Prebiotics vs probiotics

Prebiotics vs probiotics with sports dietician Simone Austin at the MindBodySpirit Festival in Sydney.

Simone Austin is an Accredited Practising Dietitian, Advanced Sports Dietitian and author. She has over 25 years experience working in elite sport, with some of Australia’s most successful sporting teams - The Australian Men’s Cricket Team and Hawthorn AFL football Club during their 3 premiership years.

Prebiotics are a form of dietary fiber that feed the “friendly” bacteria in your gut. Prebiotics are fibers that aren’t digestible by your body but can help good bacteria grow in your gut. Since your body doesn’t digest these plant fibers, they travel to your lower digestive tract to be a food source for the healthy bacteria in your gut.

This allows your gut bacteria to produce nutrients for your colon cells, which leads to a healthier digestive system.

Some of the best prebiotic sources include dandelion greens, garlic, chicory root, onions, leek, jerusalem artichokes, bananas, whole oats, barely, apples & seaweed.

Probiotics are live bacteria found in certain foods or supplements. Probiotics, which are usually called beneficial bacteria, provide all sorts of powerful benefits for your body and brain. They may improve digestive health, reduce depression, promote heart health & evidence suggests they may even give you better-looking skin. Some of the best sources of probiotics include yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, tempeh, natto, miso, kimchi, kombucha & pickles.

Whole fermented probiotic foods are much better than supplments as they generally contain a much greater diversity & quantity of bacteria as well as other synergistic bioactives.

Fermented foods are far more potent than probiotic supplements. 2 ounces of sauerkraut has more probiotics than 100 capsules. 4-6 ounces of fermented vegetables has around 10 trillion bacteria, compared to the average probiotic supplement that contains around 10 billion.

Japanese superfood Natto (fermented soybeans) is an excellent source of probiotics.

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