If You're Taking Probiotics, Don't Forget About This Important Step

·4 min read

You probably know about probiotics already. They're the "good" bacteria that can improve your gut health. And if you don't know already, the health of your gut can affect pretty much your whole body, from your digestion to your skin, cardiovascular system, and immune system.

You can find probiotics in fermented foods, but you can also get them in supplemental form. Many of these supplements have different bacteria strains, which have various benefits, like some promote women's health, while others promote digestive health. When looking for a supplement, read the labels carefully to choose which ones are the best for your needs. It's also always helpful and recommended to talk to your doctor before taking anything new and they can help give you some suggestions on the brands and formulas to take.

So anyways, you know about probiotics, but did you know that they're pretty much useless if you're not getting prebiotics? Yes, that's right, you need prebiotics, too. They're non-digestible carbohydrates (or fibers) that serve as "food" for the healthy gut bacteria (probiotics), so they can help them grow and thrive.

You can get prebiotics through your diet, but you can also find them in supplement form, too. In fact, many probiotic formulas also contain prebiotics, so they're like a two-in-one. You can take a look at some prebiotic supplements below.

Bioschwartz Advanced Prebiotic ($21)

This prebiotic formula contains PreforPro and PreticX prebiotic fibers to improve the microbiome and allow for better absorption of nutrients. The supplement also inhibits the growth of "bad" bacteria.

Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Organic Fiber Prebiotic Fiber ($16)

Made from organic acacia, organic orange peel, organic baobab fruit, organic orange peel, and organic cranberry fruit, this powder supplement contains 5g of prebiotic fiber in each serving.

Dr. Tobias Prebiotics ($22)

There is PreforPro in this supplement, which stimulates the growth of healthy gut bacteria to help with digestion.

Hum Nutrition Skin Squad Pre + Probiotic ($40)

Hum Nutrition's supplement is one of the two-in-one formulas mentioned earlier. In addition to the prebiotic konjac root, it also contains nine strains of probiotics. It's designed to promote a clear complexion and support a healthy digestion.

Bulletproof InnerFuel Prebiotic ($29)

You get 17g of prebiotics per serving with this supplement powder. The plant-based formula contains organic acacia, guar fiber, and larch arabinogalactan (which is also an immune booster).

Thorne FiberMend Prebiotic ($38)

Thorne's prebiotic powder is high in soluble fiber and mixes easily into water or other beverages. It contains Sunfiber, which can help lessen gas, bloating, and GI discomfort.

Hyperbiotics Organic Prebiotic Powder ($26)

If you have a sensitive stomach, this prebiotic product might be the one you should consider since it's specially formulated with that in mind. It contains a mix of acacia fiber, inulin, resistant starch, and soluble dietary fiber to support the gut.

Swanson Prebiotic ($10)

Swanson's prebiotic promotes healthy microflora. It contains NutraFlora FOS, which studies show that 1g per day increases friendly bacteria by over 500% in four weeks.

Gobiotix Prebiotic Fiber Boost ($27)

This prebiotic supplement promotes digestion and a healthy gut; reduces gas and bloating; and boosts energy levels.

Life Extension Florassist Prebiotic ($15)

These supplements are so easy to take—they're chewable and have a natural strawberry flavor.

RenewLife Daily Digestive Prebiotic Fiber ($19)

RenewLife's daily prebiotic contains both soluble and insoluble fibers—flax seed and oat fiber to relieve constipation, plus fennel to help with gas and bloating.

Foods With Prebiotics

Bananas

Whole Foods Market Organic Banana (per pound) ($1)

The greener the banana, the higher they are in resistant starch, which means they have the most prebiotic benefits.

Asparagus

Amazon Fresh Organic Asparagus, 1 Bunch ($5)

Don't overcook your asparagus, or eat them raw to get the most prebiotics.

Raw Garlic

Amazon Fresh Organic Garlic ($1)

Raw garlic contains about 17% prebiotic fiber per ounce. Raw is the key word here, as when they're cooked they lose much of their fiber content.

Onions

Amazon Fresh Yellow Onion ($1)

Like many of the veggies on this list, you don't want to overcook onions so they retain their natural prebiotic benefits.

Whole Oats

Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Organic Old Fashioned Rolled Oats, 2 Pound ($7)

Whole oats contain beta-glucan fiber and some resistant starch.

Chicory Root

Teeccino Chicory Coffee Alternative, French Roast ($11)

You can find chicory root in coffee substitutes. It's a saturated source of prebiotics, so you don't want to consume too much since it can cause stomach discomfort.

Shiitake Mushrooms

Amazon Fresh Organic Sliced Shiitake Mushrooms ($5)

These contain beta-glucans and can aid in healing and immunity.

Next: Gut Experts Share All the Myths and Truths of Probiotics

This article originally appeared on The Thirty

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