Food With Probiotics And Prebiotics


Food With Probiotics And Prebiotics is a collection of ideas and recipes to help you nourish yourself – in a way that tastes great too! The blog gives consumers the insight on how to eat healthy, but also includes recipes that simply make you feel good.


Food With Probiotics And Prebiotics

The friendly bacteria keep harmful bacteria in check, helping your body maintain a healthy balance, reducing inflammation, and optimizing gut health.

Related: Eat Your Way to a Healthier Gut

Consuming a balanced, diverse diet of clean protein, healthy fats, dietary fiber, and probiotic foods helps promote gastrointestinal health, Fiorita says. And the benefits of a healthy gut are numerous.

“Benefits include keeping our immune system healthy by reducing the risk of infection and illness, as well as mental and neurological health, weight and metabolism, cardiovascular health, renal and urinary health and management of gastrointestinal conditions such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome),” she says.

Best probiotic foods

Eating more probiotic foods can increase the number of good bacteria in your body. Fermented foods, such as yogurt, kombucha and miso, are a good source, since they contain a host of these bacteria.

When shopping for probiotic foods, check labels for the phrase “live and active cultures.” Several strains of bacteria are probiotic: common strains are lactobacillus and bifidobacteria, Fiorita says.

How many probiotic foods should you eat? The daily recommendation is two tablespoons of fermented foods from two different sources, she suggests.

Probiotic foods are safe for most people, but Fiorita urges anyone who is immunocompromised to use caution. People with conditions, like dysbiosis or small intestine bacterial overgrowth, may experience bloating, gas and abdominal pain when consuming probiotic foods and should check with their doctor first.

What’s the difference between prebiotic and probiotic foods?

The term “prebiotic” often enters the conversation about probiotics, but the two shouldn’t be confused. “Prebiotics essentially serve as food for our probiotics,” Fiorita explains.

Most types of fiber are fully digested before reaching the intestines, but others, the prebiotics, stay intact through the metabolic process and feed the intestinal bacteria in the gut.

Prebiotic foods are fiber-rich and encourage the growth of beneficial microorganisms that already exist in the gut, such as lactobacillus and bifidobacteria, she says. Leeks, onions, tofu, some soy products and grains are examples of prebiotic foods.

“Probiotics thrive when an individual consumes adequate prebiotic-rich foods within a diverse diet,” Fiorita says. “One group is not healthier than the other—we need both.”

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Probiotic Food List

  1. Yogurt. Made from milk fermented by lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria, all friendly types of bacteria, yogurt is one of the best sources of probiotics. It’s also high in calcium, which is great for your bones.
  2. Greek yogurt. Also packed with probiotics, Greek yogurt, made by straining regular yogurt, has more protein and few carbs and sugars than other types of yogurt.
  3. Skyr. This Icelandic dairy product is made by fermenting skim milk and features probiotic cultures similar to yogurt. It’s also low in calories and fat, and high in protein and other nutrients.
  4. Sauerkraut. The sour, salty fermented cabbage is probiotic-rich. It’s also high in fiber, vitamins and antioxidants, but high in sodium.
  5. Kimchi. A traditional Korean food staple, kimchi is made by fermenting vegetables, including cabbage, with probiotic lactic acid bacteria, and also helps reduce cholesterol, promotes brain health and boosts immunity.
  6. Tempeh. Because it’s high in protein, tempeh is a popular meat substitute. The fermented soybean product is a probiotic food and a good source of vitamin B12.
  7. Miso. Made by fermenting soybeans with salt and koji, a type of fungus, miso is a Japanese food staple. The paste comes in many varieties and is often used in miso soup. It’s also rich in vitamins B, E, K and folic acid.
  8. Kombucha. Kombucha, a drink made by fermenting black or green tea, sugar, yeast and bacteria, is touted for its health benefits, including better digestion.
  9. Kefir. This fermented milk beverage contains multiple strains of friendly bacteria and yeast. It’s been shown to improve digestion and has antimicrobial and anti-cancer properties.
  10. Lassi. A popular drink in India and Pakistan, a lassi is made with fermented yogurt and fruits, like mango, and contains plenty of probiotics.
  11. Smoothies. Blend your favorite fruits and vegetables with probiotic-rich yogurt for a healthy breakfast or snack that’s also protein- and nutrient-dense.

