Probiotics are good gut bacteria, and prebiotics are fibre that feed these good bacteria.

Each strain of probiotic (bacteria) has a different function, meaning one supplement on the shelf will have a different effect to the one next to it – which is why it’s so important not to roll the dice and grab what is branded best.

Stick to a variety of natural probiotics like kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir, miso, and tempeh. If you have a specific issue then research or consult a specialist/pharmacist on the correct probiotic strain to support the issue.

Examples of prebiotics are green(er) bananas, onions, leeks, garlic, and chicory root. Many prebiotics also cause the greatest digestive issues (garlic and onions for example), so if you suffer from gut issues it’s important to consume as much as you comfortably can and increase this over time.

Remember… just because a food causes bloating or digestive unease this doesn’t make it “bad” or “unhealthy”! Garlic, for example, is one of the best food sources for your gut – with strong antifungal and antimicrobial properties, also containing prebiotic fibre.

Couple these steps with a strategy to remove the “bad” bacteria in your gut and you’re well on your way to finding a healthy balance.

Author Ben Smith @bensmithlive