Gut Health 101: What are Prebiotics and Probiotics?

As we become more health conscious, we’re constantly being thrown so much information and it changes everyday! So, we’re here to help explain prebiotics and probiotics. What the heck are they and do we even need them? Or is this another fad?

No prebiotics and probiotics aren’t a fad. And yes, you need them.

Prebiotics

Gut.Three small bowls, an avocado, and 1 half peeled banana. There is a single hand holding a blueberry with their thumb and index finger.
Some of the most common fruits and vegetables are considered a prebiotic!

Prebiotics are non-digestible substances (fiber) which feed the good bacteria in your gut. So, high-fiber foods like avocados, oats, berries, and chia seeds are a prebiotic. But when you’re having a busy day and forget to fuel your gut, there are supplements like Naturlax to keep you moving and grooving! 

“I have bacteria in my gut?”

Yes, you and everyone else do! In fact, we have more bacterial cells than human cells. Crazy, right?!

The good bacteria play a vital role in our health. They’re responsible for things digestion, mood, and even mental health. So, it’s important to always nourish the good bacteria in your gut with prebiotics. 

Probiotics

Prebiotic. On a yellow background, there are 4 small bowls. One filled with cheese, another with chopped pickles, third with sauerkraut, and the fourth with yogurt. There is also a clear glass of red kombucha tea. The same hand is in the shit holding a cube of cheese between the thumb and index finger.
Fermented vegetables, yogurt, sauerkraut, and cheese are all considered probiotics.

There is a significant difference between the two. Probiotics are the helper, live bacteria which fight off bacterial infections and support the immune system. Foods like fermented vegetables, yogurt, sauerkraut, and kombucha tea all contain probiotics! But if you ever find yourself in a pinch, there are probiotic supplements that can help.

So, prebiotics are kind of like the fuel for good bacteria. Probiotics are the good live bacteria. Both we need for a diverse microbiome. 

“Wait, what’s a gut microbiome and why does it need to be diverse?”

Well, remember earlier when we said we have more bacterial cells than human cells? Your body is filled with trillions of bacteria, fungi, and viruses that make up your microbiome. Since our gut microbiome is responsible for our immune system, it needs diverse good bacteria to help fight off invasive bad bacteria. Therefore, the more diverse bacteria you have, the better the microbiome is at fighting off infections. 

Here’s How You Can Improve Your Gut Health

Although diversifying our gut microbiome may sound complex, it’s actually quite simple.

First, we recommend consuming more high-fiber/prebiotic foods. And don’t forget to mix it up a little. If you are used to oatmeal, try adding chia seeds and flax seeds into your diet. Your gut loves variety! 

Second, an easy tip to diversifying your gut is by eating fruits and vegetables according to the season. This way, you’re eating a lot of different fruits and vegetables than you usually would. 

You can easily do this by shopping for fruits and vegetables at your local farmers market. This is because farmers markets typically grow and sell produce by the season. Also, this supports small businesses and reduces waste and pollutants! 

On average, food travels over 1,000 miles from the point of production to the retail store.[iii] In contrast, many farmers markets only allow vendors to sell food produced within 200 miles. Some markets only have food grown within 50 miles.”

You’re doing good for you, the farmers, and the planet. It’s a win, win, win! 

Third, eating more probiotic foods! Next time you see a bottle of kombucha tea, give it a try! You can even include pickled vegetables into your salads, sandwiches, and meals! You can easily add in probiotic supplements into your daily routine.

Fourth, movement! You can read all about how movement is great for your gut health here

Lastly, do your best to get plenty of rest. Sleeping puts your body into a “rest-and-digest” state. 

It’s also been shown to reduce anxiety and improve the feeling of relaxation.”

Factors like being stressed can affect your gut health and digestive system. But by making sure to get plenty of rest, your body is able to reduce anxiety and feel relaxed. 

Just to review: prebiotics and probiotics are two different things but both are essential for a healthy gut.

Sugar-Free Peaches and Cream Shake with Naturlax

🍑 Jump to Recipe 🍑

As the weather starts to warm up, we wanted to share a recipe that’s perfect for sunny days. Even though peaches aren’t in season just yet, we grabbed some frozen peaches to create this refreshing milkshake! To see what fruits are currently in season, click here.

