We often hear the term prebiotics and probiotics, but do we actually know what these are? Nutrition research has claimed certain functional components of foods that improve health and these probiotics and prebiotics are two such components.
Although these are available in supplement form, it is not mandatory to use special pills, potions, cleanses or other concoctions to blend prebiotics and probiotics into your diet. These “nutrition boosters” are natural ingredients in everyday food we eat. Nutritionists and dietitians recommend individuals to focus on food sources primarily, as they are more readily available for absorption and digestion.
This field of nutrition is still under research. Read further to get a complete knowledge on the effectiveness of these substances and the amount of these substances required for optimal health benefits.
Prebiotics and their Advantages
Prebiotics are not foods, but natural, non-digestible food components that help to promote the growth of helpful bacteria in the gut. To put it in layman words, they’re “good” bacteria promoters which brings to light the fact that not all bacteria are bad. Prebiotics stimulate gastrointestinal health and calcium absorption.
Day-to-Day Foods Rich in Prebiotics
Prebiotics include fructooligosaccharides, such as inulin and galactooligosaccharides. Instead of trying hard to remember these words, add prebiotics in your regular meals by eating foods such as bananas, onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, artichokes, soybeans and whole-wheat foods.
Probiotics and their Advantages
Probiotics are the “good” bacteria or live cultures similar to the ones present in your gut. These active cultures assist in changing or repopulating intestinal bacteria to balance gut flora. This functional component helps to boost immunity and overall health, specifically GI health. Probiotics help to manage irritable bowel syndrome, prevent specific allergy symptoms, reduce symptoms of lactose intolerance and more. The success degree differs from person to person.
Foods Rich in Probiotics
Fermented dairy foods like yogurt, kefir products, aged cheese (these contain live cultures like bifidobacteria and lactobacilli) and non-dairy foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh and cultured non-dairy yogurts are good sources of these probiotics.
Consuming foods containing probiotics and prebiotics in meals helps to mold a healthier individual.
Get in touch with a registered dietitian nutritionist at www.firsteatright.com for further guidance on obtaining prebiotics and probiotics for your specific health needs, primarily when you have GI issues or a weakened immune system.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.