Our gut health plays a massive role in our entire being. With gut health being a popular trendy topic, it’s no surprise to see the words probiotic and prebiotics pop up. It might seem hard to believe, but gut issues can actually lead to depression and anxiety.
Knowing the difference between the two is essential for good gut health. Too much of one and not enough of the other, and vice versa, will create a total imbalance, leaving you with some gut health issues. Both probiotics and prebiotics are equally crucial to one another. Let’s find out why!
Probiotics are living strains of bacteria. Before you get grossed out, please know that bacteria in our gut is natural and necessary. The problems begin when there is an overgrowth of bacteria which turns things from good to bad.
The bacteria in our gut are crucial for breaking down the food we eat and helping the nutrition pass through to where it needs to go. There are all kinds of foods that are natural probiotics. Still, you can also go for probiotic drinks or supplements if you wish.
- Unpasteurized Pickles
Probiotics exist in fermented foods, but it is essential that they’re not pasteurized because when they are, it kills off the beneficial bacteria we need.
Prebiotics are basically food for the beneficial bacteria in your gut. Specialized plant fibers serve as food for the preexisting healthy bacteria in your gut. They need something to eat, and it should definitely be the right thing
- Jerusalem Artichokes
- Apples (with the skin)
You can make simple adjustments to your diet to revamp the colony of beneficial bacteria in your gut. Make sure to add probiotic and prebiotic foods. If you’re not a massive fan of the foods on the list, you can always use supplements.
Something important to know is that probiotics and supplements should always be kept in a refrigerator. If the probiotics are held in the heat for too long, they will kill off any of the bacteria you need. That being said, eating or drinking probiotics with dead bacteria will not come without symptoms. Being bloated, having gas, and discomfort in your gut are all signs that you’ve consumed some form of probiotic that is useless.
It’s always wise to speak to your doctor or a gastroenterologist to check out your gut health before you begin taking either probiotics or prebiotics. There are also at-home test kits you can get to find out if you’re dealing with something called SIBO, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. If you do have an overgrowth, you do not want to add any extra bacteria to your system.
An overgrowth of bacteria can lead to further gut health issues like leaky gut syndrome. Suppose you have preexisting gut or gastrointestinal problems. In that case, it’s even more imperative that your reach out to a professional in the field to assess your situation before you can begin repairing things.