The short answer to this question is yes, you can, and your intestinal flora will love you for it. Probiotics and fiber shouldn’t cause you any problems when you consume during the same day, or even at the same meal. In fact, some manufacturers are creating products that combine probiotics with fiber because these two nutrients work in a complementary fashion to elicit greater health benefits.
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Probiotics are live organisms, such as bacteria and yeast, that confer positive health benefits when consumed. Yogurt is a well-known probiotic food that is created by using certain strains of bacteria to ferment milk. As long as other processes, such as pasteurization, don’t kill off those bacteria, they remain live and can take up residence in your gastrointestinal tract. Your digestive system is already home to billions of microbes, called your intestinal flora, that help you maintain health by warding off harmful pathogens that might otherwise take up residence in your intestines.
Prebiotics are foods your body cannot digest, but those helpful little critters living in your digestive tract can. Probiotic microbes depend on prebiotic food sources to survive. By consuming prebiotic foods, you stimulate the growth of your intestinal flora. Fiber is a type of indigestible carbohydrate. Certain types of fiber, such as inulin and fructooligosaccharide are prebiotic. Along with its other helpful properties, such as lowering blood cholesterol and battling constipation, prebiotic fiber gives probiotic microorganisms something to munch on.
Sources of Probiotics
Probiotics are most commonly found in yogurt, but more and more products are available that contain these helpful microorganisms. Some of the traditional sources of probiotics include kefir, miso and lacto-fermented vegetables, but today products like granola bars and supplements offer many options for those seeking the probiotic advantage.
Sources of Prebiotic Fiber
Prebiotic fiber occurs naturally in many forms of produce, such as leeks, garlic, onions, wheat, oats and soybeans, according to the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics. Increasingly, processed foods such as cereal, bread, ice cream, infant formula and even yogurt are being fortified with prebiotics. So yes, you can “take” probiotics and prebiotics, in the form of these foods, during the same day.