Your body reacts according to what you consume. Probiotics are the beneficial natural bacteria that live inside our bodies. Prebiotics are the food for these good bacteria, and these come in the form of carbs that the human body can’t digest. There are approximately 39-300 trillion bacteria present in our bodies. The group of these colon bacteria is known as gut flora. They feed on the dietary fibers, which help them produce nutrients for our colon cells, resulting in better gut health. Probiotics are further segmented into bacteria that are harmless and that cause diseases. About 300-500 types of bacterial species can be found in our gut.
Friendly intestinal bacteria have shown remarkable benefits for our body, such as weight loss, improved digestive system, youthful skin, stronger immune system, and minimal risk of ailments. Probiotics supplements are taken to fill up our gut with beneficial microbes. It is also found in food items prepared from the process of fermentation. Experts term gut flora as the “forgotten organ” since its metabolic activities are the same as other organs in the human body.
The gut microbiome performs significant functions like the production of vitamins (essentially vitamin K and B). It also breaks complex fibers into short-chain fats such as acetate, butyrate, and propionate, contributing to various metabolic operations.
Reports suggest that gut bacteria imbalance is the home to various chronic diseases like obesity, anxiety, cancer, type 2 diabetes, etc. Consuming a balanced diet containing prebiotics and probiotics can help you stabilize your gut flora.
Distinctions between Probiotics and Prebiotics
- Typically, prebiotics is defined as the non-digestible unique form of fibers and carbs. In contrast, probiotics are the live microorganisms that live within our body and offer various health advantages.
- Prebiotics in powder form can endure acid, cold, heat, and on the other hand, probiotics are delicate in nature, and they can’t survive stomach acid and heat. Bad gut bacteria can sometimes overrun good bacteria.
- Nourishing and satisfying the nutritional needs of the gut flora is the primary function of the prebiotics. Fighting and protecting our gut from harmful microorganisms is the primary role of probiotics.
- Sources of prebiotics are soybeans, oats, inulin sources, unrefined wheat, and barley. And sources of probiotics are bifidobacterium, lactobacilli, etc.
Top 9 Benefits of Probiotics and Prebiotics
1. Improves digestion
Intake of enough probiotics and prebiotics leads to a better digestive system. It produces the essential enzymes and chemicals that reduce the harmful microbes and makes the digestion process faster.
Research shows that probiotics have anti-aging properties and increase the power of replicating the cells. Therefore, you can maintain rejuvenated and youthful skin just by adding some of the pro and prebiotics sources in your everyday meals.
3. Prevents diseases
Since it includes antioxidants, anticancer and other properties, it helps you stay away from chronic diseases.
4. Improves mental health
Gut microbiota positively impacts our mental health. It supports the treatment of stress, anxiety, depression, and borderline personality disorder, along with other mental illnesses.
5. Controls high blood pressure
Milk fermented with Lactobacillus helps in lowering blood pressure. Consuming pre and probiotics increases vitamin D that prevents high blood pressure.
6. Manages cholesterol
Consuming gut-friendly bacteria can reduce bad cholesterol.
7. Prevents diarrhea
Intake of antibiotics for a long time can lead to diarrhea. Therefore, health experts recommend having more prebiotics and probiotics due to preventing or reducing the risk of diarrhea.
8. Stronger immune system
Several probiotics can enhance the immune system that further contributes to the prevention of diseases and infections.
9. Other benefits
It protects against vaginal and urinary tract infections. It also reduces ulcers and gut infections. Consumption of probiotics and prebiotics maintains mucosal integrity and accelerates the cell repairing process. Rebuilding hormones, forming and maintaining respiratory microbial communities, and pre-digestion of proteins are other notable benefits.
Prebiotics and probiotics food items that you can consider including in your daily diet
Garlic is a prebiotic herb that is rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and lipid-lowering properties. It is tasteful and promotes the growth of beneficial gut microbes.
It reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases and lowers the blood glucose level. Also, it protects against asthma.
It’s a versatile vegetable with numerous health benefits. Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and inulin are abundant in them. FOS helps to balance the good bacteria in the gut and breaks down the complicated fat. It also aids in the development of our immune system.
Onions offer cancer-fighting qualities. It also has antibacterial capabilities and has been shown to assist our cardiovascular system.
It’s also a good source of prebiotics. It helps to maintain optimal blood glucose levels and enhances digestive health. It assists in the prevention of cancer.
Bananas are a good source of minerals, fibers, and vitamins. Unripe bananas have more prebiotic content.
Oats are a healthy prebiotic source. It comprises majorly of beta-glucan fiber.
Apple is a juicy and yum fruit containing fibers. The pectin fibers in apples have prebiotic advantages. It decreases the production of harmful microbes.
They are an excellent source of prebiotics. It promotes the population of healthy gut microorganisms. Flaxseeds are equipped with anticancer and antioxidant properties and stimulate regular bowel movements.
It is one of the popular sources of probiotics and improves gut health. It is made from milk by the process of fermentation that promotes friendly bacteria. It has excellent benefits for people diagnosed with hypertension. The impact of diarrhea can be minimized with the intake of yogurt.
Cheese prepared with unpasteurized milk is a source of probiotics. Cottage cheese, Parmigiano Reggiano are some of the examples that comprise gut microbiomes.
Pickles made with saltwater (not with vinegar) provide probiotic values to our gut. It is a traditional recipe that improves our digestive health.
You should now have a good grasp of the advantages of having a healthy gut flora. We have a symbiotic connection with these bacteria, in which we give them water, food, and habitat, and they improve nearly all of our biological processes in return. To put it another way, prebiotics is the three-meal course for probiotics that can help with gastrointestinal health. Artificial supplements are unnecessary in a diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, juices, and natural sources of probiotics and prebiotics. It has a major impact on nearly every element of health.
If you are searching for various food options in probiotics and prebiotics, we at VMeals has got your back. Not only do we supply nutritious meals, but we also provide services where you can speak with a professional nutritionist about your health difficulties, diet consumption, and other nutrition-related issues.
Just like you take care of other lifestyle practices, it is equally important to look after your gut/intestinal health.