How to get more probiotics

There are two ways to get more good bacteria into your gut: fermented foods and dietary supplements. Fermented foods are the most natural source. Probiotic supplements, which are typically sold over the counter, are reserved to treat specific ailments as suggested by your doctor, and not recommended for everyday use. Plus, supplements do not have the same FDA oversight as medications do.

So, a big question remains: How  many probiotic foods do you need? That’s not easy to answer.

There is no recommended daily intake for probiotics, so there is no way to know exactly which fermented foods or what quantity is best. Therefore, the general guideline is to just add as many fermented foods to your daily diet as possible.

Why fermented foods? Fermenting is one of the oldest techniques for food preservation. Mankind has been fermenting foods and drinks like beer and wine for centuries. Foods that are fermented go through a process of lactofermentation in which natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food, creating lactic acid. This process creates an environment that preserves the food and promotes beneficial enzymes, B vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as various species of good bacteria.

Another way to look at fermentation is that it takes one type of food and transforms it into another kind. For instance, cabbage becomes sauerkraut, cucumbers become pickles, soybeans turn into miso, and milk can be made into yogurt, cheeses, and sour cream.

Not all fermented foods contain probiotics. Some foods undergo steps that remove the probiotics, as with beer or wine, or make them inactive, like baking and canning. However, most fermented foods are probiotic foods as well.

If there is a potential downside to fermented foods, it is that their taste and smell can be quite strong, which may be unpleasant for some people. The unique flavors and textures of fermented foods are due in part to the different species of bacteria used.

On the upside, there are many types of fermented foods from which to choose, so there is a good chance you can find something you will enjoy.

The most common fermented foods that naturally contain probiotics, or have probiotics added to them, include yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, pickles, miso, tempeh, kimchi, sourdough bread and some cheeses.

Yogurt is considered the most valuable player of probiotic foods because it has a flavor and texture that’s generally appealing to Western palates. The number and type of bacteria species can vary depending on the yogurt brand. The probiotic content of yogurt products can range from 90 billion to 500 billion CFU per serving. (CFU stands for colony- forming units, which is how many bacteria are able to divide and form colonies.) Look for the words “live and active cultures” on the label.

How to use: Yogurt is easy to add to your diet. Besides having it for breakfast or a midday snack, you can substitute yogurt whenever you use mayonnaise in egg salad or potato salad, or in almost any baking recipe. Yogurt also can be the basis for sauces, salad dressings, or marinades.


What Are Pre And Probiotics And How Do They Work?

This guide explains the difference between pre and probiotics, what they are, why they’re important for your health, and what foods to find them in.

Prebiotics are foods that promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, but probiotics are edible sources that actually contain health-promoting microbes. Here we explain their functions, benefits, what foods they’re in, and whether prebiotics and probiotics supplements are useful.

Prebiotic versus probiotic: what’s the difference?

Pre and probiotics are beneficial for human health because gut bacteria play a key role in many aspects of the body, not just the colon.

The gut microbiota consists of trillions of bacterial cells which carry out a variety of important functions in the human body. It’s not possible to live without your microbiota, and the benefits of a diverse and balanced microbiome extend well beyond the gut. Here are just a few important jobs gut microbes do:

  • Promote protection against metabolic diseases
  • Help maintain a healthy body weight
  • Produce important short-chain fatty acids
  • Train the immune system to work optimally
  • Deter pathogens that could make you sick
  • Maintain the intestinal lining against “leaky gut”

Your colonic bacteria trade their health-promoting functions for a place to live (in your large intestine). In fact, they do so well for you that you barely even know they’re there. It is possible to increase the diversity of your gut microbiota (which only benefits your health). That’s where prebiotics and probiotics come in.

What are prebiotics?

Prebiotics are substances found mostly in plant-based foods which provide sustenance for the beneficial bacteria in your gut. Prebiotic dietary fibers, resistant starches, and polyphenols (a type of phytonutrient) promote the growth and activity of health-promoting microbes.

