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Probiotics vs Prebiotics

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These two buzz words are definitely making an impact on the food industry these days with many new foods being marketed as beneficial for containing pre- and probiotics. But what are they? And why should I care if they are in my food?

 Probiotics: gut-friendly bacteria. The human body naturally has hundreds of different types (strains) of bacteria, some good and some bad. Probiotics are helpful live bacteria and/or yeast that can balance out the types of bacteria already living in your gut. These “good bacteria” can help decrease chronic gas, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation, and increase immune system functions among other things.

 Prebiotics: food for the probiotics. These are fiber-containing foods that help the good bacteria (probiotics) survive and flourish in the gut. Natural prebiotics include fibers from fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans.

Some great natural food sources of probiotics include yogurts, kefir, and kombucha. Foods that come with both probiotics and prebiotics include fermented raw sauerkraut and kimchi. Check out this easy recipe to make your own sauerkraut at home. http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-homemade-sauerkraut-in-a-mason-jar-193124

By Abby Forman, Registered Dietitian with Bon Secours Physical Therapy & Sports Performance

For more information about nutrition and choosing healthy foods, visit us at http://www.bonsecoursphysicaltherapy.com/category/nutrition-weight-loss/

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