It can all get a bit confusing when discussing gut health as everything sounds the same and seems to have the same function. But don’t worry, this crash course into gut health terminology should clear a few things up!
Prebiotics, Probiotics and Gut Bacteria
Prebiotics and probiotics are easily confusable with regular gut bacteria – but there is a difference.
Probiotics are living microorganisms that you ingest through your diet (from fermented foods or even supplements) that add to your already existing microbiome (the naturally existing bacteria population within the gut).
Gut bacteria are microorganisms that already comprise part of your existing microbiome. I know, it’s a bit of a mind twister but bear with me!
Then you’ve got prebiotics. Prebiotics aren’t microorganisms but rather complex carbohydrates – yet again they come from your diet – that stimulate the growth of good gut bacteria. Think of prebiotics like fertiliser for a plant; they help boost growth and health.
Foods that contain high amounts of prebiotics include onion, garlic, cabbage, wheat bran, flaxseed, bananas, apples and more.
If you’re not getting enough prebiotics in your diet this could lead to an imbalance in your gut bacteria (more bad bacteria than good) which can further lead to health issues. If you’re worried about your gut health consider consulting a medical professional.
Want to know more? Read What Everybody Ought to Know About Gut Bacteria