Are prebiotics and probiotics healthy for you gut?

Published: 08:22AM 29 November 2022

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Jayti Shah

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Prebiotic vitamins are probably available on the shelves of any health food or drugstore. They promote that they can promote digestion, boost one's immune system, lower blood sugar, and more. They come packaged as powders, candies, pills, and beverages.

Nutritional studies are currently being carried out to find which probiotic strains are prevalent in various foods and which ones are beneficial to health. Despite the fact that this is still a developing field, there are a few important considerations.

Prebiotics and probiotics for gut health (Image courtesy - iStock photo)

What are prebiotics and probiotics?

Prebiotics, meanwhile, are chemicals that encourage the development of healthy microorganisms in the stomach. They are full of nutrients high in fiber, such as green bananas, asparagus, garlic, onion, barley, and wheat bran.

Probiotics are the live organisms found in like kimchi and some yogurts as well as in medicines used to enhance gut health and are commonly confused by people.

What are their benefits?

  1. Aid with bowel movement control.
  2. Produce neurotransmitters that activate several processes, particularly mood changes, in your gut and brain.
  3. Help your body to create hormones that help reduce hunger, appetite suppression, and other functions.
  4. Increasing the absorption and assimilation of calcium and phosphorus in your bones can enhance bone density.
  5. Increase the performance of your immune system.
  6. Improve your body's response to inflammation.
  7. Accelerate the demand for healthy bacteria while reducing the creation of disease-causing harmful bacteria.

Prebiotics food sources

Inulin and galactooligosaccharides are types of fructooligosaccharides, which are prebiotics. By eating extra fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, such as bananas, onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, beans, and whole-grain meals, you can increase the amount of prebiotics in your diet without focusing on these long terms.

Garlic contains a substance called inulin which is a prebiotic (Image courtesy - iStock photo)

Probiotics food sources

Live cultures like bifidobacteria and lactobacilli are typically observed in fermented dairy products including yogurt, kefir, and some cheeses. These active cultures may function as probiotics. Other fermented foods, such as kimchi, miso, tempeh, and cultured non-dairy yogurts.

Yogurt contains a substance called lacto-bacilli which is a probiotic (Image courtesy - iStock photo)

Why should they be consumed regularly?

In the end, probiotics and prebiotics collaborate. Prebiotics are the living probiotics' breakfast, lunch, and dinner, which can aid to enhance gut health.

Including functional foods that are good for your health, such as those that include both prebiotics and probiotics, helps you become healthier. That may include serving yogurt with bananas on top or stir-frying asparagus with tempeh.

Contact a licensed dietitian nutritionist for detailed guidance on where to find prebiotics and probiotics for your own unique health needs, especially if you have digestive problems or a compromised immune system.

Should you take probiotic supplements?
Probiotic supplements are live, useful bacteria or yeast-containing pills, powders, or liquids.

Although they are widely used and simple to locate, not all of them are worthwhile investments. They don't all have the same strains of bacteria or at the same levels. Additionally, numerous items on the market are making promises without any supporting evidence

Additionally, they frequently lack fiber food sources for the bacteria to consume, which can reduce their efficiency if someone isn't also consuming such foods.

As with other dietary supplements, you might want to speak with a medical expert who is familiar with probiotics.

There isn't a supplement that is optimal for you in terms of prebiotics and probiotics(Image courtesy - iStock photo)


Prebiotics and probiotics are both crucial for preserving gut health. Prebiotics serves as food for probiotic and other bacteria, whereas probiotics raise the number of good bacteria in the gut and encourage their growth. Both probiotics and prebiotics can be obtained naturally from food, but after consulting their doctor, people can also utilize supplements. It is suggested to contact a certified nutritionist before making major diet recommendations.

Jayti Shah is a Clinical Nutritionist with a master's degree in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a member of the Indian Dietetic Association (IDA). Over the last 9 years, she has helped 400 clients in their clinical and weight loss journeys. She works with SocialBoat as a nutrition consultant. We hope this article helps you to thoroughly understand the difference between prebiotics and probiotics.

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