The body isn’t able to break down these substances, so it passes them on to the microbiota where your gut microbes turn them into useful metabolites like short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) and vitamins.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are foods and supplements which contain a source of live bacteria that can have several actions on the human body. Probiotic bacteria, like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, help maintain order in the gut microbiome by maintaining the right acidity and deterring opportunistic from colonising your gut. helpful video explanation of microbiome, prebiotics and probiotics

Prebiotics and probiotics go together well because probiotic and beneficial bacteria cannot thrive without prebiotics because prebiotics are an important source of sustenance. As a result, the reduced abundance of health-promoting bacteria could cause imbalances in your gut ecosystem that is felt throughout the body.

TIP☝You can buy prebiotic and probiotics supplements, but it’s best to try and incorporate prebiotic and probiotic foods into your diet.

Prebiotics benefits: what do prebiotics do?

Prebiotics nourish your gut microbiome, boost the growth of beneficial bacteria, and promote the production of health-promoting substances.

Prebiotics encourage both the growth of health-promoting bacteria species, as well as enhance their activity. Indeed, the production of organic compounds by beneficial bacteria like short-chain fatty acids (butyrate, propionate, and acetate) is greatly supported by prebiotic foods.

You probably already consume prebiotics without even realising it because they naturally occur in plant foods, and milk too. The most stable sources of prebiotics are specific types of dietary fibre because they are less sensitive to heat and age, compared to say, polyphenols, which are plant nutrients that can be affected by cooking.

However, just because many fibers are prebiotics doesn’t mean that all fibre is prebiotic. Some insoluble fibers can’t be broken down by gut microbes. That’s okay because they give mass and bulk to your stools, like psyllium husk and hemicellulose. They help you to have regular bowel movements, thus preventing constipation and abdominal discomfort.

When to take prebiotics?

Most people in Europe don’t hit the daily recommended allowance of fiber, which means that people are simply not getting enough plant-based foods. By doing so, they are also depriving their gut microbiomes of sustenance from prebiotics.

How to take prebiotics in food by Mike Keneally.
Garlic is a prebiotic food that contains inulin

Increasing your prebiotic intake is really simple: eat prebiotic foods. This is particularly important for individuals who do not currently consume enough fibre in their diet, like those who eat lots of fat, processed meat, and refined sugars, as well as people who follow fad or restrictive diets.

How to take prebiotics?

Aim to get 30g of fiber per day from plant foods, including prebiotics, to support your gut health and microbiome balance. If you want to increase the stakes, try to eat the rainbow and get 30 plant foods of different colours into your diet per week.

The best prebiotics are plants because they come neatly packaged up with other phytochemicals, like antioxidant polyphenols (found in colourful plants), and nutrients like vitamins and minerals that are essential for the body.

Considering prebiotic supplements? Remember that they don’t come with all these added benefits. They are not a silver bullet, no matter what the packet says, because a diverse and balanced diet has been shown time and time again to be effective at promoting general health, healthy body weight, and preventing disease.

TIP☝You can find out the best prebiotics for you and get personalised food recommendations by taking an Atlas Microbiome Test.

Probiotics: what do probiotics do? :

Probiotics in fermented foods and supplements may benefit health by breaking down food and boosting the immune system.

Fermentation is a process where bacteria transform a substance, and it’s what probiotic bacteria are renowned for. Probiotics can have positive health effects even if they just pass through the gastrointestinal tract but don’t settle down in the microbiome.

Kimchi is a plant based probiotic food by Jakub Kapusnak.
Kimchi is a source of plant based probiotics

Are there plant based probiotics? Definitely, foods like tempeh (fermented soy), sauerkraut, kimchi, and lacto-fermented pickles are only possible thanks to the actions of bacteria like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium that metabolise sugars and increase the nutritional value of these foods.

Fermentation is advantageous for humans because such foods provide a great way for the beneficial bacteria to enter the body. Historically, it was also essential because no one had a fridge or freezer back in the day, and now science is turning to these traditional foods to find solutions for health.

