One of the questions I get asked most often is about the difference between probiotics and prebiotics. I get it: the names sound pretty similar, and just from the name, it’s hard to tell exactly what either one of them is.
These are two different items, though, and the difference between them is actually pretty interesting. Understanding the distinction can help you take significant steps to enhance your health, increase your energy, boost your mood, sharpen your mind, and shed any excess weight you want to get rid of.
Probiotics and Prebiotics Support Your Microbiome
Probiotics and prebiotics are both important because they help support your microbiome, the community of trillions of bacteria that live within your body, helping it function at peak health and wellness.
When friendly bacteria predominate, you glow with health. Your weight stays at a healthy level, your metabolism hums, your energy overflows, and you feel optimistic, clear, and focused. Your immune system is in terrific shape, helping stave of infections and illness.
When unfriendly bacteria dominate, however, you struggle along. You gain weight and can’t seem to lose it. You crave sugar. You’re vulnerable to yeast infections, not to mention colds, flu, acne, and numerous other symptoms. You feel fatigued and can experience what I call feeling tired and wired. You might struggle with anxiety and depression. The unfriendly bacteria that have hijacked your microbiome are undermining your health and well-being.
So how do you eliminate the unfriendly bacteria that’s making you feel crummy and preventing you from losing weight? You can take probiotics to add millions of friendly bacteria to your microbiome and prebiotics to nourish the friendly bacteria that’s already in your gut.
Probiotics Replenish, and Prebiotics Nourish Friendly Bacteria
Probiotics can be found in capsules, powders, or foods that actually contain live friendly bacteria. You can buy probiotic capsules and powders at health-food stores or online. You can find live bacteria in such probiotic foods as yogurt, kefir (fermented milk), kombucha (a fermented drink), sauerkraut, kimchee (a Korean fermented cabbage), and pickled vegetables of all types.
If you want to take a probiotic in capsule or powder form, take one pill or packet a day. Look for the following qualities: