Prebiotics and probiotics are considered “nutrition boosters”that are naturally present in everyday foods. Although there are prebiotic and probiotic supplements available, those found naturally in food are more readily digested and absorbed.
Prebiotics are natural, nondigestible food components linked to promoting the growth of “good” bacteria in your gut. Prebiotics help good bacteria grow in your gut and might also help your body better absorb calcium.
Probiotics are actual live cultures of “good” bacteria that are naturally found in your gut. These help balance or grow the bacteria you need in your gut. Probiotics may help enhance immunity and overall health, especially intestinal health. Probiotics have been used to treat irritable bowel syndrome, to lower lactose intolerance symptoms, and to prevent some allergy symptoms; however, the benefits vary person-to-person.
Try to include both prebiotics and probiotics in meals and snacks since they work together to restore and improve gut health. For example, enjoy a cup of yogurt with a banana at breakfast or top sautéed asparagus with melted aged cheese for dinner.
For a more extensive review of prebiotics and probiotics, register to view the 2010 Current Issues in Nutrition webinar, “The Good Gut Bugs: Prebiotics and Probiotics.”