By now, you may have heard of probiotics: the live bacteria that keep our gut healthy.
But what about prebiotics?
Registered dietitian Kim Larson explains the difference.
"Prebiotics are actually the food that probiotic bacteria feed off of," Larson explains. "So its not just enough to get the probiotics into our bodies, into our colons. But we actually have to feed them so that they can thrive and grow."
Prebiotics are the indigestible fibers and carbohydrates found in healthy foods like dried beans, peas, nuts, whole grains, coconut, honey, garlic and onions, just to name a few.
Not only do prebiotic fibers help the colon process more efficiently, they offer other benefits as well.
"Helps feed the bifidobacteria, which we know is a healthy bacteria," says Larson. "These prebiotic fibers can also increase calcium absorption which is a fairly new finding."
Larson says the benefits of prebiotic fibers create a more diverse microbiome, which leads to overall better health.