Prebiotics and Probiotics- What’s the Difference? On CTV Ottawa Morning Live!

Prebiotics are non-digestible fiber that helps to sustain and support the life of other microorganisms, such as Probiotics.   A probiotic is a microorganism that essentially assists the body in processing food in the intestine, by assisting in the absorption of vitamins and minerals.  The job of the probiotic is essentially to keep things moving and flowing so that we can be happy and healthy human beings.

Prebiotics when broken down are basically just fiber.   They are composed of fiber that the body has a difficult time breaking down which means it gets left over for the probiotic to consume so that it can be of optimal health in order help ensure things keep moving in our intestines.

Food Sources of Prebiotics:
Yes, you got it, you can get these delectable prebiotic treats from your food because, remember Prebiotics are just fiber.  

Some of the foods that fall into the prebiotic fiber category are: raw Jerusalem artichokes, raw garlic, raw and cooked onion, raw leeks, raw asparagus, bananas, jicama, dandelion greens.
You probably noticed a bit of a trend with the above listed foods they are mostly raw, yes we get it raw onions sounds gross but leeks are basically a more mild sweeter version of a raw onion, and jicama is a delicious refreshing snack. Try adding these as an addition to cooked meals, uncooked on the top to reap the benefits.

If you have yet to try some jicama add this recipe to add to your summer snack list.

Easy Jicama Treats:
1 medium to large jicama, peeled and cut into sticks
½ lime, juiced
dash cayenne pepper
Directions:
Peel and cut jicama into French fry sized sticks, and place into a medium sized bowl.
Pour lime juice and sprinkle with cayenne pepper, stir with a spoon to coat well and enjoy.

A Warning about Prebiotics:
There is supplemental forms of prebiotics however they are not likely needed.  There are scientific studies on prebiotics and the detrimental effects they may have when consumed in too high a quantity without an adequate consumption of probiotics, remember prebiotics are food for the probiotic.  So it is best to consume food sources of prebiotics to be sure you don’t over consume prebiotics leaving your body “backed up” and in an uncomfortable state.

Food Sources of Probiotics:
You have increased your intake of prebiotics,  now your next step is to ensure that you are consuming adequate amounts of probiotics so that your body doesn’t become backed up with non-digestible fiber.  Probiotics are often associated with supplements and yes probiotics in supplemental form will provide your body with the most ample source of those friendly little bacteria.  However  you can also boost your diet with probiotic rich foods.

Simply put probiotics are bacteria, which sounds a little gross until you realize that bacteria out numbers our human cells in a 10 to 1 ratio.  So basically, that means we are more bacteria than we are human! The good news here is that probiotics are the good guys, helping to support our immune health and our mental health.  Studies are showing that neurotransmitters responsible for our happiness are actually created in our intestines where the probiotics live.

Probiotics are found in our fermented foods, we know this sounds strange, fermented foods can sound kind of gross but trust us you are already eating some of these foods without even thinking about it.  One of the most popular probiotic rich foods out there is yogurt which you are probably already have as a snack or with your breakfast!  
Some other rich sources are sauerkraut (you have probably put this on perogies or a sausage), kimchi which is often served with Korean dishes and the very delicious sparkling beverage Komboucha.  
So see, even though you might not be taking probiotics in supplemental form, you are likely including these health boosting foods in your diet already!

Check out the link HERE!

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