Prebiotics and probiotics. We meet them more often in publications – full with pro- and pre-. Somehow automatically assume that it is for something useful. But really, what’s the difference !?
Prebiotics are non-digestible dietary fibers, which stimulate the growth of so-called. good bacteria that live in the colon. In contrast, probiotics are live bacteria that are useful for the digestive tract of the human body.
Prebiotics derived from carbohydrates called oligosaccharides – indigestible fibers which pass along the entire length of the gastrointestinal tract without being digested or changed. During this transition, they stimulate the growth and development of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
Oligofructose and inulin are just two of the many fructo oligosaccharides that meet the criteria for prebiotics. Prebiotic fibers are resistant to thermal amplitudes and the increased acidity in the stomach, making them the perfect food for beneficial intestinal microorganisms. Thanks to the prebiotics in the gut the production of specific fatty acids is stimulated and this regulate the blood sugar levels and the body’s resistance to stress.
The effects of probiotics in the body are quite various. The most important of them are associated with the metabolic and the immune status of the organism:
* They increase the number of bifidobacteri.
* They increase absorption of calcium, magnesium and iron.
* They supports the immune system.
Prebiotics are found in many plants which are desirable to consume every day for better health, better working of the digestive system, better absorption of vitamins and calcium, more energy, and even weight loss. Here are the best allies in the fight against the “bad”bacteria.
- Asparagus. Full of fiber, folic acid and vitamins B, even contain little protein. A natural diuretic, which prevents swelling.
- Chicory – 66.4% of its weight is pure prebiotic.
- Bananas. Rich in fiber, bananas are a large source of potassium, vitamin B and vitamin C. Preferably eat well-ripe bananas.
- Onion and leek. Onions is full of antioxidants. If you do not like raw, sauté or cook gently before using it to break down sugars in the intestine.
- Garlic. Rich in inulin, which has excellent antibacterial properties. Garlic kills bad bacteria and promotes the growth of good bacteria. It is high in vitamin B6, which helps metabolism and nervous system.
- Cabbage. Wonderful probiotic food, which can do wonders in the kitchen. Not surprisingly, is the main ingredient in making sauerkraut. Cabbage is rich in vitamins B complex, minerals and vitamin C.
- Potatoes, carrots, turnips – easy to digest and are rich in fiber and don’t have many calories.
- Apples. Wonderful because of the antioxidants, contain pectin and are useful for digestion. Pectin is food for the good bacteria, and are a source of inulin and natural folic acid. Apples also help to maintain the levels of the cholesterol.
Prebiotics can be found in large amounts in beans, whole grains and fruits. Prebiotics can also be taken as supplements or added to the food even when is manufacturing. They are added to many foods, such as yogurt, cereals, breads, crackers, dairy desserts, ice creams and formula.
Prebiotics improve the balance of minerals and affect glucose and stimulate the growth of good bacteria.
The bacteria in the gut can be beneficial or harmful. In fact, in a healthy organism “good” and “bad” microorganisms inhabiting the colon, are in a dynamic balance. Beneficial bacteria depress the growth and development of the pathogenic bacteria and fungi that can cause diarrhea, constipation and infections of the intestines.
Probiotics are live bacteria that belong to the “good” bacteria. The most popular types of probiotics are strains belonging to the family of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria. Undoubtedly the best natural sources of probiotics are yogurt, kefir and other dairy products. There are many nutritional supplements that also contain probiotics.
A diet that includes intake of pre- and probiotics brings real health benefits. The first stimulate the growth of probiotic bacteria and hence hold the development of pathogenic strains.
The appropriate combination of probiotics and prebiotics helps preventing various health problems and disorders of the digestive tract, bladder, vagina, liver, as well as constipation and diarrhea. A number of studies have shown that maintaining a good microflora in the gut reduces also the risk of colorectal cancer and keeps the electrolyte balance in the body.
Yogurt is one of the richest sources of probiotics. It contains “good” bacteria such as lactobacillus and bifidobacteria, leading to a better balance of the intestine. Studies have shown that probiotics can help relieve lactose intolerance, to calm the stomach gas, make you get rid of diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems.
Sauerkraut contains beneficial microbes as Leuconostoc Pediococcus and Lactobacillus. Sauerkraut belongs to the so-called functional foods – that not only provides us with energy but also contains components which assist in the prevention or treatment of specific diseases. The cabbage itself is in the ranks of the super foods – protects against aging, inflammation and even cancer.
They are among the most nutritious and rich in probiotics foods. Such cheeses are Cheddar, Parmesan, etc. You can combine soft cheeses with a glass of red wine, which is full of antioxidants.
When you are looking for pickles, which are rich in probiotics, choose those that are naturally fermented and in the process was not used vinegar. Sea salt encourages the multiplication of good bacteria, so you can eat cucumbers, for which preparation was used sea salt.
This is a fermented milk drink, which is characterized by high levels of lactobacillus, bifidus bacteria and antioxidants. Today, thanks to increasing interest in fermented foods, Kefir comes in various flavors variants in almost every grocery store.
Today the probiotics are prescribed by doctors and by nutritionists for various diseases and eating disorders as well as for total strengthening of the body. It is known that the intake of antibiotics can destroy not only the bad but also the good bacteria in the body.
This condition is known as dysbiosis and may proceed with a variety of symptoms – diarrhea, cramping and intestinal gases. It is recommended taking probiotics in order to restore the balance in the digestive tract. You should start taking them together with the antibiotics.
One of the most important requirements for the probiotic bacteria is their ability to stay alive in their passing through the upper sections of the gastrointestinal tract. There they are exposed to various factors such as the acidity of gastric juice, alkalinity of the bile acids, chemicals in the gastrointestinal juices, biological effects of pancreatic enzymes, etc.
Probiotic bacteria strains must possess qualities that allow them to cross this barrier and reach alive and in sufficient quantity to the colon, where they will settle and multiply.
Probiotic bacteria have a positive impact on the human body by directly colonize on the intestinal mucosa of the intestine and start to produce vital enzymes and cellular bio products. Probiotic bacteria are not permanent inhabitant of the human microbial flora, so should be taken with food constantly and for a long time in order to be able to feel their positive effects.