Gut health is all the rage in the beverage aisle nowadays. The options are overwhelming : kefirs, kombuchas, probiotic tonics, yogurts and vinegars. Probiotics have come a long ways from the sugary flavorless Yakult. But why are probiotics important anyway? And are some more important than others? Here's your guide to this new food frenzy.
Your Microbial Landscape
Our bodies contain millions upon millions of bacteria. In fact bacteria outnumber the number of human cells in our body 10 to 1 (NIH.gov). We mostly associate bacteria with making us sick but that is a really small percentage, most bacteria are essential in helping our bodies run smoothly. Bacteria produce vitamins, help us digest food and consume harmful pathogens.
Prebiotics vs Probiotics
Think of prebiotics as food for probiotics. Prebiotics are found naturally in many foods and are indigestible by human enzymes. It provides the perfect nutrients for the microbes that live in your body so that they can multiply. So prebiotics are not an actual organism more so of a food that encourages growth of healthy bacteria and builds up your biome.
Probiotics on the other hand are the actual living organisms that thrive in your body. Two of the most common are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. These little bacterium are responsible for helping you digest and get nutrients out of your food. It has been proven that adding probiotics to your diet can help you with symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Side effects are rare but would mainly include gas. However those with a compromised immune system or chronic health condition should talk to their doctor before consuming raw foods.
This is just a quick primer into the world of probiotics and hopefully now you can walk down the beverage aisle with knowledge of what's on the labels. Our line of tonics and concentrates contain both probiotics and prebiotics making it a super drink for your gut.