Spending too much money on digestive supplements? What are probiotics and prebiotics?
If these are questions that are bugging you, read on to find out what types of food make great nutrition boosters for your gut health.
What are probiotics and prebiotics?
Probiotics and prebiotics are substances used to reduce the “bad” bacteria and increase the “good” bacteria in our gut. The good bacteria living in our gut that play an important role in our digestion. These beneficial bacteria offer a hand in helping our body synthesise vitamins, absorb nutrients and protect us against infections, certain germs and viruses.
• “Living” friendly bacteria similar to those that inhabit our digestive tract
• Helps to maintain the digestive tract with friendly, beneficial bacteria
• Helps to restore good bacteria in the gut after a course of antibiotics and to boost our immune system
• “Non-living” food ingredients that feeds the beneficial bacteria in our gut for them stay alive and flourish
• Occurs naturally in a number of common foods with high fibre content
• One of the best kinds of probiotics is from fermented dairy products like yogurt and aged cheeses that contain live cultures (eg. lactobacillus). Other non-dairy foods with these cultures will include kimchi, miso, and tempeh.
• Prebiotics can be found in banana, onion, garlic, asparagus, soybeans and whole-wheat foods. It is not necessary to eat prebiotics and probiotics at the same meal to get their synergistic effect, but the duo works together deliciously.
Here are some food ideas to get you started:
Miso (probiotic) + Tofu (Probiotic) + Leek (Prebiotic) = Miso soup with tofu and leek
Dark Chocolate (probiotic) + Chopped nuts (prebiotic) + Banana (prebiotic) = Frozen chocolate banana coated in nuts
Kimchi (probiotic) + Asparagus (prebiotic) = Stir fried asparagus with kimchi
Yogurt (probiotic) + Banana (prebiotic) = Banana yogurt with smoothie