Is it a milkshake or a smoothie? We’ll let you decide. Either way, its tasty! 

But of course, this isn’t just an ordinary milkshake or smoothie. This recipe contains our favorite super nutrient; fiber! Fiber is a prebiotic that feeds the good bacteria in your gut. So, not only is this recipe tasty, but the good bacteria in your gut will love it too! 

We made the Peaches and Cream Shake keto-friendly for our beloved keto community members. By eliminating added sugars, health-conscious moms don’t have to worry about giving their kids harmful ingredients. Even our naturally-flavored Fiber Powder never contains any added sugar! So, not only does our fiber powder come in so many delicious flavors, it’s also sugar-free! 

When you add our fiber powders into kid-friendly recipes, they are able to increase their fiber intake. Check out our blog Constipation in Your Children: Three Easy Ways to Relieve It to learn more! 

Peaches and Cream Fiber Shake

This Peaches and Cream Shake contains real peaches and plant-based fiber. By adding in a super nutrient we're eliminating dessert guilt. So, you and your gut can feel good after this shake!
Total Time 5 mins
Course Dessert, Drinks, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 1

Equipment

  • Blender

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Place the ice cream, almond milk, frozen peaches, and fiber powder into the blender.
  • On a medium speed, blend the ingredients until desired consistency is reached.
  • Pour into a glass and enjoy!
Keyword Healthy Recipes for Kids, Keto Breakfast, Keto Snack, Peaches and Cream, Sugar Free, Vegan Dessert
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

The Breakfast Debate & Banana Chai Fiber Oat Cups Recipe

These Banana Chai Oat Cups are amazing and nutritious to keep you feeling at your best! Of course, it contains our favorite super food; fiber. They’re easy to make and you can even save them in the morning for a nutritious breakfast. Because they say breakfast is “the most important meal of the day”, but is it really? Let’s discuss.

Is Breakfast as Important as They Say?

We have been made believe those who eat breakfast are generally more healthy than those who don’t.

BUUUT these statements are based on observational studies and not real science. Basically, those previous studies decided breakfast was the significant factor and ignored the real significant factor of lifestyle.

Actual Science Has Shown…

Generally, people who eat breakfast eat things like fiber (oatmeal, yogurts, breads). And by now, you should know a high-fiber diet reduces the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and weight gain. Which is all the things researchers decided what makes breakfast eaters healthier. Also, breakfast eaters generally have more active and health-conscious habits like exercising and drinking water.

While those who don’t eat breakfast, typically don’t have the same lifestyle. They are typically smokers and heavy drinkers. And yeah, those lifestyles lead to heart disease and numerous other health effects. So, our research leads us to believe breakfast does NOT determine if a person is healthy or not. 

In addition, we learned from our previous blog post, how fasting benefits the body. And we don’t mean not eating for a whole day, but more so simple intermittent fasting. But note, fasting isn’t for everyone. In fact, Registered dietitians encourage you to listen to your hunger cues more so than worrying about “the most important meal of the day”.

Let Fiber be Apart of Your First Meal

Whether you choose to break-your-fast, at 8am or 12pm, we want to focus on why you should include fiber with your first meal

Fiber is a complex carbohydrate that your body doesn’t easily digest. Which is good. This means high-fiber foods sit in your stomach longer than simple carbohydrates, like sugar. This is why you’ll more feel full after eating a bowl of oatmeal than a bowl of sugary cereal. 

And, let’s not forget the beautiful bathroom experiences we have when eating a high-fiber diet. Ahh…such a relief! 

The Recipe

These Banana Chai Oat Cups can be a great breakfast or snack at the time you feel is right for your body. They are packed with a ton of fiber from the oats and Naturlax! Our Chai Flavored Fiber Powder is what gives these oat cups their delicious flavor. They are great for adults and kids. So, pack it with your lunch or a child’s lunch. 

If you like this easy recipe, check out Pumpkin Vegan Oat Bars!

