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Dietetics Blog: Prebiotics vs Probitiocs

Our Dietitian Alice Mika has shared another blog post, with this one focussing on the differences between Prebiotic and Probiotic foods. You can read the post below, and book in with Alice by calling (03) 9534 0611!

There has been a lot of hype over the past few years about prebiotics and probiotics, but what are they and why are they beneficial for health? 

Probiotics
Probiotics are living microorganisms, with some strains and quantities having been shown to have a health benefit to the host – that’s us. 

A wide variety of these microorganisms reside in our gut and play a role in digestion, nutrient absorption, and immune function. Maintaining a healthy balance of gut microorganisms is important for health, and this is why it is important to support our gut microbiome as well as we can, with prebiotic and probiotic foods, and limiting the unnecessary use of antibiotics. 

Some examples of probiotic foods include; yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and other fermented products.

Prebiotics
Prebiotics are food components that remain undigested in our gastrointestinal system and are fermented in the gut. These indigestible fibres play a role in essentially ‘feeding’ the bacteria that reside naturally in our digestive system, and the fermentation of different foods can feed different bacteria in the gut. 

Some examples of prebiotics include chickpeas, lentils, grapefruit, barley, oats, and cabbage. 

One of the best ways you can support your gut health, and in turn, support your overall health is to eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and grains, of all colours. Think of it as eating the rainbow, or aim to eat 30 different fruit, vegetable or grain foods every day. Doing this helps to ensure that your diet includes a variety of essential vitamins, fibre, pre and probiotics.

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