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Know these 6 things to decode differences between prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics foods

Clearing up the confusion! Discover the distinctions between prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics. Learn how each contributes to gut health and overall well-being. Read on to unravel the world of beneficial microorganisms!     by Leona Merlin Antony

Know these 6 things to decode differences between prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics foods LMA
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First Published Aug 17, 2023, 6:02 PM IST

In the realm of gut health and nutrition, the terms "prebiotics," "probiotics," and "postbiotics" often take the spotlight. Each plays a unique role in supporting our digestive system and overall wellness.

Here are six points to help you understand the differences and benefits of these essential components:

1. Prebiotics

Prebiotics are non-digestible fibres found in certain foods that serve as nourishment for beneficial gut bacteria. They promote the growth and activity of these bacteria, contributing to a balanced gut microbiome. Foods like garlic, onions, bananas, and whole grains are excellent sources of prebiotics.

2. Probiotics

Probiotics are live beneficial bacteria that can be ingested through supplements or fermented foods like yoghurt, kefir, and kimchi. These microorganisms populate the gut and help maintain a healthy balance of bacteria, aiding digestion and supporting immune function.

3. Postbiotics

Postbiotics are the metabolic byproducts of probiotic bacteria during fermentation. These compounds include short-chain fatty acids, enzymes, peptides, and organic acids. Postbiotics have shown potential health benefits, such as reducing inflammation and supporting gut barrier function.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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4. Functionality

Prebiotics primarily provide nourishment for existing beneficial bacteria in the gut. Probiotics introduce live microorganisms into the gut to help establish a diverse and balanced microbiome. Postbiotics, generated by the fermentation of probiotics, contribute to various health benefits by interacting with the gut environment.

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5. Health Benefits

Prebiotics help support the growth of beneficial bacteria, enhancing their activities. Probiotics aid in digestion, improve gut health and have been linked to immune system support. Postbiotics have shown potential in reducing inflammation, supporting gut integrity, and influencing metabolic health.

6. Sources

Prebiotics are found in foods rich in dietary fibres, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Probiotics can be consumed through fermented foods and supplements containing live beneficial bacteria. Postbiotics are produced naturally during the fermentation process of probiotic-rich foods.

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