There are many foods and companies now touting the benefits of prebiotics and probiotics. These brands include Benefiber, Metamucil, Yoplait, Activia, and more. You might wonder what these compounds are supposed to do and if they really work.
Today I’ll give you the down and dirty on biotics!
When it comes to bacteria, you probably already know that there are "good" bacteria and "bad" bacteria. Probiotics are "good" bacteria. This "good" bacteria actually help our bodies stay healthy by maintaining the right balance and not allowing the "bad" bacteria to take over. When it comes to the health of our colons, this concept is especially important.
Most often, the "good" bacteria come from two groups:
There are many different types of bacteria that fall into these two groups, but will always start with the group name. You can find them advertised on some products like yogurt and certain types of milk.
It can be confusing to hear the terms probiotics and prebiotics, because they sound similar but are actually different. You now know that probiotics are "good" bacteria. So what are prebiotics?
In order to keep the right amount of "good" bacteria in your intestines, you need to feed it the right food to keep it there. That is where prebiotics come in. Prebiotics are just food for probiotics.
There are many things that can feed good bacteria. These include packaged products as well as natural foods that you eat. One example of a prebiotic product is Benefiber. The prebiotic adder you may see on food labels is inulin. Also, many fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds have components that function as prebiotics.
Next time I’ll talk more about how to include biotics in your diet to keep your colon and the rest of your body healthy!