Probiotics and Prebiotics: where to get them and their benefits
Probiotics are found in food and sometimes added to some food, foods that have added probiotics always have written on them “live and active culture”, that is the way to know. Foods that have added probiotics usually contain Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium bacteria, or Streptococcus thermophiles. Some food contains more than one probiotics in them. One of the advantages of eating probiotics is that they have a low glycemic index (GI) and therefore will not spike your blood glucose compared to others with similar carbohydrate. Some yogurts heat-treated so as to extend their shelf life, but this process destroys their probiotics content and may not serve the purpose stated.
The following food contains probiotics;
• Kefir (a cultured drink that is similar to yogurt)
• Acidophilus milk
• Sour cream
• Aged cheeses (Gouda, Swiss, etc.)
• Cottage cheese that contains active cultures
• Miso (a fermented soybean paste)
• Tempeh (a fermented soybean product)
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Other foods that may contain added probiotics are certain varieties of cereal, juice, frozen yogurt, and even candy.
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Prebiotics are foods for probiotics; Prebiotics are indigestible nutrients that pass through the digestive system until they are fermented in the large intestine by bacteria. Prebiotics are what makes probiotics thrive. Here are benefits of prebiotics;
Boosts the absorption of minerals, like as calcium, iron, and magnesium
• Promote proper functioning of the bowel and regularity
• Inhibiting growth of cancerous lesions in the digestive tract
• Improves the immune system
• Lowering blood cholesterol levels
The following are natural dietary sources of prebiotics;
• Jerusalem artichoke
• Chicory root
• Wheat bran
Prebiotics are also added to other foods as ingredients. They occur as ingredient in the following form;
- Inulin (don’t confuse this with insulin!), a type of fiber
- Fructooligosaccharides, which consist of connected sugars
- Galactooligosaccharides, which result from certain enzymes acting on lactose (“milk sugar”)
- Polydextrose, a synthetic type of fiber
- Maltodextrin derived from corn, rice, or potato starch
- Lactulose, a synthetic indigestible sugar
- Resistant starch, called this because it resists digestion (found naturally in cooked and cooled starchy foods such as pasta salad)
Prebiotics have no side effects. Probiotics and prebiotics are both play a vital role in sustaining good health. Whether through supplements or simply through dietary changes, you may find that adding these living organisms — and their food — to your diet ends up making you a happier organism, as well.