Posted by Kimberley Rose-Francis RDN, LD, CDE on Dec 19th 2019
Proper nutrition is an important part of overall health. In order to achieve and maintain good health, nutrients and other enhancing properties from food must come from a variety of foods we eat. Now-a-days, prebiotics and probiotics are common household terms which are thought to be synonymous with healthy eating.
While it is true both prebiotics and probiotics are an integral part of gut health, there are 3 burning questions which persist: what are prebiotics and probiotics, where are they found, why do they have an impact on health? Yes, prebiotics and probiotics can be bought as individual supplements from your local vitamins and supplements shop, but did you know they are also naturally occurring in a variety of foods? This is great news, because food tends to be more cost effective than buying individual supplements and obviously more nutritious.
The bacteria that live in the gut are collectively known as microorganisms. Prebiotics, which are found in many fiber rich foods such as fruits and vegetables, serve as a fuel source for the good microorganisms to proliferate and flourish. An example of a prebiotic is fructooligosaccharides. Fructooligosaccharides (or FOS) may seem like an intimidating word, but it is simply a long, fancy word for foods that are ‘good for the gut’. FOS can be naturally found in onions, leeks, asparagus, and most popularly, bananas. Therefore, it should come as no surprise That’s it. Banana Probiotics Bars are a great source of FOS. Furthermore, That’s it. Probiotics Bars contain both prebiotics and probiotics which work synergistically to promote gut health.
Now, what about what about probiotics? A probiotic is an actual living microorganisms that eat prebiotics as a fuel source. Just like humans eat food for fuel or energy, probiotics need an energy source as well. Without a proper food source (ex: prebiotics), the good bacteria in the gut begins to dwindle and the bad bacteria can take over. Prebiotics can help change and restore the gut by keeping the bad bacteria under control. This is significant for overall health because probiotics enhance the immune system. Did you know That’s it. Probiotics Bars contain both 2 billion probiotics and nourishing prebiotics to help fuel them in each bar? Without prebiotics, probiotics cannot properly do their job.
Consuming both prebiotics and probiotics is important for the good bacteria that live within the gut to flourish while simultaneously keeping the bad bacteria under control. It’s no secret that the gut is exposed to both good and bad bacteria. Knowing what foods contain prebiotics and probiotics is essential for promoting an overall healthy immune system; especially gut health. Probiotics can help to manage gut-related diseases and disorders, such as irritable bowel disease and chronic diarrhea. Even if you do not have any gut issues, prebiotics and probiotics are an important part of gut health. Curios about consuming a diversity of foods which contain prebiotics and probiotics? Why not try the That’s it. Probiotics Bars and let us know what you think!
Kim is a hands on clinical dietitian at an acute care hospital in South Central Florida. She has close to 10 years of experience as a general practice dietitian, long term care dietitian, and outpatient renal dietitian. Her areas of expertise include: diabetes management, weight management, hypertension, high cholesterol, and kidney disease. Kim has taught the importance of adhering to a healthy lifestyle and diet through cooking demonstrations and health presentations. Kim is passionate about instructing people in all areas of food and nutrition and remains zealous about disease prevention and instructing people through her virtual practice kimrosedietitian.com.
Markowiak, P., & Śliżewska, K. (2017). Effects of Probiotics, Prebiotics, and Synbiotics on Human Health. Nutrients, 9(9), 1021. doi:10.3390/nu9091021