FACT☝Probiotics are examples of beneficial bacteria which enter our body, usually through the ingestion of fermented foods, that have positive benefits for our health.

Health benefits of probiotics

Lots of research has been carried out about the benefits of probiotics on human health, and not just for gastrointestinal disturbances. In fact, the effects of probiotics are so vast that researchers are even studying how they contribute to mental health.

If your doctor has ever prescribed probiotics alongside a course of antibiotics, it’s because antibiotics disrupt the microbiome and probiotics can help mitigate the negative effects. Probiotics introduce beneficial bacteria into the gut microbiome that can help restore balance and prevent unhelpful, opportunistic bacteria from becoming too abundant.

Yellow rainbow foods pineapple by Pineapple Supply Co.
Have a party in your mouth and your belly with pineapple

Some research suggests that probiotics could have anti-cancer properties, especially against colon cancer. Studies have shown that certain strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria can stop the growth of bacteria which produce enzymes that convert pro-carcinogens to carcinogens.

Another promising benefit of probiotics could be their ability to lower blood pressure. They have previously been shown to improve cholesterol levels, but studies have found that individuals with high blood pressure who were administered daily doses of probiotics for a period of over eight weeks had improved blood pressure.

Your gut-brain axis influences disease risk and mental health

Interestingly, a new field of research is looking at the effects of gut bacteria on the brain — it’s called psychobiotics. There’s some evidence that some metabolites produced by probiotic microbes can influence brain health, stress resilience, and even depression symptoms.

Probiotics: are there side effects?

Probiotics have been demonstrated time and time again to be safe for use in healthy people. However, those who are immunocompromised, people whose immune system is already impaired, may experience side effects from probiotic administration. The side effects may include:

  • Gas
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Hiccups
  • Rash
  • Infections

Other groups who could be at risk of adverse reactions to probiotics are pregnant women, those with structural heart disease, or those who have a serious digestive condition allowing bacteria to cross the intestinal barrier and into the bloodstream.

Probiotic and prebiotic foods list

Now that you know how prebiotics promote gut microbiome health and why probiotics can support overall wellbeing, here are some examples of prebiotics and probiotics.

Prebiotics food list

BarleyCold potato/pastaOats
BlackberriesJerusalem artichokeWheat

Probiotics foods list

There is an array of foods which are considered probiotic, especially fermented types, and there are plant-based foods too. Some examples are:

YoghurtWater kefirSauerkrautMiso
Milk kefirKombuchaKimchiTempeh
Soft, raw cheesesTepacheLacto-fermented picklesNatto

Can you take prebiotics and probiotics together?

Prebiotic probiotic — they might be two different products, but the two combined produces synbiotics.

Synbiotics are a combined prebiotic probiotic supplement that contains a probiotic bacteria strain and a prebiotic fibres which work together to promote gut health. They do so by improving the survival of supplements containing live microbes.

The best prebiotic and probiotic combination is a supplement by Paweł Czerwiński.
There’s no best prebiotic and probiotic supplement specifically for you

However, finding the best prebiotic and probiotic combination may be more difficult than first thought. That’s because everyone’s microbiome is unique, so there’s no best prebiotic and probiotic specifically for you — at least not without taking a microbiome test and consulting a nutritionist to find the right combination.

Just remember this

Prebiotics and probiotics are vital for the health of not only your gut, but your body in general. Prebiotics are types of fibre which provide nourishment to your health-promoting gut bacteria, whereas probiotics are live beneficial bacteria which have health benefits for humans.

Consuming more of each couldn’t be easier. Our prebiotic and probiotic foods list should give you a little inspiration for what you could incorporate into your diet to boost your gut health.

Without prebiotics, probiotics can’t thrive because eating probiotic foods along with prebiotic fibres helps ensure the safe delivery of healthy bacteria to your gut, and will also give them a food source to convert to beneficial organic compounds.

There is no best prebiotic and probiotic supplement, it depends on the composition of your microbiome. Rather, the best prebiotics and probiotics are found in your meals.

