Prebiotics are non-digestible food ingredients that promote digestive health by stimulating the growth and activity of the friendly bacteria within the digestive tract. Prebiotics are principally carbohydrates, known as oligosaccharides, and the best known of these is fructooligosaccharides (FOS). Oligosaccharides occur naturally in certain fruits, legumes and whole grains; including foods such as bananas, asparagus, chicory, garlic, Jerusalem artichokes, onions, tomatoes and wheat.
Probiotics is a Greek word meaning “for life”, they are beneficial bacteria such as the lactobacillus and bifi dobacterium families of bacteria. The human gut contains a miniature ecology of microbes collectively known as the gut flora or “friendly” bacteria, the numbers of which greatly outnumber the rest of the cells that make up the body. The digestive tract is home to more than 400 different species of bacteria weighing one and a half kilograms. The health of these friendly bacteria is essential to the health of the individual, as they perform very important functions in body, including discouraging the growth of harmful bacteria, aiding digestion and detoxification of toxins, manufacturing certain vitamins, and supporting the immune system and a healthy cholesterol profile. It is important to sustain the delicate balance of the friendly bacteria in the gut to help maintain a healthy digestive system. Factors that may disrupt this balance include poor diet, use of drugs such as antibiotics and contraceptives, excess alcohol and stress.
Digestive Aids are wide range of nutrients that are renowned for their beneficial effects on the digestive process and include, amongst others, dietary fibre, digestive enzymes, herbs and spices. Proper digestion is essential to enable nutrients to be broken down and absorbed into the blood.