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Probiotics and Prebiotics: Better Together

The Organika Team

You have literally trillions of bacteria living in your gut, but you know what? When it comes to the gut microbiome, more is more. Bacteria are essential to your gut health, period. They help break up and digest food, maintain overall gut health and support the immune system, too. The more good bacteria hanging out in your intestines, the less room there is for harmful bacteria that can cause discomfort.

What are probiotics and why are they important?

That’s where probiotics come in: they’re food or supplements that contain the types of bacteria you want on your team! Some of the most common ones are called Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, but there are many different species and strains of probiotics, with different effects on human health. Some of the more well-researched benefits of taking probiotics include:

  • Improving mild gut disorder symptoms
  • Relieving gas and bloating
  • Promoting balance in the gut microbiome
  • Aiding the growth of beneficial bacteria after using antibiotics

What are prebiotics and what do they do?

Yes, you read right: there are prebiotics too. And what a difference does one letter make! Prebiotics are types of fibre that our body isn't able to digest. Instead, they serve as fuel for probiotic bacteria. They boast health benefits such as balancing blood sugar levels and aiding in the absorption of bone-strengthening minerals. Chicory root, garlic, leafy greens, legumes and bananas are all great dietary sources of prebiotics.

Probiotics + prebiotics = ?

Have you done the mental math yet? If so, you may have noticed that it’s a great idea to take probiotics and prebiotics together! Supplements that combine both are known as synbiotics. Combined, probiotics and prebiotics encourage the growth and survival of the probiotic bacteria you’re taking in. This maximizes the health benefits you would receive from taking probiotics or prebiotics alone. Other than the gut health benefits provided by probiotics discussed earlier, taking a synbiotic supplement can help with:

  • Immunity: a balanced gut microbiome is an important element in ensuring your immunity is in working order, helping condition the immune system to different types of bacteria. Synbiotics seem to also help reduce intestinal and overall inflammation, according to a few animal studies.
  • Heart health: Synbiotics may have an effect on how our body metabolizes fats, with potential benefits in controlling cholesterol levels.
Making sure to include probiotic and prebiotic foods in your diet is a great way to keep your gut microbiome happy and balanced. If you need a helping hand (or millions of tiny ones!), consider a synbiotic supplement, like Organika’s Probiotic + Prebiotic powder, for an easy daily boost to your gut health! For a probiotic that can help you out with bacteria-caused infections, check out our new Probiotic + Cranberry!