Probiotics are the good bacteria that are found in certain foods and live inside your gut. Certain researches show that these bacteria majorly influence your health and athletic performance. These ‘good gut bacteria’ also aid a healthy digestive tract, immune system and give you healthy, beautiful skin.
Yogurt is one of the best sources of probiotics. It’s power packed with good bacteria like lactobacillus and bifidobacterial. Other sources of probiotic bacteria would be certain aged cheeses, buttermilk, komboucha, kimchi etc. Non-pasteurized fermented foods are also a good source of probiotic bacteria. These are also available as supplements (capsules, pills etc.) that deliver the good bacteria to the gut.
In simple words, prebiotics are considered as food for probiotics. They’re non-digestible fiber compounds which means that they pass through the upper gastrointestinal tract and stay undigested. Our body needs prebiotic bacteria too as they help feed the probiotic bacteria—thus resulting good overall health. Some of the benefits include hormonal balance, lower risk of obesity and cardiovascular diseases.
Some of the best sources of prebiotics are raw garlic, onions (raw or cooked), raw leeks, apple cider vinegar, asparagus, raw artichoke etc. Most people find adding these into their daily diets a task (except for onions, of course), and resort to supplements. However, you can add chopped raw garlic to salads, have diluted apple cider vinegar or use is as a salad dressing etc. Flax and chia seeds are also said to be prebiotic.
Food plays an extremely important role in the balance of good and bad bacteria. When it comes to probiotics, remember that they’re indigestible so too much of consumption will make you feel bloated. For your body’s overall health balance, make sure you maintain a healthy balance of pro and prebiotics in your diet before going for any supplements.