You may have heard about both probiotics and prebiotics before, whether it was on a TV advertisement, on food packaging or maybe through word of mouth. You’ve probably been told that the two of them are good for your health, however you could also be one of the majority who aren't quite sure exactly what probiotics and prebiotics are.
If you’re wondering what probiotics and prebiotics are and why they are good for you, you’ve come to the right place! To mark ‘Love your Gut Week’ which takes place between 4th - 10th September 2017, we’ve explained a bit more about these nifty tools for your body and where you can find them.
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are live bacteria or yeasts that are commonly described as “good bacteria” or “friendly bacteria”. They are similar to the natural bacteria that resides in our stomach and intestines, otherwise known as our gut. These friendly bacteria are said to help balance the levels of bacteria in our digestive tract to a healthy state.
What do probiotics do?
Probiotics consist of a collection of different bacteria - including bifidobacterium lactis and lactobacillus acidophilus - each of which have their own properties and benefits. Overall, however, probiotics can help to support our immune system, relieve built up gas, reduce diarrhoea in children and restore levels of bacteria after taking antibiotics.
You can find probiotics in a variety of fermented or cultured foods, including yoghurt, sauerkraut, cheese, tempeh or buttermilk, for example.
What are prebiotics?
Prebiotics are a type of non-living ingredient found in some foods, that help the probiotics to grow and live in our gut. They pass through the digestive system and read the large intestine, where they help the probiotics to multiply. Prebiotics come in many forms including fructooligosaccharides and galactooligosaccharides.
You can get your dose of prebiotics from foods such as legumes, artichokes, whole wheat and rye based foods, onions, garlic and cabbage, to name a few.
It’s recommended that you have a combination of both probiotic and prebiotic foods in your daily diet, in order to help your body to maintain the healthy levels of good bacteria in your gut. These healthy bacteria help to keep your digestive system running smoothly, which in turn will help you to feel happy and healthy. If you have IBS or other gut-related annoyance, you may find that a combination of probiotics and prebiotics can help to lessen your symptoms.
We understand that sometimes it can be difficult to fit different foods with a variety of benefits into your daily diet, particularly if you live a busy lifestyle or have allergies or intolerances to certain foods. As such, you’ll find a variety of supplements available throughout our range, that can help you to receive the right levels of nutrition within one daily dose.