In the prebiotic v probiotic debate, is there a winner? Actually, no. Both keep your digestive system ticking over with enviable efficiency, but whether you’re taking them in supplement or food form, it’s important to know how they work and the benefits for your gut health.
Your gut microbiome plays a crucial role in your health and whether you could develop chronic diseases, metabolic conditions, or gastrointestinal disorders. According to a study published in Nutrients, the Western diet has profound impacts on your gut flora, and it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach.
In fact, a study by the British Medical Journal found that factors like medicine, environment, and weight can all affect the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria balance in your gut and a tailored approach to your diet and supplementation is your best bet. The good news? Prebiotics and probiotics are readily available and can transform your gut health, sleep, and even your ability to absorb other nutrients.
Our clean and green VitaHustle ONE Superfoods Blend contains both prebiotics and probiotics, as well as 86 superfoods and essential nutrients, 22 vitamins and minerals, 20g of protein, and adaptogens. Every serve is helping to improve your vitality, gut health, and immunity.
Below, we reveal the benefits of prebiotics and probiotics and why they’re an everyday essential ingredient in our super drink.
The Cleveland Clinic describe prebiotics as the ‘food source for your gut’s microorganisms.’ No idea what this means? It’s easier to look at the role of probiotics first.
Probiotics are live microorganisms (good bacteria) found in fermented foods (think yogurt or kombucha) and supplements. The catch is that microorganisms need to survive in your stomach acid (post-digestion) in order to reach your colon. And then they need to survive here, too. If they can, the more you have (and the more variety), the healthier your gut and the better your health.
Going back to prebiotics, they’re the food source for your good bacteria. Again, they need to survive digestion, but when they make it to your colon, the probiotics can ‘metabolize and ferment’ prebiotics to live and thrive. This process has a wealth of benefits for your body.
Benefits of Prebiotics and Probiotics
The good bacteria in your gut help break down food, reduce inflammation in the gut, and therefore improve your immune system. But to keep these little guys alive, prebiotics need to be present in solid numbers – almost like a cheerleader – to ensure the good bugs can thrive over bad bugs.
A benefit of probiotics is that it could help sufferers of the bowel condition IBS. A compelling review of 18 studies found improvements in symptoms of IBS sufferers, although the exact strain of bacteria isn’t yet known.
Prebiotics make up a component of food that can’t be digested by your body, which means they can serve the good bacteria in your gut instead. Prebiotics help these bacteria to flourish, and the better news? They’re naturally occurring in your food.
According to ISSAP, prebiotics could improve the absorption of nutrients and carbohydrates, too. They recommend around 3g a day and 28g a day of fiber based on a 2,000 kcal diet.
Best Prebiotic Foods:
These are often found in fiber-rich foods, such as:
- Whole grains
Best Probiotic Foods:
As mentioned above, these are present in fermented foods like:
- Certain cheeses
Which is Better?
Neither, and taking them together (referred to as microbiome therapy) could help improve the likelihood of the bacteria reaching the colon.
How to Maximize the Efficacy of Your Pre and Probiotics
Looking to add more protein to your diet? Try our protein coffee or superfood protein brownies. Our VitaHustle ONE Superfoods Blend comes loaded with prebiotics and probiotics alongside plenty of vitamin-rich ingredients.