Probiotics and Prebiotics

This week I delve into the world of probiotics and prebiotics

 to find out what they are, how they help us and how to best consume them.



  • Living good bacteria
  • Known to aid gut health
  • Make up your microbiome and balance out any bad bacteria you might have 
  • They are thought to help restore the natural balance in the gut, especially after a course of antibiotics
  • Found in fermented foods
  • Prebiotics nourish and feed probiotics
  • Are nutrients




  • Prebiotics nourish and feed probiotics
  • Naturally found in our bodies 
  • Found in fibre
  • Are digested by our gut microbiota, and they flourishes on them, causing them to grow and multiply improving our gut health
  • Increase mineral absorption
  • Increase levels of good bacteria and reduce levels of bad bacteria
  • All those amazing benefits of probiotics, like decreased anxiety, immunity system boosts, weight maintenance, reduced risk for disease, improved digestion…those wouldn’t exist without prebiotics



In my previous post I looked at how we have both “good” and “bad” bacteria in our guts. “In a healthy gut, the number of bad bacteria are limited and tightly controlled by the good bacteria. If, however, the good bacteria are weakened, the bad bacteria can get out of control and wreak havoc on our overall health and immunity.” (Sarah Wilson)

After learning a little about what they are, undoubtably my next question was  – where can I get some of these??!!

Experts recommend eating a variety of the following foods, as each offers unique fibers, and different microbes like to munch on different types. This way, you also increase your microbial biodiversity, which researchers have found is crucial to a healthy gut. And even if you haven’t jumped on the probiotic bandwagon just yet, you should probably introduce these foods into your diet anyway; studies show that just adding prebiotic veggies to an unhealthy diet can begin to alter the composition of our gut by strengthening our good microbes.

Probiotic foods


You can also take probiotics in the form of shop-bought yoghurt drinks, some of which contain up to billions per millilitre (just be wary of added sugars), and as tablets, capsules and powder.

Prebiotic foods


Other foods naturally high in prebiotics include beans, beetroot, cashews, corn, grapefruit, sweet potato, peaches, nuts and oats.


As you can see, most of these are fairly common ingredients that I know I can find in Jakarta, so by starting to include them into my meals I will be making my gut very happy – are you up for the challenge?


A final thought that I found in my research –

You can load up on all the probiotic supplements you can get your hands on, but without prebiotics it won’t be of much benefit. A diet rich in fruits, whole grains, vegetables will give your flora food to feed on and keep it thriving.

Elissa Goodman


Feature image –…/whats-missing-prebiotics

Happy gut image – smileygut1.jpg

Probiotic food image – probiotic-foods.jpg

Prebiotic food image – foods-high-in-prebiotics.png

Probiotic and Prebiotic image –

Prebiotic image – blog-probiotics.jpg

Probiotic image – 13-400-species-probiotics.gif