Gut Stuff,  nutrition

Pre, Pro and Post Biotics..The Basics!

Interested in learning the basics of prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics? You’ve come to the right place!

Anyone that knows me knows that I LOVE all the research that is currently happening surrounding gut health and the gut microbiome. One thing I do not love? All of the misinformation and false claims regarding the gut, gut health and microbiome. In this post I am hoping to provide an evidenced base look at what prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics are, and why they do for/ in our bodies. As health, nutrition and microbiome research is ongoing the information provided here is the most up to date at this time, and will not have ALL the answers as there’s still lots we don’t know! Let’s get started..


Probiotics: The bacteria

Most people have now seen the word “probiotic” thrown around, whether on food packages, supplement packages, even in skincare (stay tuned for my product review on probiotic face cream!).

So what are Probiotics anyways? They’re the live bacteria, that when consumed in the right quantity have proven health benefits. There are trillions of bacteria within our “gut” and they help with digestion and destroying unwelcome bacteria and microorganisms. There’s more and more research suggesting these bacteria once inside our body may play an even bigger role in our bodily functions including hormone control, please see the Advanced pre, pro and post biotic article, coming soon!

Although the research is very promising, the difficult part about probiotics is that it’s not a “one size fits all” or a one strain or strains and “dosage” that’s right for everyone! For this reason I typically recommend a food first approach to getting your daily dose of probiotics and seeking individual support from a knowledgeable practitioner prior to implementing a specific probiotic supplement (high concentration of bacteria) as it CAN have a negative impact or not be a good use of your money!

What foods contain probiotics?

  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Sauerkraut
  • Tempeh
  • Miso
  • Kimchi
  • Kombucha

Any other suggestions? Comment or share below!


Prebiotics: “The fuel”

Prebiotics act as “food” and “nutrients” for our probiotics! To help keep our gut bacteria happy and healthy by consuming a variety of prebiotics! Although you can also purchase prebiotic supplements there are a wide variety of foods that are tasty and great for our bodies that also contain prebiotics, see below! The difficult part of prebiotics intake, is many individuals with IBS MAY May have intolerances or difficulties digesting certain portions of prebiotics. But don’t worry, if that is the case there are solutions which we will not be discussion in this Basic introduction article, however will explore in future posts!

What foods contain prebiotics ?

Although the below foods are a few examples of foods that contain prebiotics, they contain different prebiotics and therefore different nutrients for our bacteria. The variety of these foods are more important then having ONE specific food.

  • Asparagus
  • Bread
  • Cereals
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Dandelion root


Postbiotics: “The waste”

The term postbiotic is a term that is starting to gain popularity and I’ve been seeing more and more often, perhaps you have too!

Post biotics refer to the “metabolic by- productsthat probiotics produce. In other words, the probiotics (bacteria) consume prebiotics (their food) and excrete or get rid of compounds, similar to how we excrete waste. These compounds are know as “postbiotics”. Although these compounds are not needed by the bacteria they are starting to prove to be responsible for many of the positive effects of probiotics! These byproducts can help with preventing us from developing infections, help with managing blood glucose levels and can help with metabolism! I know it is amazing!


In summary:

  1. Prebiotics: are food and fuel for probiotics
  2. Probiotics are beneficial live bacteria
  3. Postbiotics is the “left over” by-product produced by probiotics that have many health benefits to humans!

Don’t forget to have gratitude for all that these little “biotics” do for us! AND stay tuned for even more research coming out every year!

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Welcome! I am a Registered Dietitian and a Certified Diabetes educator wanting to share my perspective on health with you!

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