Prebiotics vs. Probiotics and why you should know what they are
Prebiotics and probiotiocs are hard words to pronounce, especially when you’re
trying to differentiate the two, but it doesn’t need to be a difficult concept to
understand. While Prebiotics and probiotic sound similar and would make good
tongue twisters, the two couldn’t be anymore different. They are also super
important to know about.
Prebiotic Fibres, simply put are food ingredients that allow the spread of healthy
bacteria in your colon. These would include fibre rich foods that’s probably
sitting on your kitchen shelf right now, like bananas, apple skins, plums and
many other fruits. Once digested, these foods would go through the small
intestines and goes through a fermentation process when in the colon.
On the other hand, Probiotics are the good bacteria – the ones that keep your
digestive system clean and disease-free. They are created through the
fermentation process and the fibres that you eat feed these bacteria. Yogurt,
bananas or banana flavoured Yogurt, are all good examples of foods that help in
That’s enough 8th grade biology for today and you’re all asking why anyone in the
world would want to know such thing.
The answer is simple: it aids in digestion. See, not all bacteria is bad, in fact, in
order for you body to run properly, it relies on colonies of good bacteria.
Probiotic bacteria gained from prebiotic fibre are such examples, as they aid in
Plum, for example, is a small fruit, no bigger than a tennis ball, that is known to
be a potent source of prebiotic fibres. Research conducted by Ezinne Igwe and
Karen Charlton found that plums have antioxidant and antiallergic properties,
and the fibre from plum aids in digestion. The prebiotic fibres help feed the
probiotic bacteria which in turn will colonise your colon and help spread healthy
There seems to be a large number of complicated words in the last paragraph,
such as “antioxidant” and it may seem like a lot to digest, but let’s break it down.
Antioxidants: are natural plant substances that protect the body from damage
done by free radical cells. Case in point, antioxidants prevents oxidation (as the
name suggests) which is a contributing factor towards aging, cardiovascular
disease and infections.
When you eat plum, these bacteria travel through your digestive system, a.k.a.
the gut and start their work on your colon. Probiotics are often prescribed to
patients suffering from constipation and similar health ailments (Byrne, 2009)
What about juices and pills?
Juices and pills are a little bit in the gray area, mainly because the freshness or
the fruits they make are questionable. Fruits, such as bananas and plums have
very short shelf lives and in order to stop it from spoiling, companies extract all
the oxygen, leaving virtually nothing but liquid (Hamilton, 2009). Hamilton
(2009) suggests that the added sugar in fruit juices, could reach 22g, which is as
much as a can of Soda beverage, for comparison. Ultimately making everything
counter productive since you’re ultimately drinking sugar water. It’s also very
appealing to think that all this could be consumed in a pill or drunk from a
grocery store juice box, but the truth is, the best way to get the bang for you buck
is to eat the actual fruit.
Some find that taking a healthy dose of probiotic, from a plum or an Apple for
example, improves their digestion and those who suffer from constipation also
found it to be helpful during the bowl movement process.
According to Lawrence (2018), because each body is different, it is very useful to
know which prebiotic and probiotic is needed. Not all digestive systems are born
equal and much like other forms of microorganisms in our body, probiotic
bacteria are fragile.
Which foods are the best?
Plenty of fruits are rich sources of prebiotics, such as Plums, Apples and Bananas
that produce prebiotics that will colonise the colon. Yogurt is also an excellent
source of probiotic bacteria.
Oats and grains are an excellent source of fibre, which as we know, are an
excellent source of probiotic bacteria.
You can find these foods and fruits and your local grocery stores and some
businesses also trade online: https://gruenepflaume.de/