How to Eat More Prebiotic and Probiotic Foods (and Why)

You’ve heard a lot about probiotics by now, and you’ve probably heard about prebiotics too. The trend has been booming. You have an idea that you should eat both regularly, but how do you easily fit more into your day?   Before we jump in, let’s review what prebiotics and probiotics are, their individual benefits as well as their combined power, how often you need to eat them, and where to find them.

First, let’s start with the basics.

What is a prebiotic? What is a probiotic?

Your body thrives off of the delicate balance between good and bad bacteria in your gut. It sounds odd to say that having bad bacteria in your body is actually good, but it’s true. Now keep in mind, the good bacteria heavily outweigh the bad in a healthy gut, almost 9 to 1. So the role of good bacteria is even more important than you might have realized. You want to protect those good bacteria and feed them to help fight and keep the bad bacteria from multiplying or taking over. One of the most effective ways to do this is by stacking your diet with foods that contain prebiotics and probiotics.

How to Eat More Prebiotic and Probiotic Foods

Probiotics are the good bacteria and prebiotics are the food needed to feed the good bacteria in your body. Prebiotics help to create and strengthen a healthy environment in your gut for the good bacteria to thrive, keeping the bad bacteria at manageable levels. Prebiotics are in essence the fuel, or a carbohydrate, for the good bacteria in your system. These fibers can be found naturally in foods like bananas, onions, oats, and apples to name a few, or they can be taken as a supplement. Probiotics can be found in foods like yogurt, miso, kombucha, or other foods that have been enriched with probiotics.

Something to keep in mind – If you are an overproducer of bacteria (medically diagnosed) then eating foods heavy in prebiotics or probiotics would likely not be recommended. You don’t want to add more bacteria or provide additional food for said bacteria, into your system if it is already overwhelmed. And remember, before starting any particular health regime or diet, it’s always important to contact your doctor.

Prebiotic and Probiotic Health Benefits

Gut health is widely understood as one of the main and most important reasons to consume foods rich in probiotics and prebiotics because of the direct correlation between your gut functions and that of your immune system. By empowering the good bacteria in your gut to flourish, your body has a better chance of fighting off the bad to maintain that necessary balance.

In addition to good gut health, probiotics also help to improve your mental health, lower blood pressure, and aid in weight loss. Prebiotics benefit more than just gut health too. They are known to aid in weight loss, help to normalize blood sugar and increase your bone health.

OK, we’re convinced! Now, let’s get into the ‘how’.

How to Eat More Prebiotic and Probiotic Foods

How often do you need to replenish your prebiotics and probiotics?

It’s easy to get both probiotics and prebiotics into your diet daily by choosing foods rich in both ingredients. The International Scientific Association of Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP) suggested that you get at least 5g of Prebiotics a day, sometimes needing up to 15g. More scientific research is needed to determine a suggested amount of probiotics, but in general, is it best to keep a healthy diet that includes high-quality natural fiber sources and those that contain probiotics.

In addition to the general guidance of making probiotics and prebiotics part of your regular balanced diet, there are a few suggested times you might especially want to consider incorporating those foods into your diet.

  1. Are you being treated for an infection with antibiotics? “Antibiotics are generally administered to kill specific microorganisms; however, since most antibiotics have a wide range of effects, they also affect related microorganisms. These effects are imprinted in the intestinal environment for several months after discontinuation of the dosing” as described in a study published by the National Institute of Health. It can be highly beneficial to take a daily probiotic for the duration of your antibiotics and a few days after.
  2. Cold and Flu Season is a great time to up your intake. Boosting your body’s immune system allows for your body to have a stronger immune response to help fight off the bad bacteria and maintain that healthy balance. Adding a probiotic to your diet can help in providing your body with good bacteria while taking a prebiotic will provide the fuel that good bacteria need to thrive.
  3. Travel can take a toll on your body. You are often exposed to more germs by touching surfaces in highly trafficked areas and sharing the air space with potentially sick travelers. Boosting your immune system before, during, and after travels can help to fight off any potential germs you may come into contact with.
  4. When your body becomes overwhelmed with circumstances outside of its ability to cope, your immune system can start to suffer. According to an article published by the Cleveland Clinic “stress decreases the body’s lymphocytes — the white blood cells that help fight off infection.” Therefore eating foods rich with natural prebiotics and probiotics can positively impact your body’s ability to handle its response to stress.

