As the benefits of prebiotics become more widely known, an increasing number of people have questions about prebiotic supplements and food. Prebiotics are sometimes often confused with probiotics, but they are distinctly different. You might have heard of probiotics associated with many foods, including yogurt. These foods are commonly purported to provide a number of health benefits, including the ability to regulate the digestive system and improve one’s immune system. Further research has now found that probiotics may not actually be able to provide the claimed health benefits. There are even now questions about whether probiotics might even be safe at all, especially considering the fact that they do not occur in nature and must be produced through a manmade fermentation process.
Prebiotics are completely different.
One of the biggest differences between probiotics and prebiotics is the fact that prebiotics do occur naturally. Prebiotics can be found in a wide variety of different types of food. One of the best sources of prebiotic is kiwifruit. While it might sound simple enough to simply eat a couple of pieces of kiwi per day to gain the health benefits associated with prebiotics, it is actually not this simple. The problem lies in the fact that all of the prebiotic benefits are contained within the skin of the kiwifruit. This is where the majority of the healthy enzymes and phenolics that provide all of the health benefits are found. Since the skin is not edible, this makes it difficult to get the maximum amount of health benefits from eating just the fruit alone. There are also a few other problems from just eating the fruit in an effort to get prebiotic health benefits. For instance, in order to achieve the same amount of fiber present in a quality prebiotic supplement, you would need to eat up to four whole kiwifruits per day.
There is also the problem of the fact that while you might be able to access kiwifruit during the summer, they are often not available throughout the year due to the rather short harvesting season of this fruit. Furthermore, it can become time consuming as well as cost prohibitive to continually keep a fresh supply of this fruit, even while they are in season.
When considering prebiotic supplements and food it must also be taken into consideration that it can often be difficult to locate organic kiwi. Unless your fruit is organic, there is oftentimes the concern that your fruit was likely sprayed with the use of chemical preservatives. You should also take into consideration the fact that most kiwifruit is typically harvested well before they are fully ripe in order to help them last longer. Within just a few days, the fruit will begin to age quickly and as it does so, the quality as well as the amount of the enzymes will begin to degenerate. Consequently, you will not receive the full benefits you might think you are receiving.