Banana Chai Oat Cups

These Banana Chai Oat Cups are amazing and nutritious to keep you feeling your best! Of course, it contains our favorite super food; fiber. They're easy to make and you can even save them in the morning for a nutritious breakfast.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 6

Equipment

  • Small Mixing Bowl
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Spatula
  • Cupcake Paper Cups
  • Muffin Pan

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups Old Fashioned Oats
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan Salt
  • 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup Organic Maple Syrup
  • 1 Chai Flavored Fiber Packet
  • 6 oz Water
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, mix the Chai Fiber Packet with water until the mixture has reached a gel-like consistency. Set aside
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry and wet ingredients along with the chai/water mixture.
  • Place into muffin pan and bake for 15-17mins. Then, enjoy or save for the next morning for the perfect on-the-go breakfast.
Keyword Banana, Healthy Recipes for Kids, Oatcups, Oatmeal, Vegan Breakfast
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Easy Recipes: Pumpkin Vegan Baked Oat Bars

🎃Jump to Recipe🎃

It’s time for all things Fall! We’re here to kick off the fall season with our Pumpkin Vegan Baked Pumpkin Oat Bars! As with all our recipes, these oat bars are packed with plant-based fiber to keep your gut healthy. First, let’s discuss why we love this nutritious recipe so much.

Pumpkin Puree: It’s Loaded with Nutrients

Yes, we added our fiber powder to this recipe but there is another ingredient in here that’s packed with fiber. Pumpkin puree. A can of Organic Pumpkin Puree contains at least 3 grams of fiber per serving [1/2 cup]! So, maybe you might consider the Pumpkin Latte? Just kidding, that’s filled with sugar, which is the opposite of fiber.

Anyways, organic pumpkin puree is high in fiber content! Plus, you can find 100% pure pumpkin puree that does not contain sugar! So, it’s keto and low-carb friendly way of increasing your daily intake of fiber. Pumpkin Puree is versatile for most diets but did you know it can help your constipated pets too?! Click here to learn all about the types of fiber you dogs and cats can consume.

Read on to see which fiber powder we used!

The Other Way to Use Fiber

As mentioned above, this oat bar recipe is backed with double the amount of fiber. So, not only will it keep your digestive system happy, but your children’s too! Try this recipe with kids and let us know what they think!

These oat bars are easy, nutritious, and delicious. Perfect to save for breakfast on-the-go or pack into your kid’s school lunch box…at home. 

Eat them as is or warm them up in the microwave for a warm and soft oat bar. 

That’s not all folks! We didn’t just use our fiber powder in this recipe. We used our Pure Psyllium Husk Fiber Powder and water as an egg replacement. Check out our blog post to see how we do this!

Yes, these Oat Bars are vegan! Of course if you’d like to use regular ol’ eggs, you can!  

This recipe is as easy as placing all your ingredients into a bowl, mixing it up, and baking!
This recipe has less than 10 ingredients that can be commonly found in any kitchen!
We topped our Vegan Baked Pumpkin Oat Bars with honey and powdered sugar.
Sprinkle the oat bars with honey and powdered sugar for a sweeter taste!

Vegan Baked Pumpkin Oat Bars

Oat Bars are the easy-to-grab breakfast your mornings have been needing. These bars are just in time for the infamous pumpkin season too!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 4

Equipment

  • Oven
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Measuring Spoons/Cups
  • Spatula
  • Baking Sheet
  • Parchment Paper

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups Old Fashioned Oats
  • 1 cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 1/4 cup Maple Syrup
  • 1/3 cup Vegan Chocolate Chips
  • 3/4 cup Almond Milk
  • 1 tsp Nature's Flavors Organic Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tbsp Cinnamon
  • 4 oz Egg Replacer (Psyllium Husk Fiber Powder)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • While that's heating, mix all your ingredients together.
  • Transfer mixture into a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake mixture for 25-30minutes or until golden brown.
  • Set aside to cool.
  • Cut into squares and enjoy! Or place them in the fridge for the next morning.
  • To reheat your bars, simply put them in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes.
Keyword Oat Bars, Pumpkin, Pumpkin Breakfast, Pumpkin Oat Bars, Vegan Breakfast, Vegan Pumpkin Recipes
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!