16 Mar Prebiotics vs Probiotics
They are sometimes (mistakenly) used interchangeably, but they are very different! How are these two very similar sounding things different from each other, and more importantly, how do they work together to support a healthy digestive system?
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are living microorganisms (bacteria or yeast) that help improve the health of the gut. The word bacteria may ring up negative images like being sick or uncleanliness, but according to the Mayo Clinic, these are good bacteria that are naturally occurring in our bodies (specifically in our lower digestive tract).
Probiotics can also be found in food and drinks such as yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, and kombucha. If you’ve ever wondered how milk turns into yogurt, or how tea turns into kombucha, it’s the result of fermentation. And fermentation is facilitated by – you guessed it – probiotics!
What are Prebiotics?
Unlike probiotics, prebiotics are not alive. They are actually non-digestible plant fibers found mostly in fruits and vegetables. Prebiotics are what feeds the probiotics and helps them do their job in our guts. They essentially serve as a fertilizer for living probiotics and help increase their efficiency.
Good sources of prebiotics can be found in foods like asparagus, garlic, leeks, and bananas. Green plantains are an excellent source of prebiotics. Why? Because they haven’t reached full ripeness yet, they contain a lot more fiber and resistant starch than bananas or ripe plantains.
Commonly eaten in Latin American and Caribbean cuisines, green plantains, or tostones, are versatile and can be eaten in many forms, from traditional flat rounds to cups to chips. For our Paleo readers, they can even be used as a bread replacement as demonstrated in this Toston Burger recipe!
Why Choose MIC Food?
Traditionally, plantains and yuca must be peeled, sliced, and cooked prior to consuming. Here at MIC Food® we are helping chefs, restaurants, industrial kitchens, retail brands, delis, and others in the food industry rethink their menus and increase appeal among ethnic and mainstream consumers alike. We provide variety of tropical fruits and vegetables that come peeled and cut, ready-to-heat and serve, saving you hours of prep time so you can focus on what matters the most: making every meal memorable.