Probiotics and prebiotics - what are they and how can they boost your health?
Want to keep your digestive system healthy and happy?
Make sure you’re getting enough probiotics and prebiotics.
It may sound icky, but it’s a good thing that our digestive tracks are populated with bacteria.
Many of them are there to protect the digestive tracts and fend off potentially harmful germs.
Probiotics are micro‑organisms that live (yes, they’re alive) to provide such protection.
The more probiotics hanging out in your digestive tract, the healthier and more balanced it remains.
This type of balance means better digestion and fewer stomach issues such as gas, bloating and diarrhoea, especially when travelling or taking antibiotics.
Prebiotics are non-digestible components of certain types of carbohydrates.
They act as food for healthy probiotic bacteria, fuelling the production of more.
Since the surface of the digestive tract is constantly regenerating, to reap the benefits of these substances they need to be a regular part of your diet.
Probiotics exist naturally in cultured and fermented foods like yoghurt, kefir, tempeh (a hearty soy-based product), sauerkraut and buttermilk.
They can also be found in supplement form; Lactobacilli, Bifidobacteria and B. Bifidum and Acidophilus are common supplemental forms available.
Taking an extra dose from a supplement may come in handy when travelling or taking antibiotics, two situations that tend to wreak havoc on some people’s digestive systems.
You can find prebiotics in carbohydrate-rich foods such as wholegrains, bananas, berries, lentils and raw vegies like onions, leeks and garlic.
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Prebiotics can be found in raw vegies like onions and garlic.