Prebiotic and probiotic foods have an important role in your diet and maintaining a healthy gut, but what is the difference between the two?
Many of us are familiar with the word probiotics, but prebiotics are often misunderstood.
Probiotics are live bacteria that live in our gut. They are generally found in fermented products such as yoghurts, certain cheeses, kefir and kombucha. As probiotics can be impacted by temperature, acidity and other factors, consuming probiotics doesn’t mean they’re always going to survive the journey to your gut where you benefit from them.
Prebiotics however are a type of complex carbohydrate that are found in a variety of foods and supplements. Their purpose is to feed the ‘good’ bacteria in the gut encouraging them to thrive and increase in number.
Simply put, prebiotics work much like fertilisers in a garden. Prebiotics feed the ‘good bacteria’ (or probiotics) which directly connect with our digestive health, immunity, and even mental wellbeing.
Consuming prebiotic and probiotic foods is a simple way to maintain good gut bacteria. If you are struggling to get enough prebiotic fibre from diet alone, consider complementing this with a prebiotic fibre supplement like Bimuno that can help to provide optimal support for your gut health. Backed by science, taste free and high in fibre, the prebiotic powder can be mixed with any food or drink to become a part of your daily routine.
8 prebiotic and probiotic foods and how you can add them to your diet:
· Miso Paste - Miso is a Japanese seasoning made from fermented soy beans. It can be used in sauces, dressings, batters and soups. When using Miso paste, add towards the end of cooking as prolonged cooking time can kill the probiotics.
· Sauerkraut - Sauerkraut is popular in central and eastern Europe. It is fermented cabbage that comes in a jar and can be used in hot/cold sandwiches and salads. Again, to get the most benefits from the probiotics, make sure not to kill the bacteria by heating it.
· Kombucha - Kombucha tea is a drink which originates from eastern Asia. It is now being home brewed worldwide and is an easy way to incorporate probiotics into everyday life. It is a combination of water, sugar, green/black tea, kombucha and a scoby or ‘symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast’ all fermenting together.
· Kimchi - Kimchi is a Korean side dish that is popular worldwide and similarly to sauerkraut, is made from fermented cabbage. However, it also contains radish, garlic and red chilli. Use it as a side dish or include it in stews and stir-fries.
· Flaxseed - Hailed as a superfood, Flaxseed is a great source of fibre and prebiotics. Use it as an ingredient when baking or sprinkle into yoghurt, cereal or porridge to add a prebiotic boost to start the day.
· Lentils - There are various types of this popular legume, but all contain prebiotics. They are widely available and versatile to cook with. You can use them in soups, salads, stews, dals, dips and spreads.
· Oatcakes - Oats are a great source of prebiotics, so try to include oatcakes in your cupboards. They are a great snack on their own or with a topping of your choice.
· Bran - Bran is the hard outer layers of various cereal grains and is very high in fibre and prebiotics. Use bran in your diet via cereal or other products such as cookies or bread sticks that are also made with bran.
So why not add some prebiotic and probiotic foods into your shopping basket this week? Your gut bacteria will thank you for it.
If you are in need of some recipe inspiration, find out more on the different ways to use Bimuno Daily on our Recipe section.