What if you’re having GI symptoms?

Sometimes as a result of an insufficient diet, you might find that you experience symptoms that could point to a need for more probiotics and prebiotics. There are several indicators to an unhealthy gut that you may not be aware of, so here are some examples of symptoms to look out for:

  1. Bloating, gas, diarrhea
  2. Food sensitivities
  3. Bad breathe
  4. Skin problems
  5. Sugar cravings
  6. Mood swings, anxiety, depression

If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, you might want to consider increasing your fiber intake and decreasing sugars and fats. Plus, incorporating foods rich with prebiotics and probiotics into your diet might be just what your body needs. For more details on how the digestive system functions, the work it does for your body, and the importance of adding fiber into your diet, check out the following article “Why You Need To Eat More Fiber ASAP.”  That said, if you’re concerned about any of these symptoms you should definitely consult your doctor.

How To Eat More Probiotics and Prebiotics

There are a lot of wonderful, healthy food options rich with natural prebiotics and probiotics that you can incorporate into your diet. In fact, you might already eat some of these foods without realizing their full health benefit. While studies are still needed to understand and determine the exact amount of prebiotics and probiotics needed or recommended to take daily (there are loose suggestions, as detailed earlier), it’s good to incorporate one or more of these foods into your diet regularly.

It is also important to note that the benefits of eating probiotic-rich foods can be compromised by outside factors. The bacteria in your microbiome, the probiotic, are delicate and intricate systems. Some of the top killers of probiotics are antibiotics, sugars, alcohol, stress, lack of sleep, and more. Eating foods rich in probiotics isn’t enough to ensure your body is fostering a healthy immune system and operating a productive digestive system. You need to also take a full body, holistic approach to your health that includes exercise and eliminating or decreasing stress, among other factors. As for prebiotics, it is important to increase your water intake if and when you’re eating foods with prebiotics, typically high-fiber foods. So to keep your digestive system moving, drink lots of water.

Prebiotic and Probiotic-Rich Foods and Snacks

How to Eat More Prebiotic and Probiotic Foods

Here are 10 Top Foods With Probiotics:

  1. Cottage Cheese
  2. Kimchi
  3. Sauerkraut
  4. Yogurt
  5. Miso
  6. Pickles
  7. Kombucha
  8. Apple-Cider Vinegar
  9. Tempeh
  10. Parmesan Cheese

Here are 10 great foods with prebiotics:

  1. Garlic
  2. Onions
  3. Asparagus
  4. Bananas
  5. Barley
  6. Oats
  7. Apples
  8. Cocoa
  9. Flaxseeds
  10. Wheat Bran

Eat them together to make it even easier to fit both probiotics and prebiotics into your daily diet.  Here are 5 great snack hacks to easily eat more probiotics and prebiotics.

Banana & Yogurt Parfait

A banana and yogurt parfait is a perfect marriage between two foods rich in both probiotics and prebiotics that you can get in one little snack. Layer yogurt and bananas in a glass dish or cup. For added protein or flavor, you can add a spoonful of nut butter! Mix it together and enjoy!

Miso + Leafy Green Soup

You can take a traditional miso broth, rich in probiotics, and add some delicious leafy greens to incorporate prebiotics. This light, healthy snack will keep you warm during the winter or in a cold office.

Truth Bars

These delicious snack bars are not only packed with prebiotics and probiotics but come in a variety of robust flavors that will surely satisfy your sweet tooth (with low sugar and Omega-3s too).

Pickled Veggie + Jicama Salad

You can make this to suit your taste buds! Choose any combination of pickled vegetables like beets, carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, and more and mix them with some freshly chopped jicama for a nice crunch. You’ll enjoy a delicious and healthy prebiotic and probiotic friendly snack!

Prebiotic and Probiotic Smoothies

Smoothies are an easy and delicious way to get prebiotics and probiotics into your diet. For four great smoothie recipes.

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