Have you ever had digestive issues, a bloated stomach, constipation or acne? Then this article may help you decide how to effectively change your overall health.
We now know that everyone can benefit from a prebiotic and a probiotic. As a matter of fact, they work together to build a healthy digestive system, cleanse your system of yeast and help stop leaky gut syndrome.
While the general public has long understood probiotics, little is known about prebiotics. There are substantial differences between the two, including incredible health benefits.
Probiotics are “good” bacteria that help keep your digestive system healthy by controlling growth of harmful bacteria. Prebiotics are carbohydrates that cannot be digested by the human body; they are food for probiotics.
Probiotics are live bacteria in yogurt, other dairy products and pills. Doctors often prescribe probiotics to patients on antibiotics in an attempt to fight side effects of the medication. And while probiotics have been shown effective in managing certain gastrointestinal conditions, they do not have the same power that prebiotics do.
First, Probiotics are sensitive to heat and stomach acid which can kill them, rendering them ineffective before they have even been digested. Also, those who do not eat dairy foods for taste or dietary reasons may find ingesting adequate amounts of probiotics difficult, if not impossible.
Finally, we don’t know which “good” bacteria our unique bodies would benefit from. For some people, a certain good bacterial strain would be helpful. For others, it may not. When we consume probiotics, we’re taking a guess at which bacteria might be helpful and hoping for the best. We are also hoping the ones that make it past the heat and acid of our stomach will actually go on to provide some health benefits to our system.
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Now, what is a prebiotic? Briefly, the prebiotic is a specialized plant fiber that beneficially nourishes the good bacteria already in the large bowel or colon. While probiotics introduce good bacteria into the gut, prebiotics act as a fertilizer for the good bacteria that is already there. They help your good bacteria grow, improving the good-to-bad bacteria ratio. This ratio has been shown to have a direct association to your health and overall wellbeing, from your stomach to your brain.
The body itself does not digest these plant fibers. Instead, it uses these fibers to promote the growth of many of the good bacteria in the gut. Recent studies have also shown prebiotics and good bacterial gut balance play a direct role in mental health. Individuals who consume prebiotics on a daily basis have fewer issues with anxiety, depression and stress. In fact, when their saliva was tested, it contained lower levels of cortisol. High levels of this hormone have been linked directly to mental health disorders and weight gain.
Prebiotics, unlike probiotics, are not destroyed in the body. They are not affected by heat or bacteria. Getting the full benefits of prebiotics is easy, especially when consumed in a full-spectrum supplement form.
Prebiotic fiber is found in many fruits and vegetables, such as the skin of apples, bananas, onions and garlic, Jerusalem artichoke, chicory root and beans. Sounds easy to get enough prebiotic fiber, right? Unfortunately, the small amounts of fiber in each of these foods — such as 1 to 2 grams per serving — make ingesting enough fiber extremely difficult. Most people should consume at least 25 grams of fiber every day, and the foods highest in prebiotic fiber like chicory root are one such example and are nearly impossible to eat in large quantities every day. The good news is that adding a prebiotic fiber supplement to your diet is fast and simple. In supplement form, prebiotic fiber is also mild in texture and nearly tasteless, making it easy to add to water, cereal or any other food.
There are many supplements to choose from; so, do your research and you will find what’s right for you.