PREBIOTICS AND PROBIOTICS: WHAT ARE THEY AND WHY ARE THEY GOOD FOR US?
Let’s be honest: being healthy in 2018 can be kinda tricky. Not because we don’t have enough healthy options (we’re spoilt for choice there), it’s just we don’t understand what a lot of those options actually are. From kimchi to activated almonds to ghee, it can be overwhelming to know what’s really healthy and what we should invite into our pantry.
Two of the major ingredients that seem to cause confusion are prebiotics and probiotics. Most of us have seen them mentioned in yogurt ads on TV and we know they’re good for our gut health, but that’s about it.
At Kréol, we love prebiotics and probiotics so much that they form the basis of our entire range. There are three flavours of our Sparkling Prebiotic Drink, which is bursting with all the good live cultures from raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar, organic chicory root, not to mention plenty of vitamins and electrolytes. We also have three flavours of our Sparkling Probiotic Drink, which contain multiple strains of live probiotics including the mightiest probiotics of all, Lactobacillus Plantarum and Bacillus Coagulans. (You can learn more about our drinks and stalk our flavours here).
Still confused? We asked one of our favourite nutritionists, Steph Wearne of Body Good Food, to share her expertise (in layman’s terms!) so you know exactly what you’re drinking, and exactly how it’s helping your gut, everytime you take a sip of Kréol.
First things first: what are prebiotics and probiotics?
Probiotics are strains of healthy bacteria that live in your gut and prebiotics (known as a type of fibre) is what these probiotics feed on. They ferment the prebiotics, which stimulates the growth of more good bacteria. Wholefood prebiotics includes: onion, garlic, leek, asparagus, artichoke, tempeh, miso, banana, chicory root, dandelion greens, oats, barley and flaxseeds.
What do they each do? Are they helpful for different things?
The difference is that probiotics are actual bacteria in your gut and prebiotics is a substance that feed that bacteria.
Having probiotics allows you to grow a healthy microbiome environment which can benefit many things from immunity, how we store fat, regulating glucose levels, controlling appetite, digestion, mental health, hormone and neurotransmitter production and determining our disease risk.
Prebiotics are helpful because when the bacteria ferment/feed on it, it stimulates the production of further beneficial bacteria to help with the conditions mentioned above.
What benefits can we expect from incorporating prebiotics and probiotics into our regime?
One of the most common benefits of including pro and prebiotics into one’s diet is reduced digestive symptoms such as bloating, stomach pain, and irregular bowel movement. Many people also experience an improvement in skin health and improved immunity due to reduced sickness. The benefits can vary and each individual will benefit in their own way, however looking after your gut bacteria can have significant positive implications for your overall health.