Probiotic Foods and Prebiotic Foods
We always say, you don’t have to take a supplement to get your probiotics and prebiotics.
But if you don’t want to take supplements, you don’t have to!
Probiotics and Prebiotics Through Diet?
Yes, you can definitely give your microbiome everything it needs by eating a diet rich in probiotic and prebiotic foods.
So, why do so many people supplement with probiotics?
For a lot of people, eating probiotic foods on a regular basis can be tricky. Prebiotic foods, however, are often easer to incorporate into the diet. (Read on to find out why!)
In fact, I have been told by many of our customers that probiotics are the only thing they take as a supplement, because they can get all their other dietary needs me through food alone.
Regardless if you choose to supplement with probiotics/prebiotics or not, this article will showcase which foods are the most probiotic rich, and which foods are prebiotic rich.
And! Even if you do take a probiotic supplement, eating gut-healthy food is important and will help your mental and physical health.
While you’re here, this article will also breakdown: what’s the difference between probiotics and prebiotics? Why do we need both? And what are some ways to get these into your diet? So keep reading to find out!
The Difference Between Probiotic and Prebiotics
First off, probiotics are good bacteria — live microorganisms— that are good for you and especially good for your digestive system.
You can get plenty of probiotics from your diet if you regularly eat fermented foods. (More on that below.)
Prebiotics are the fiber that feed on good bacteria. Prebiotics are non-digestible carbohydrates (don’t worry, that’s a good thing!).
Rather than being digested, prebiotics are used to feed our gut bacteria. Prebiotics work like a fertilizer to replenish the good bacteria in our gut.
Why Do We Need Both Probiotics and Prebiotics?
Here’s the deal: in order to create a healthy microbiome, including both probiotics and prebiotics will be most beneficial.
Why? Because probiotics and prebiotics have a synergistic relationship, working together to improve good bacterial diversity and enhance microbiome health.
Why does this matter? Having plenty of good bacteria keeps you healthy and balances your overall well being. It’s not just about digestive health or physical health; it’s about your mental health, too.
By focusing on FEEDING the good bacteria with prebiotics, you will more fully enhance your microbiome.
Again, we always say, you don’t have to take a probiotic/prebiotic supplement if you get enough of the right food in your diet.
But for some of us, a quick capsule of the good stuff: good bacteria & fertilizing fiber (nothing more and nothing less!) is handy and so helpful!
Examples of Probiotic Foods
When it comes to consuming more good bacteria, it’s all about eating more FERMENTED foods.
Fermented foods contain probiotics, which help to enhance your microbiome. They do this by restoring balance to your gut, which keeps your body healthy.
Some people don’t prefer the taste of fermented foods, which is what I was talking about earlier when I mentioned the option of supplementing.
If you love them (or can learn to like them!), these foods are great for gut health.
The top probiotic rich foods are:
Yogurt* (fermented milk)
Kimchi (fermented vegetable mixture)
Sauerkraut (fermented cabbage)
Kefir* (fermented yogurt beverages)
Kombucha (fermented tea)
Pickles (must be fermented-- not to have vinegar)
Miso, Tempeh, Natto (fermented soy products)
* be sure to choose lower-sugar options so you don’t negate the benefits of the bacteria
Examples of Prebiotic Foods
When it comes to consuming more prebiotic foods, you’re going to be looking for nutrient dense foods that are rich in fiber. These foods are a little easier to incorporate into your favorite dish or recipe.
The top prebiotic rich foods are:
Raw & Cooked Onion
Bananas (greener = more prebiotic fiber)
Raw Jerusalem Artichoke
Bonus Prebiotic Tip
As we mentioned before, prebiotics feed the good bacteria in our microbiome. But, another great way to enhance the good bacteria is to STARVE the bad bacteria. (Insert EVIL laugh….)
You can starve the bad bacteria in the microbiome by reducing your sugar and processed carbohydrate intake. Sugar feeds the bad bacteria. Reduce your sugar in-take to starve the bad guys! (Mwah ha ha!)
Bonus Probiotic Tip
Some people are sensitive to certain types of bacteria. Many individuals who try to eat fermented foods will end up with a headache, rash, irritability, drowsiness, etc.
If this happens to you, you’ll want to look for a more sensitive probiotic formula, like our Bifidus Mood Boost, which is histamine free, d-lactate free, and free of tyramine-producing bacteria.
We hope this article gives you some great takeaways to boost your microbiome to help you feel better, naturally!
- Sylvia, Cofounder of Lifted