Probiotics & Prebiotics what’s the difference?

Paul’s güt health journey -

In this post I'm going to talk about the differences between pro and prebiotics and the different benefits of each of them! Both words are currently very much in the spotlight and for very good reasons!

A probiotic is when you ingest a liquid or food that is chocked full of billions of live bacterial with the aim of boosting these strains of bacteria in your gut!

A prebiotic is a type of food or drink source that makes its way through your gut and feeds the trillions of bacteria you have in your intestines and helps them grow and get stronger!

When I was first starting my journey into gut health I spent a lot of my time looking into the probiotic side of life. To me it made a whole load of sense, the idea that I could top up the good bacteria in me by drinking some lovely kombucha or topping every dish I ate with kimchi was amazing. Whilst on this path of discovery I started to brew my own kombucha and ferment my own kimchi at home. This inevitably ended up with me wanting to start my own kombucha brewery. I always felt great after ingesting all these probiotics but I could never work out why! I ended up going across the pond to the states to work with a few different kombucha breweries and expand my knowledge on the probiotic side of life. While the science doesn't currently back it up I always found that when I was drinking probiotics I felt better, had more energy and generally got a little buzz! I'm sure as more and more people look into probiotics we will begin to get a better understanding of why these feelings happen and what is causing them.

One of the main reasons we decided to not go down the route of a probiotic soft drink (Although we may well still do this in the future) is because of the scientific backing behind prebiotics and the serious health benefits they can have! One of the issues I've always had with fibre is how to get enough of it into my diet in a way that I can genuinely enjoy that doesn't require an exuberant amount of effort and also doesn't taste like cardboard. (In a future post I will put up some of my favourite high fibre recipes) The effect that prebiotics can have on your body is immense, every week there's new research being released adding more and more efficacy to having a diet high in prebiotics. There is a hunter gatherer community called Hadza in Tanzania who consume up to 150 grams of fibre a day. Even though a large part of their diet is meat, especially in the dry season, heart disease and diabetes are unheard of and obesity is extremely uncommon which has been put down to the amount of fibre they have in their diet. The Hadza also have little to no access to antibiotics and generally live to their 70/80s with no statins or hospitals to look after them. There is the gut brain link which shows a hugely positive correlation between what you eat/absorb and the effect it can have on your mental state. (I will again go into this in much more detail in another post) Along with a whole myriad of other positives.

A diet that is high in prebiotics can contribute so much more to your overall well being and I would encourage anybody to do some research into the benefits that come with this and the healthy microbiome it can encourage. One of the main reasons we started to make güt drinks was to make a drink that has a positive benefit on your microbiome but is easy, accessible and a good place to start!