Probiotic VS Prebiotic
Probiotic VS Prebiotic
Probiotic and prebiotic have been buzzing words lately in the natural health industry. So what is the fuss all about? Do we really need to supplement with these, and if so, which ones? Can we get it through food sources?
Here is all you need to know about pro and prebiotics.
Probiotics are the live bacteria that live in our gut. There are TRILLIONS of them. In fact, we have bacteria everywhere in and on our body. For every human cell, we have 4 bacteria. That’s right! We are more bugs than we are human. Gut bacteria play an amazing role in homeostasis and over-all health and well being.
Our gut is home for trillions or different strains of probiotics. These are live bacteria that feed on what we ingest and put in our bodies. Each strain has very specific jobs to perform. Some signal our brain to convert 5-HTP to serotonin (our happy hormone), other signal our brain when it is time for our body to calm and settle down to get ready for sleep. Others have very specific roles for our hormonal cycles and the list goes on. Some play key roles in not-so-great biochemical processes in our body. Some produce toxic chemicals creating more work for our liver, making us feel groggy, foggy minded and giving us a hard time to concentrate and focus. Others, that feed on simple sugars will signal your brain to crave these specific foods (sugar, simple carbohydrates, alcohol, white bread and noodles) so you can ingest them and so they can feed and grow their tribe. This results in spikes and crashes of energy from the simple sugars, decreasing your insulin sensitivity which can eventually contribute to type II diabetes.
Needless to say you want an abundance of good guys and you want to keep the bad guys at bay. How can I do that? You may ask. Well, the strains you feed are the ones who will multiply and grow. The ones you starve are the ones who will die off and diminish in numbers.
As you probably guessed, the good strains of bacteria feed on FIBRE! Dark leafy greens, vegetables, oats, fruits, nuts and seeds, complex carbohydrates, legumes and whole grains. (Be mindful to not eat too many fruits high in sugar and carbohydrates as that will end up feeding the strains that feast on sugar.)
Here is the real kicker: Pre-biotic is what feeds your gut bacteria, nothing less, nothing more. As mentioned above our little guys feed on fibre!
Food or supplement sources?
You can go and buy pro and prebiotic supplements. However, you can get both from food sources.
Prebiotic: As mentioned above, prebiotic is fiber. Foods that are high in fibre include: vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, whole grains and legumes. Keep in mind that different strains of bacteria feed on different kinds of fibre which is one of the reasons why it is so important to eat the rainbow! Variety is key both in foods and in strains of good gut bacteria. Fiber through food sources is always better, however, if you struggle to get enough in your diet, we do offer great fiber supplements.
Probiotic: You can obtain good bacteria from any food that has gone through a fermentation process. Such as: Kombucha, kefir, yogurt, pickles, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, natto. However unless you consume these foods on a daily basis, we would recommend that you do supplement with a good quality probiotic supplement.
Wondering what qualifies as “good quality”? Come in to your closest Amaranth location and ask one of our friendly and knowledgeable staff. We will be more than happy to help you! See you soon!