Probiotics and Prebiotics

There’s been a lot of noise in wellness circles in the last decade about the importance of probiotics for good gut health, but perhaps lesser known are prebiotics. And while most off the shelf products you can buy contain probiotics, it’s vital to supplement your intake of these with prebiotics, to ensure your gut is functioning at its best. It’s why our Probiotic + Prebiotic product is just that, a combination of the two, or what’s known as a synbiotic. Here’s why it matters…

Importance of a healthy gut bacteria

The gut bacteria, also known as the gut microbiota, refers specifically to the host of different micro-organisms that are housed in the intestines. Around 300 to 500 different types of bacteria live inside each of our guts, all of which contain millions of different genes. As well as lining the entirety of the digestive system, most live in the intestine and the colon. While everybody’s gut make-up is unique, the common denominator is that these bacteria all help us to digest food and play a crucial part role in our overall health and wellbeing, affecting everything from our mood to our immune system. Such is the effect of the gut bacteria on the rest of our bodily functions, that those who experience chronic health conditions such as obesity, auto immune diseases and inflammatory conditions are thought to have a bacterial mix that differs from those with no underlying health conditions.

What happens when we eat

As with most things, the food that we consume has a huge impact on our gut health and the balance of good vs. bad bacteria. Eating foods that are high in saturated fat and sugar will negatively influence the number of bad bacteria in the gut, while regular consumption of these will quickly cause an imbalance, enabling harmful bacteria to colonise and grow more rapidly.

What are probiotics?

Living microorganisms such as live bacteria and yeast known for their ability to benefit your gut health, probiotics help restore the natural balance of bacteria and maintain a healthy environment long-term. Having the right mix of bacteria isn’t just important for your gut though, a healthy gut also has wider implications, promoting a stronger immune system and better skin, amongst many other benefits. Aside from finding probiotics in supplement form, look out for them in foods such as sauerkraut, yoghurt, kefir and kimchi.

What are prebiotics?

A great way to understand the function of prebiotics is to think of them as the fertilisers which help probiotics grow and function at their most optimum. In reality, prebiotics are types of specialised plant fibres which aren’t able to be digested by the body itself and which instead pass through the digestive system feeding the probiotics as they go. Getting a good, regular supply of prebiotics in your diet means the probiotics are properly maintained and can get on with their job of making sure your gut bacteria thrives. Look to include plenty of foods in your diet like asparagus, artichokes, garlic, onions, oats, berries and bananas.