Prebiotics vs. Probiotics: What are they and how can they help you?
The human microbiome is a seven-pound collection of yeast and bacteria that live in our large intestines. There are roughly 500 – 1,000 strains of bacteria, some simply coexist, others have a mutualistic relationship and some, although non-pathogenic, may cause harm. The role of every strain is not yet fully understood; however, we are aware of the importance of the ratios and their balance.
We are first introduced to bacteria at birth as we move through the birth canal. The biome is then colonized by what is available in the environment. Dirt, food, even skin will have some collection of bacteria that if put in the mouth can take up residence in the microbiome.You may supplement these bacteria by taking a probiotic pill or consuming probiotic rich foods. Probiotics are simply the bacteria whereas prebiotics are the fibers or food that feed the bacteria. One without the other will reduce the body’s ability to hold on to the beneficial bacteria and reduce the production of beneficial compounds.
The bacteria in the microbiome ferment prebiotics into short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), like acetic and butyric acids. SCFAs have many beneficial downstream effects like reducing inflammation, regulating metabolism and reducing risk for disease. Additionally, prebiotics feed the residents of the microbiome and support high numbers of the beneficial bacteria. These beneficial bacteria are also known to produce immune cells and neurotransmitters. This means we can both increase immunity and support our brains by consuming a well-balanced diet full of prebiotic fibers and probiotic bacteria.
Beans, chia seeds, artichoke, and broccoli are all examples of high fiber foods that can support the health of the microbiome and the production of SCFAs. However, it can be difficult to reach the recommended 25-30 g of fiber per day with food alone. Water Lentils contain the exact fibers that are required by the microbiome to support human health! With 3g of fiber per scoop, water lentils can help boost any smoothie, snack, latte, or even plain water.
By consuming prebiotic fibers with probiotic rich foods, we can boost the body’s ability to hold on to the probiotics being introduced to the microbiome and support a bacteria balance that supports beneficial strains. Real Source Digestive Boost contains the natural prebiotics from water lentils with the addition of probiotics to promote the adhesion of beneficial bacteria and their production of short chain fatty acids. In addition, the boost contains herbal support to promote liver and gallbladder health and enhance anti-inflammatory actions. Beetroot and dandelion leaf have both been used to support liver detoxification pathways and increase gallbladder heath. Ginger and turmeric are incredible anti-inflammatories and can support the reduction of inflammation in the gut. Lastly, lemongrass and fennel seed help to reduce any nausea and bloating associated with poor digestion.
Prebiotics + Probiotics = Happy Biome and Better Digestion
Prebiotics (water lentils, asparagus, banana, onion, garlic, leek, apples, cocoa bean, oats, cabbage)
Probiotic (Digestive Boost, fermented yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, miso)
Grow your Gut Smoothie
1 scoop Real Source Digestive Boost
1 cup frozen blueberries
½ organic frozen banana
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 shakes cinnamon
2 TBS non-dairy vanilla yogurt
¼ cup coconut milk
Blend on high until smooth.