Probiotics and Prebiotics: The Benefits of Gut Health
Gut health is essential for overall well-being, and probiotics and prebiotics are two ways to support a healthy gut. In this blog post, we’ll explore what probiotics and prebiotics are, their benefits, and how to incorporate them into your diet.
What Are Probiotics and Prebiotics?
Probiotics are live bacteria that are beneficial for your gut (1). They are found in certain foods and supplements, and can help improve digestion, boost immunity, and even improve mental health.
Prebiotics, on the other hand, are non-digestible fibers that feed the good bacteria in your gut (2). They are found in foods such as garlic, onions, and asparagus, and can help improve digestion and support a healthy immune system.
Benefits of Probiotics and Prebiotics
1. Improved Digestion
Probiotics and prebiotics can help improve digestion by balancing the bacteria in your gut (3). This can help reduce digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.
2. Stronger Immune System
A healthy gut is essential for a strong immune system (4). Probiotics and prebiotics can help support the growth of good bacteria in your gut, which can help boost your immune system.
3. Better Mental Health
There is a strong connection between gut health and mental health (5). Probiotics have been shown to improve symptoms of anxiety and depression, and may even help reduce stress levels.
How to Incorporate Probiotics and Prebiotics Into Your Diet
Probiotics are found in foods such as yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut, as well as in supplements. When choosing a probiotic supplement, look for one that contains multiple strains of bacteria and has at least 1 billion CFUs (colony forming units).
Prebiotics are found in foods such as garlic, onions, asparagus, bananas, and oats. Adding these foods to your diet can help support the growth of good bacteria in your gut.
Probiotics and prebiotics are essential for gut health and overall well-being. By incorporating probiotic-rich foods and supplements, as well as prebiotic foods, into your diet, you can support a healthy gut and improve digestion, boost immunity, and even improve mental health. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplements or making significant changes to your diet.
Check out our blog post 8 tips to optimise your gut health for more information
- Isolauri, E., Salminen, S. & Ouwehand, A. C., 2004. Probiotics. Best Practice & Research Clinical Gastroenterology, 18(2), pp. 299-313.
- Gibson, G. R. et al., 2010. Dietary prebiotics: current status and new definition. Food Science and Technology, 7(1), pp. 1-19.
- Balakrishnan, Maya; Floch, Martin H., 2012. Prebiotics, probiotics and digestive health. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, 15(6), pp. 580-585.
- Shokryazdan, P., Faseleh Jahromi, M., Navidshad, B. & Liang , J. B., 2017. Effects of prebiotics on immune system and cytokine expression. Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Volume 206, pp. 1-9.
- Ansari, F., Pourjafar, H., Tabrizi, A. & Homayouni, A., 2020. The Effects of Probiotics and Prebiotics on Mental Disorders: A Review on Depression, Anxiety, Alzheimer, and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, 21(7).