Prebiotics, probiotics – what’s the deal? In the increasingly saturated world of health and wellness buzzwords, mixing up these almost interchangeable terms can be an unsurprisingly common occurrence. But fear not, folks: The super-sleuths at team Applelachia are here to save you the confusion, with the skinny on these two very different (but equally important) gut-health key players ☺!
Did you know that your digestive system, much like every other surface of your body – is actually covered in trillions (!) of microscopic organisms? ‘Probiotics’ are just that. The term refers to the bacteria that resides within your gut to help keep everything ship-shape. Think of probiotics as the friendly repairs and maintenance guys that come by once in a while to make sure your apartment structure, electricals, plumbing, etc. are in good working order (sans mildly-awkward-hallway-greetings and the occasional accidental mooning).
These micro legends:
- Are found in most fermented food and drinks, such as kombucha, sauerkraut, yogurt, and kefir.
- Break down fibre to produce nutrients for cells that line the bowel, and correct the PH balance in the large intestine – keeping the overall digestive system healthy.
- Probiotics come in many varieties, but are comprised mainly of bacteria from either the Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium groups.
- There is roughly 10 times more bacteria than human cells in your body (over 100 trillion), and probiotics make up a large part of this community. All in all, this actually accounts for 1-3 % of the entire body’s mass: In the average weight of an adult human, that’s almost 2 kg!
Just as probiotics have their role to play, prebiotics also serve their own vital purpose in keeping you operating at full function. Picture it like a dinner party: if your ‘guests’ are the probiotics, then the prebiotics are your dinner spread. Prebiotics are a combination of fibre and non-digestible carbohydrates found in many fruits and vegetables which act as the sole source of sustenance for the probiotics protecting your digestive system. Prebiotics are food for probiotics, and without them, probiotics simply cannot function or survive!
True heroes in their own right, prebiotics:
- Ferment in the large colon to feed the gut bacteria, allowing them to thrive and become more effective.
- Have been found to reduce the absorption of cholesterol, helping in turn to reduce and prevent high blood pressure.
- Studies show that increasing prebiotic consumption improves immunity, digestive health, mood, cognitive function – & the list goes on.
- Raw apple cider vinegar is one of the most valuable sources of this gut-health goodness, with the added bonus of potent antimicrobial properties to go with its prebiotic Pectin content for an overall, supercharged wellness. Double whammy!
So there you have it. As demonstrated in our very clever dinner party analogy, both prebiotics and probiotics are equally as crucial in guaranteeing a healthier, happier you. So go on, get #yourdailydose of prebiotic goodness the easiest (and tastiest) way: Crack into a bottle of Applelachia today and let the good times roll.