Do you need a probiotic or prebiotic for good gut health? The answer to that is yes. There are 100 trillion good bacteria in your gut, and they are important to the overall health of your body. Our guts are stuffed full of bacteria, which not only don’t hurt us, but also do an essential job helping us to digest our food and reduce levels of harmful germs. Unfortunately, there’s a constant battle between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria, and sometimes the unhealthy bacteria get the upper hand. That’s where they come in.
Function of Probiotics and Prebiotics
Still not sure what these two things do? Probiotics are products, which contain bacteria, which help our guts to function effectively. The most common one is lactobacillus, which changes the acidity in our guts and may stop growth of other germs. Prebiotics don’t have bacteria at all. Instead, they contain food that isn’t digested in the first part of our systems. This means they make it intact to our large bowel, where they help healthy bacteria to thrive. The best thing is to think of prebiotics as food for probiotics.
It’s easy to get a good amount or probiotics and prebiotics in your diet. Dairy products including yoghurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi have lots of lactobacillus. However, it’s not clear if enough of them survive the acid in our stomachs to have a major benefit. Some fruit and vegetables, including tomatoes and bananas, as well as garlic and onions are good foods with prebiotics. Both are important and work together to ensure your body has a good healthy dose.
For good gut health, you need both prebiotics and probiotics. If you are not eating enough foods daily to get a good amount, you can consider supplements. As always you might want to consult your physician before you start taking anything.