Differentiating probiotics, prebiotics, and postbiotics can be confusing, to say the least. Although they sound similar, these substances serve different functions.
A “biotic” influences your microbiome, which is a colony of microorganisms and bacteria living in your body. It’s crucial to maintain a balanced microbiome, as it influences the health of your immune system and gastrointestinal system.
Probiotics, prebiotics, and postbiotics are required for a balanced microbiome. Here, we’ll go over the differences between these key ingredients.
Probiotics are live cultured bacteria and yeast found in cultured foods such as yogurt, kombucha, soft cheese, and other fermented foods.
Research suggests a link between consuming probiotics and improved digestive and immune health. They’re also useful in battling diarrhea caused by taking antibiotics.
Simply put, prebiotics is a food source for probiotics in the body. They mainly consist of dietary fibers and are found in high-fiber foods, such as greens, soybeans, bananas, yams, and barley.
The fiber found in prebiotics can’t be digested without the bacteria and fungi found in your intestines. In turn, the fiber acts as a fuel source for the microbiome living in your gut.
Postbiotics are produced by probiotics and prebiotics. Once probiotics process probiotics, postbiotics are formed in the gut. These metabolites play a role in supporting your digestive and immune health, along with maintaining a healthy microbiome. Whole fermented foods are great sources of postbiotics.
All three of these ingredients are required to maintain a healthy gut microbiome. But, if you’re struggling to consume them throughout your week, dietary supplements containing probiotics, prebiotics, and postbiotics are an excellent option to consider.