Do You Need Prebiotics and Probiotics? Let’s Find Out

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You’re not alone if you have been struggling with your digestive health. In an age of ready-to-eat processed foods and sugary snacks, most people who eat a Western diet struggle with their gut health. So how can you change your diet in order to positively impact your gut health? Foods that have a positive effect on your digestive system include vegetables and fruits, especially those high in fiber like beans, broccoli, berries, avocados, and apples. 

Fortunately, not all foods high in fiber are fresh fruits and vegetables—which can be difficult to find in some locations and even more difficult to eat on a consistent basis. Surprisingly, coffee, tea, and wine are also high in micronutrients called polyphenols which can have a positive effect on your gut health. Do you ever notice the urge to go to the bathroom after you drink a cup of coffee or a glass of wine? The caffeine in coffee can cause colon contractions that stimulate bowel movements, and coffee also contains a hormone called gastrin which encourages bowel movements. Coffee can also promote the growth of good bacteria while offering antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. 

You have likely heard about the importance of good bacteria in gut health, but which foods contain good bacteria? What is the difference between pre and probiotic bacteria, and how can you incorporate them into your diet? Let’s find out.

The Gut Microbiome

In short, your gut microbiome is made up of live organisms that live in your intestinal tract. Probiotics are just some of these live organisms. Probiotics are good bacteria that help your body digest food, create vitamins, and prevent an excessive number of bad bacteria. Probiotics can be found in fermented foods like yogurt, kombucha, pickles, miso, kimchi, sourdough bread, and some types of cheese. If you struggle to fit these foods into your diet, you may want to opt for a multivitamin or supplement that provides probiotics. Prebiotics, on the other hand, are not live microorganisms. Prebiotics function as food for probiotics. While it may seem a bit disturbing to feed the organisms that live in your digestive tract, these helpful bacteria are proven to be essential for your health. 

It takes a lot for probiotics to reach your colon in order to aid in digestion. If you provide food for these helpful probiotics in the form of prebiotics, it may increase their likelihood of variation and survival. Prebiotics can help regulate bowel movements, help create hormones to regulate your appetite, improve your immune system, anti-inflammation, and even bone density. While prebiotics are not found in fermented foods, they are found in other healthy foods and complex carbs like bananas, oats, asparagus, soy beans, leeks, garlic, and onions. 

In addition to processed foods, there are a number of factors that can contribute to poor digestive health and an unhealthy gut. High-stress levels, dehydration, food intolerances, and poor sleep can also impact your digestion. 

Symptoms of Poor Gut Health

If you’re noticing symptoms such as gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, weight changes, sleep disturbances, and fatigue, you may be a victim of poor gut health. Additionally, if you often get sick, suffer from infections, or recently finished antibiotics, you may benefit from pre and probiotic supplements.

According to doctors and health experts, it is safe to take both prebiotics and probiotics at the same time. The two should be taken at least ten to fifteen minutes apart. Probiotics should be taken on an empty stomach while prebiotics should be taken with food. Prebiotics have been known to increase the effectiveness of probiotics, and taking these two supplements together is known as “microbiome therapy.”

Which is More Effective: Pre or Probiotics?

It does seem as though most health experts agree that pre and probiotic supplements support each other when taken alongside your daily multivitamin. However, some believe that probiotics won’t work at all without prebiotics. Because the journey through the digestive tract is so difficult for good bacteria, probiotics may die when they come into contact with stomach acid before they even reach the colon. Prebiotics, though, contribute to good gut health and the longevity of the good bacteria that already exists. The choice is yours, but there is no harm in taking both.

Conclusion

While possible, it can be tough to strengthen your gut health with the good bacteria that exists in food alone. Many of us try to incorporate yogurt and other fermented foods into our diet, but if you’re trying to determine the cause of your digestive issues, you may be trying to cut out certain foods. Fortunately, pre and probiotic supplements exist to provide you with the nutritional value that you need without the extra stress. For now, focus on reducing your stress, staying hydrated, and eating foods that make your body and mind feel good. All of these factors contribute to gut health and will have you feeling better in no time. 

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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Denial
Denial
1 month ago

The most important thing is to understand why they are needed and whether you have a deficit that needs to be closed. I started taking multivitamin for women only after consulting with doctors. It’s important not to do such things because it’s fashionable.