Pre, and Pro-bioticsMonica
Gut health is really at the forefront of wellness trends these days, and it is for a good reason! Having a healthy gut not only impacts digestion, but also has the potential to benefit the brain, immune system, cardiac system, lungs, eyes and even oral health . It is an incredibly fascinating area of emerging research in health and nutrition.
I don’t want to weird anyone out, but your digestive tract is home to approximately 100 trillion microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa) that quite literally live to serve you . I like to think of them as your own individualized fan club, that is entirely unique to each individual. These little supporters form a complex ecosystem known as the ‘gut microbiota’ which plays a crucial role in metabolism, immune function, and nutrient absorption .
If you have ever dug into the topic of gut health, you will no doubt have come across mentions of probiotics, and perhaps even prebiotics. It is hard to keep these biotics straight so I wanted to clarify the differences.
Prebiotics and Its Sources
Prebiotics: Prebiotics can be defined as non-digestible food components that support the growth of probiotics and the beneficial bacteria that exist in the gut so they can flourish.  Prebiotics are either specific carbohydrates or fermentable dietary fibre that in simple terms serve as food for your good gut microbiota.
Prebiotics can be found in:
- Bamboo Shoots
Probiotics and Its Sources
Probiotics: Probiotics are defined by the World Health Organization as live bacteria that may provide health benefits when consumed in adequate amounts. These microorganisms can be found in fermented foods and probiotic supplements.  Probiotics serve in complement to your existing good microbiota, and help discourage bad microorganisms in the gut.
Probiotics can be found in:
- Miso paste
The bottom line is that incorporating these foods into your diet can have benefits to your health with little to no drawback! An easy and accessible way to increase your consumption of both pre- and pro-biotics is by including them in your meals. There are many meals we have on the current menu that would fall into one or both of these categories.
Meals that contain prebiotics, probiotics, or both:
- Bangkok Green Curry
- Mighty Muesli Overnight Oats
- The Seoul Bowl
- CocoBanana Protein French Toast
- Buddha Bowl
- Coconut Chickpea Curry
- 30. Wang B, Yao M, Lv L, Ling Z, Li L (2017) The human microbiota in health and disease. Engineering 3: 71-82
- Preveden, T.; Scarpellini, E.; Milić, N.; Luzza, F.; Abenavoli, L. Gut microbiota changes and chronic hepatitis C virus infection. Expert Rev. Gastroenterol. Hepatol. 2017, 11, 813–819.
- Jenkins G, Mason P (2022) The Role of Prebiotics and Probiotics in Human Health: A Systematic Review with a Focus on Gut and Immune Health. Food Nutr J 7: 245. DOI: 10.29011/2575-7091.100245
- Gibson GR, Roberfroid MB. Dietary modulation of the human colonic microbiota: introducing the concept of prebiotics. J Nutr. 1995 Jun;125(6):1401-12.
- World Health Organization. Guidelines for the Evaluation of Probiotics in Food. Report of a Joint FAO/WHO Working Group on Drafting Guidelines for the Evaluation of Probiotics in Food. 2002.