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Health & Nutrition
Zaheera Swing
Nutritional Therapist & Herbalist BSc Hons Nutritional Science + NTPD

Prebiotics Vs. Probiotics: What's The Difference?

Prebiotics and probiotics are both crucial to gut health but serve different functions. Prebiotics are dietary fibers that act as food for the beneficial bacteria in your digestive tract, encouraging their growth and activity. They can be found in foods like bananas, onions, garlic, leeks, and asparagus. Probiotics, on the other hand, are the good bacteria themselves, enhancing gut health balance, and are commonly present in fermented foods or available as supplements. Both prebiotics and probiotics are linked to health benefits like improved digestion, enhanced immune function, mood improvement, and potential roles in weight management.


Have you ever heard the saying "all disease begins in the gut"? Well, it's true! Your gut is home to trillions of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi. These tiny inhabitants play a crucial role in many aspects of your health, from digestion and metabolism to mood and immunity. In fact, the gut microbiome is so complex that scientists are still discovering new things about its role in our bodies. But with so many products on the market claiming to support gut health, it can be hard to know what's what. Let's dive into the difference between prebiotics and probiotics and why they matter.




What’s the difference between prebiotics vs probiotics?


First things first: prebiotics. Prebiotics are a type of dietary fiber that your body can't digest, but your gut bacteria can. Think of prebiotics as food for the good bacteria in your digestive tract. They serve as a "fertilizer" that helps the good gut bacteria grow and thrive. Prebiotics are fermented by the bacteria in the gut, resulting in the production of shortchain fatty acids, which can support the integrity and health of the gut lining. There are different types of prebiotics, but the most common types include inulin, pectin, and oligosaccharides. These fibers are found in many food sources, such as bananas, apples, onions, garlic, leeks, jerusalem artichoke and asparagus.

On the other hand, probiotics are live bacteria and yeast that can also positively impact gut health. Probiotics can help improve the balance of good bacteria in your gut, which can have a ripple effect on your digestive wellness and overall health while also preventing an overgrowth of potentially harmful bacteria or yeast.

Some examples of probiotic bacteria-rich foods include yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and miso. You can also find probiotics in supplement form, such as capsules and powders.

So, what's the difference between prebiotics and probiotics? In simple terms, prebiotics feed the good gut microbiota in your gut, while probiotics are the good bacteria themselves. Both are essential elements to a healthy balance of gut microbiota. 




How can prebiotics and probiotics support your health?


Now, why should you care about prebiotics and probiotics? For starters, having a healthy gut microbiome has been linked to a host of health benefits. 

A well-balanced gut microbiome can improve digestion, boost your immune system, and even improve your mood. Plus, a growing body of research suggests that gut health may also play a role in weight management, type 2 diabetes, and certain neurological disorders.

But how do prebiotics and probiotics specifically support digestive health? Well, let's start with prebiotics. By serving as food for the good bacteria in your gut, prebiotics help to increase the number of beneficial bacteria in your gut microbiome. This, in turn, can help to improve the overall balance of friendly bacteria in your gut and promote a healthy gut environment.

As for probiotics, research has shown that taking probiotics can help to repopulate the gut with good bacteria, especially after a round of antibiotics. Antibiotics are great for treating infections, but they can also kill off good bacteria in your gut, leading to digestive issues and other health problems. Taking probiotics can help to restore the balance of good bacteria in your gut, which can help to improve digestive function and regularity, decrease inflammation, and boost your immune system.

But here's the thing: not all probiotics are created equal. Different types of probiotics have different health benefits, so it's important to choose the right one for you. For example, Lactobacillus acidophilus is the most clinically studied probiotic strain of bacteria. It’s been shown to improve regularity, support skin health, enhance immunity, and even improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Another probiotic known as Saccharomyces boulardii is a type of yeast that can help to protect the gut from bad bacteria.

If you’re searching for the perfect supplement that will supercharge your day with both prebiotics and probiotics, look no further than NutriRise AdaptoZen Superfood Greens. With a targeted prebiotic fiber blend and 5 billion CFUs of Lactobacillus acidophilus per serving, Superfood Greens offers you the incredible power of 47 plant-powered ingredients in one easy scoop for maximized gut health and total vitality from head to toe.

So, what's the bottom line? If you're looking to support your gut health, incorporating both probiotics and prebiotics into your diet can be a great place to start. You can get prebiotics from foods like bananas, onions, garlic, leeks, and asparagus or from a prebiotic supplement like NutriRise AdaptoZen Superfood Greens. When it comes to probiotics, look for fermented food like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and miso, which are rich in healthy living bacteria or consider taking a probiotic supplement. 

It's also worth noting that everyone's gut microbiome is unique, so what works for one person may not work for another. That's why it's important to listen to your body and pay attention to any changes you may experience when incorporating prebiotic fiber and probiotics into your diet. If you experience any digestive issues or discomfort, be sure to speak with your healthcare provider.




Final thoughts 


In a nutshell, prebiotics, and probiotics are two different things, but both are essential to a healthy gut. Prebiotics serve as food for the good bacteria in your gut, while probiotics are the good bacteria themselves. Incorporating prebiotic and probiotic foods into your diet and/or a high-quality supplement can help support a healthy gut environment and improve your overall health. 

Just be sure to choose the right probiotic for you and listen to your body's reactions. Your gut will thank you!

Find out more additional information here on improving your gut health from an MD.



Note: This article is for informational purposes only and not intended for use as medical advice. Always consult your healthcare provider before starting any dietary supplement.


Zaheera Swing
Nutritional Therapist & Herbalist BSc Hons Nutritional Science + NTPD
As a qualified Nutritional Therapist (BSc Hons Nutritional Science + NTPD), Zaheera Swing has a deep passion for restoring balance and harmony to the body through the modalities of nutritional science, herbalism, and holistic lifestyle practices. Using the functional medicine model coupled with wisdom from ancient paradigms, she aims to provide insight into the underlying root causes of poor health and the holistic tools we can harness to enhance the well-being of mind, body, and spirit.
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