Prebiotics / Probiotics: What are they and why are they in our cookies?

Our digestive system is a pretty amazing part of our body. Also known as the gastrointestinal tract, or gut, this group of organs breaks down food and liquids into their chemical components (carbohydrates, fats & proteins), which the body uses for energy and cell regeneration. It also regulates hormones and activates the immune system. Our gut is made up of microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, and viruses). When in balance, the good bacteria in your gut keep you healthy by preventing overgrowth of bad bacteria (and potentially infection) such as harmful microbes, yeasts, and parasites.

Prebiotics and probiotics both support the body in building and maintaining a healthy colony of bacteria and other microorganisms, which supports the gut and aids digestion. These food components help promote beneficial bacteria by providing food and creating an environment where microorganisms can flourish.

Prebiotics and Probiotics should never be confused as they are both very different and unique in their own way. What they do have in common is that they both have very beneficial health and healing properties.

Prebiotics are compounds in food that induce the growth or activity of beneficial microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi. They’re soluble fibers, so they attract water during digestion. They also contain oligosaccharides which are sugars that get eaten by our gut’s bacteria. After our gut eats these bacteria, they release fatty-acids which could possibly relieve discomfort in people who have inflammatory-bowel disorders or conditions such as Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s Disease or IBS.
Dietary prebiotics is typically nondigestible fiber compounds that pass undigested through the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract and stimulate the growth or activity of advantageous bacteria that colonize the large bowel by acting as a place to survive for them. As a functional food component, prebiotics, like probiotics, are a conceptual intermediary between foods and drugs.

Probiotics are living microorganisms (such as bacteria and yeasts), found in fermented foods like yogurt and kimchi. Probiotics can be consumed through nutritional supplementation or through these foods that have undergone bacterial fermentation. Some probiotics make claims of aiding on weight loss, but it remains to be seen. What we do know is that probiotics can definitively help with inflammatory-bowel disorders or conditions and food allergies. When you consume probiotics, the live microorganisms encourage the repopulation of beneficial bacteria and fungi and allow the immune system to boost its response to harmful pathogens. In this way, they work by both changing the composition of gut bacteria and the metabolic activity of existing bacteria that live there. Since probiotics are living microorganisms, they need food to stay alive and to grow in your gut. Probiotics feed on the prebiotics to stimulate their growth in your gut. Prebiotics are like the gas you put in your car, without it, you won’t go far for long.

In the last couple of years, we have seen probiotics come in everything from pharmaceuticals and skincare to any of our potential food is eaten daily. What used to be a specialty category has become widely mainstream. Once Yogurt, Sauerkraut, and Kombucha have now become a trend of Chocolates, candies, baked goods and more.

Shrewd Food is proud to have a serving of prebiotics and 1Billion CFU’s of probiotics in every 1.65 oz. bag of Protein Cookies. Not only do the cookies provide great taste in every crispy bite, but they also provide 8g Protein and the nutritional equivalent to a serving of 10 different fruits and vegetables* (such as Broccoli, Cranberry, Papaya, Maitake Mushroom, Spinach & Sweet Potato). They are available in two flavors, Oat & Berry and Oat & Chip. You can find them on our own website, Amazon and retailers like CVS.

*Oat & Berry contains 10, Oat & Chip contains 7.