria and lots of bad bacteria which can be caused by illnesses, medications, and a poor diet, among other things.

If the bacteria is not balanced, you can get various allergies, obesity, digestive issues, and even mental health problems, etc. To prevent or even cure all this, probiotics are recommended as they are easily accessible with almost no side effects. But, they should not be taken in excess and a doctor should be consulted in severe conditions.

They Help Prevent and Cure Diarrhoea

Probiotics also help with preventing diarrhoea. They not only help prevent diarrhoea, gastroenteritis, other related diseases like sporadic infectious diarrhoea and acute watery diarrhoea, by keeping your gut and your digestive system healthy but also help cure them.

By keeping your gut healthy, probiotics, prevent the inflammation of the gut's lining, hence helping with this particular medical condition. Be that as it may, the amount of influence and the side effects depend on the type of food you get the probiotics from.

They Help Improve Mental Health Conditions

In addition to the aforementioned benefits, probiotics can also help with your mental health as well as the mood. They can do this by reducing depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and even autism as well as memory. They can also help reduce stress, thereby having a positive effect on both your mind as well as your mood. These also reduce the levels of C-reactive protein and various hormones like insulin, again having a good effect on your health. This way, they not only help you but also the ones around you.

Help Manage Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels

Lastly, probiotics can also help you with your cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Especially, the Lactobacillus bacteria helps diminish the levels of lipoprotein and also the total cholesterol. In addition to all that, many research studies have shown that probiotics can help people suffering from high cholesterol and prevent it but the effectiveness depends on the type of the probiotics consumed. Probiotics can also help with blood pressure by increasing the levels of vitamin-D that helps control high blood pressure levels. This can, therefore, also help with various heart diseases.

Health Benefits of Prebiotics

Help Prevent Colorectal Cancer

The major benefit of prebiotics is that they are advantageous for the prevention of colorectal cancer and its symptoms. They do this by revising the activity and constituency of the colorectal microflora. To be precise, they help with the alteration of gene expressions in cancerous cells and the production of SCFA that have an anti-cancer influence. In addition, various pieces of research have shown that prebiotics can help reduce the levels of some biomarkers of colorectal cancer, thus having a positive effect.

Keeps Your Gut Healthy

Another benefit of prebiotics is that, just like probiotics, they also help keep your gut healthy. They do this by maintaining the health of the gastrointestinal system by increasing the number of good bacteria. That bacteria uses prebiotic fibre to produce short-chain fatty acids, hence helping them thrive. These fatty acids, then, improve the lining of the gut while the prebiotics also help with the overall digestion and diminishing the chances of IBS, Candida, virus, leaky gut syndrome, etc.

Improve the Absorption of Several Different Minerals

Lastly, prebiotics also help with the absorption process of various minerals like magnesium and calcium. In this way, they help strengthen your bones, and the probiotics recolonise in the gut and turn off some auto-immune responses, thereby helping provide your body with more energy. The SCFA made by prebiotics also helps in the acidification of the gut lumen, hence, increasing the solubility of minerals in the gut and leading to the improved expression of the calcium-binding proteins in your large intestines.

Sources of Prebiotics and Probiotics

Coming to the sources of probiotics and prebiotics, both of these can be found in a lot of normal food substances. However, there are some food options which are a bit better than the others as they do not have a lot of side effects and are easily available all through the year as well. There are of course special supplements too available but we are not covering them here. You should consult with your doctor for knowing more about such options.

  • Probiotics:

    In case of probiotics, the better choices are yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, sourdough bread, kombucha, miso, salter brine olives, cottage cheese and pickles. However, you should make sure that you are not allergic to any of the substances, and, if you are too sensitive to cough, you should not eat foods like yogurt as they are known to cause these medical conditions. Some other good food sources of probiotics that are also easily accessible include traditional buttermilk, natto, Gouda cheese, acidophilus milk, cheddar cheese, apple cider vinegar and mozzarella cheese. However, if you want, you can also get probiotic supplements but you should choose them carefully and you may even consult a doctor before using them.

  • Prebiotics:

    Just like probiotics, prebiotics can also be found in various types of food substances. These found substances include dandelion greens, asparagus, bananas, apples, onions, garlic, leeks, Jerusalem artichoke, chicory root, rye, and jicama root, among many others. Also, most of these food substances have close to no side effects if used in the right amount, the proper away, and at the right time.

    Be that as it may, if you have any medical conditions or allergies, you should consult a doctor before using these foods as a source of prebiotics. In addition to all that, you can also get prebiotics from supplements, oatmeal, wheat bran, barley, soybeans, shallots, savoy cabbage, chickpeas, lentils, red kidney beans, baked beans, watermelon, grapefruit, konjac root, almonds, pistachio nuts, flax-seeds, cocoa, burdock root, Chinese chives, yacon root, maple sugar, seaweeds, etc.
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Take Good Care of Your Health with Probiotics and Prebiotics

As would have been evident by now, both probiotics and prebiotics are very important for your health and their food sources should be a part of your daily diet. If you are planning to take supplements, it is always prudent to consult your doctor and act based on his advise. We hope you would have loved this BP Guide. Stay connected with us for more such engaging content.