We’ve all heard our body is our temple. Well, it truly is for the microbiota that live within it! The colonies of bacteria living in your gut are like the minions of your overall health. They can live in harmony or wage war to impact your digestion, immunity and even your mood. So, how can you ensure you keep your minions happy? Give your temple the care it deserves with the best prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics.
Contents:The Bottom Line on Prebiotics, Probiotics and Postbiotics
Prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics all play key roles in digestive health. In fact, they form an ecosystem of microbes in your gut that are sensitive to changes in any one part.
Prebiotics are the ‘food’ for the good bacteria (probiotics) in your gut. They are specialised plant fibres that aren’t digestible. For a food to be considered a prebiotic it needs to be fermented by the gut microbiota AND stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria (1).
Probiotics are the workhorse of the gut. They are the live beneficial strains of bacteria that help digest the food you eat and maintain the health of your digestive system. However, when they are overwhelmed by ‘bad’ bacteria from the use of antibiotics, illness, stress, ageing or bad diet and lifestyle habits they can also cause harm (2). It’s thought there could be anywhere between 39 and 300 trillion bacteria living in (or on) your body, so it makes sense to keep them happy! (3)
Postbiotics are considered the new kid on the block when it comes to digestive health. They are the end product of probiotics feeding on prebiotics. The bioactive compounds, such as short chain fatty acids and specific peptide chains, are gaining notoriety as beneficial for gut health and modulating the immune system.
With 80% of our immune system regulation being based in the gut and a strong connection to your mental health through the gut-brain axis, it’s no surprise that getting the balance of the best prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics can benefit your entire health.
Prebiotics are the foundation for a healthy microbiome. Because they stimulate the growth of good bacteria, they can relieve symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease, promote weight loss, and improve your mood. A review looking at the effect of prebiotics on mood disorders, sleep and cognition found that consuming prebiotics improved depression, anxiety, and stress in those with mood disorders (4).
Probiotics are the ones that get all the glory when it comes to benefits of digestive health. Apart from the health benefits to your digestive system, probiotics have been linked to enhanced immune function, healthier skin, improved mental health and enhanced weight loss (5). In one study, dieting women who took Lactobacillus rhamnosus for 3 months lost 50% more weight than women who didn’t take a probiotic (6).
Postbiotics are an exciting area of research. Scientists are discovering benefits ranging from reducing inflammatory and cardiovascular diseases to improvements in obesity and autoimmune disease (7). While the exact mechanisms are unknown, the antioxidant activity of postbiotics is also promising. Check out our ultimate guide to postbiotics to learn about 12 specific benefits backed by science.
Prebiotics naturally exist in specific high fibre foods such as asparagus, sugar beet, garlic, chicory, onion, Jerusalem artichoke, wheat, honey, banana, barley, tomato, rye, soybean and beans. However, because of the low concentration of prebiotics in foods, supplements are often recommended.
Happy Mammoth’s Prebiotic Collagen Protein has a 2-phase natural formula that’s developed to adapt to the unique needs of your digestive tract and gut microbiota. This way, it can help provide immediate relief from digestive discomfort while also working on restoring gut integrity for long-lasting results.
Like prebiotics, probiotics can be obtained through food. The most common is yoghurt, often advertised containing strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Other bacteria-fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kombucha and kimchi, are also good sources of probiotics.
If none of those foods are regularly on your menu, then supplements like Happy Mammoth’s Probiotic Greens Powder can be added to smoothies, on top of your breakfast or even baked into healthy treats. The specially formulated concentration of probiotics, phytonutrients and antioxidants may boost your energy, lower inflammation, and ease digestive deficiencies.
It’s also important to note that the time you take probiotics may impact the benefits you receive!
Postbiotics are often found as short chain fatty acids, such as butyrate, which promote the growth of beneficial bacteria and inhibit the growth of harmful pathogens. Eating a diet of fibre-rich foods, such as fruit, vegetables and legumes as well as fermented foods like kimchi, miso, kefir, sauerkraut, pickles are linked to a rise of fatty acid production because they put the probiotics to work.
Happy Mammoth’s Postbiotic Beauty Blend includes butyrate, among other ingredients chosen for their high levels of antioxidants, specifically promoting gut and skin health. Treat yourself to some postbiotic-packed sweetness (and great skin!) by trying the Beet and Cacao Brownie recipe!
Having good gut health has a flow-on effect for your entire body. Optimising your prebiotic, probiotic and postbiotic intake can benefit the amount of nutrients you absorb, the effectiveness of your immune response and regulation of your moods. As a result, you could possibly have more energy, less inflammation and feel happier!
Ultimately, prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics form an ecosystem that works synergistically. This means that many of the benefits overlap or are most effective when all parts of the system are addressed. If you want to take the guess work out of getting this balance right for you and truly treat your body like a temple, try Happy Mammoth’s Complete Gut Synergy System that combines the best prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics for you.