Prebiotics vs. Probiotics and why you should know what they are

Prebiotics and probiotiocs are hard words to pronounce, especially when you’re

trying to differentiate the two, but it doesn’t need to be a difficult concept to

understand. While Prebiotics and probiotic sound similar and would make good

tongue twisters, the two couldn’t be anymore different. They are also super

important to know about.

Prebiotic Fibres, simply put are food ingredients that allow the spread of healthy

bacteria in your colon. These would include fibre rich foods that’s probably

sitting on your kitchen shelf right now, like bananas, apple skins, plums and

many other fruits. Once digested, these foods would go through the small

intestines and goes through a fermentation process when in the colon.

On the other hand, Probiotics are the good bacteria – the ones that keep your

digestive system clean and disease-free. They are created through the

fermentation process and the fibres that you eat feed these bacteria. Yogurt,

bananas or banana flavoured Yogurt, are all good examples of foods that help in


That’s enough 8th grade biology for today and you’re all asking why anyone in the

world would want to know such thing.

The answer is simple: it aids in digestion. See, not all bacteria is bad, in fact, in

order for you body to run properly, it relies on colonies of good bacteria.

Probiotic bacteria gained from prebiotic fibre are such examples, as they aid in


Plum, for example, is a small fruit, no bigger than a tennis ball, that is known to

be a potent source of prebiotic fibres. Research conducted by Ezinne Igwe and

Karen Charlton found that plums have antioxidant and antiallergic properties,

and the fibre from plum aids in digestion. The prebiotic fibres help feed the

probiotic bacteria which in turn will colonise your colon and help spread healthy


There seems to be a large number of complicated words in the last paragraph,

such as “antioxidant” and it may seem like a lot to digest, but let’s break it down.

Antioxidants: are natural plant substances that protect the body from damage

done by free radical cells. Case in point, antioxidants prevents oxidation (as the

name suggests) which is a contributing factor towards aging, cardiovascular

disease and infections.

When you eat plum, these bacteria travel through your digestive system, a.k.a.

the gut and start their work on your colon. Probiotics are often prescribed to

patients suffering from constipation and similar health ailments (Byrne, 2009)

What about juices and pills?

Juices and pills are a little bit in the gray area, mainly because the freshness or

the fruits they make are questionable. Fruits, such as bananas and plums have

very short shelf lives and in order to stop it from spoiling, companies extract all

the oxygen, leaving virtually nothing but liquid (Hamilton, 2009). Hamilton

(2009) suggests that the added sugar in fruit juices, could reach 22g, which is as

much as a can of Soda beverage, for comparison. Ultimately making everything

counter productive since you’re ultimately drinking sugar water. It’s also very

appealing to think that all this could be consumed in a pill or drunk from a

grocery store juice box, but the truth is, the best way to get the bang for you buck

is to eat the actual fruit.

Some find that taking a healthy dose of probiotic, from a plum or an Apple for

example, improves their digestion and those who suffer from constipation also

found it to be helpful during the bowl movement process.

According to Lawrence (2018), because each body is different, it is very useful to

know which prebiotic and probiotic is needed. Not all digestive systems are born

equal and much like other forms of microorganisms in our body, probiotic

bacteria are fragile.

Which foods are the best?

Plenty of fruits are rich sources of prebiotics, such as Plums, Apples and Bananas

that produce prebiotics that will colonise the colon. Yogurt is also an excellent

source of probiotic bacteria.

Oats and grains are an excellent source of fibre, which as we know, are an

excellent source of probiotic bacteria.

You can find these foods and fruits and your local grocery stores and some

businesses also trade online: