Whether you worship them or think they're overrated, probiotics have become a staple in healthy eating. There are even tons of commercials dedicated to the stuff! The live cultures help promote gut health, which is good for overall digestion, a healthy immune system, and possibly weight loss. All those side effects are wonderful, but they kind of don't happen if you're not getting enough prebiotics.
These lesser-known substances are just as important for a healthy gut microbiome, and work hand in hand with probiotics to make sure everything in the digestive system is running smoothly. Even if probiotics get all the attention, prebiotics should be a staple in your diet. Luckily they're pretty easy to come by -- and you don't even need to eat the yogurt that makes you poop to get them.
What they do
Eating probiotics introduces billions of the good bacteria you need into your gut, while eating prebiotics helps feed that good bacteria to help them flourish. Unlike probiotics, prebiotics aren't alive; rather, they're fiber compounds that aren't digested until they reach your gut microbiome. A healthy gut has more good bacteria than bad, and prebiotics are important to keep the good stuff in proper working order. Basically, prebiotics are the fuel your good bacteria need to stay alive.