What’s the difference between a prebiotic and a probiotic?
A healthy gut has become synonymous with a healthy body in recent years, and it seems like everyone is talking about probiotics and prebiotics.
But what exactly does it mean to have a healthy gut? Why is it so important? And what’s the difference between a prebiotic and probiotic?
Read on and we’ll explain.
What is gut health?
Before we talk about the difference between probiotics and prebiotics, let’s talk about gut health in general.
Your gut hosts hundreds of different types of microorganisms, including bacteria (which make up the vast majority), yeasts, and viruses. In fact, bacteria outnumber your body’s cells by a ratio of 10 to one! Most of these bacteria are found in your large intestine, and are known as the microbiota, or gut flora.
Probiotics and prebiotics can help you nurture the right balance of gut bacteria, which is associated with many health benefits, including better digestion and immune function, reduced inflammation and blood pressure, healthier skin, and weight loss.
With that out of the way, let’s explore the difference between prebiotics and probiotics.
What is a probiotic?
Probiotics are living organisms (usually bacteria, but some types of yeasts can also serve as probiotics) that we ingest through the food we eat or supplements.
These friendly bacteria are known to help promote digestive health and fight irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.
You’ll find probiotics in some yogurts and in fermented foods, such as:
Fermented foods can be an acquired taste, which is why many people take probiotic supplements. It’s one of the key ingredients in the THRIVE Experience, which was formulated to fill in nutritional gaps left by even the most healthy diets. (Both the Lifestyle Capsules and Premium Lifestyle Mix contain probiotics.)
What is a prebiotic?
Prebiotics are specialized plant fibers that act like fertilizer, stimulating the growth of healthy bacteria (probiotics) in your gut. Interestingly, humans can’t digest prebiotics, but probiotics can!
It’s easy to get plenty of prebiotics through a diet rich in fruit and vegetables. Prebiotics are found in:
- Beans and legumes
- Garlic and onions
In short, probiotics are the beneficial bacteria that live in your gut, and prebiotics feed that bacteria. A healthy gut has plenty of both!
This can be achieved with a nutritious diet full of fruits and vegetables supplemented with the THRIVE Experience!