You’ve heard all the information about probiotics and their importance for your gut health, but what about prebiotics? Even though they sound the same, prebiotics are very different from probiotics, yet they may be just as important to your gut health.
Understanding what prebiotics are can help you take a step in the right direction and can possibly help you improve your health, increase your energy, elevate your mood, sharpen your focus, and help with weight management.
So, what is the difference between probiotics and prebiotics, and why do you need both of them?
Prebiotics and Probiotics
Probiotics are foods high-quality supplements enriched with live microorganisms that assist the good bacteria in your body, primarily the gut. More and more studies are proving that having a healthy balance of gut bacteria in your body is essential to living a healthy life. If you don’t naturally have that healthy balance, it’s believed you can achieve it through ingesting foods with probiotics or with a supplement.
Prebiotics are typically found in high-fiber foods and are not easily digestible by the human body, but they do act as food for the microflora that lives in the human body. Basically, prebiotics feed the good bacteria in your body so that they can effectively produce nutrients and support a healthy digestive system.
Why Are Prebiotics Important?
It’s important to understand that all known and suspected prebiotics are carbohydrates, and most of them fall into the oligosaccharides category, making them a fiber. For a very long time, fiber has been known to be extremely beneficial to the human body as it plays a significant role in gut and digestive health. Fiber has also been linked to healthy cardiovascular support and maintaining a healthy weight.
These oligosaccharides that are considered prebiotics resist digestion by the human body all the way through the small intestine. The prebiotics land in the large intestine and then are fermented by the microflora in your gut.
It’s important to note that while all prebiotics are fiber, not all fiber is considered a prebiotic. To fall into the category of prebiotic fiber needs to meet the following conditions:
♦ Resists gastric acidity and absorption by the upper gastrointestinal tract
♦ Can be fermented by the intestinal microflora
♦ Promotes the normal growth and/or activity of good intestinal bacteria
Health Benefits of Prebiotics
The benefits of consuming fiber and prebiotics are detailed in an article published in Nutrients. Since all prebiotics are fiber, these benefits roll together when you consume more prebiotics. Some of these benefits are:
♦ Supports cardiovascular health
♦ Supports healthy glycemic levels
♦ Promotes bowel regularity
♦ Fiber helps you feel full longer, which can help with healthy weight management
♦ Supports healthy immune function
♦ Supports the natural growth of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, which are beneficial bacteria
While these are very important reasons to eat more fiber and prebiotic fiber in particular, it’s this last reason that we need to pay specific attention to. With today’s increased focus on probiotics, prebiotics have become even more vital.
Why It’s Important to Have Prebiotics with Probiotics
Not only is supporting a good microbiome in your gut important, but feeding it is crucial to its success and health. If you’re going to take a probiotic for your gut health and reap the many benefits of supporting a healthy microbiome, you need to add a prebiotic to fuel it.
Think of it as a little farm of healthy and efficient bacteria. You spent money and worked hard to get that bacteria farm, but if you don’t feed the inhabitants of your farm, then they won’t survive, and soon your farm will be empty and useless.
Of course, it’s not that simple or straightforward, but this is the gist of why it’s important to include prebiotics with your probiotic supplements.
Where Can You Get Prebiotics
There are a wide variety of foods that naturally contain prebiotic fiber, but the following list is a good starting place as these foods contain a lot of natural prebiotics:
The problem is that most people aren’t eating enough fiber, even if they think they are. A startling statistic in the article “Closing America’ Fiber Intake Gap” states that only about 5% of the population meets the recommendations for adequate fiber intake. That means you’re probably not getting enough fiber, which means you’re also not getting adequate amounts of prebiotics to support a healthy microbiome.
There are basically two ways to boost your prebiotic intake so you can support that probiotic balance you want. You can dramatically increase your fiber intake, or you can take a high-quality prebiotic supplement. If you decide to take a prebiotic supplement, the best way to do that is to find one included with your probiotic, like Live Conscious’ Pro-45TM.
And because Live Conscious® knows how important mornings are when starting a new health regimen, we’ve doubled-down on digestive support, cognitive health support, and overall wake-up-and-feel-good support. Beyond Brew is just the balance and energy you need in the morning.
Waking up to Wellness
While probiotics are getting a lot of publicity for the health benefits they provide your body, they wouldn’t be able to do so without the aid of prebiotics. Probiotics are the healthy gut bacteria living in your body, and prebiotics are the fiber that feeds the bacteria.
In addition to prebiotics being crucial for the success and survival of probiotics, they also perform several important functions as fiber, which comes with its own health benefits.
While the health benefits of fiber have long been known, most people are still not eating an adequate amount to reap the benefits. In addition to that, their microbiomes are starving without adequate fuel. The best way to increase your prebiotic levels is to eat the daily recommended amounts of fiber or take a high-quality probiotic supplement with a prebiotic added. This gives you all the health benefits you want from both while they work together to create gut harmony.