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Prebiotics vs. Probiotics

Feb 24, 2017 | Joy McCarthy

These days just about everyone and their mother knows what probiotics are thanks to ads from mainstream brands like Activia, good bacteria have gone mainstream. And with over two-thirds of Canadians taking natural health supplements regularly, you can bet that probiotics are top of the list as they are one of the most popular supplements to take. 

Walker, Vienna and I all take a probiotic supplement every single day! 

However, not as many people know what "prebiotics" are and in this video I talk about both prebiotics and probiotics along with the health benefits of both. It's also important to know what to look for in a probiotic so you don't waste your hard-earned money.


I've been taking probiotics for about 10 years now and I've been giving them to Vienna since she was born, to support gut health and immune health. It helped regulate my bowel movements and eliminate bloating (as did a change in my diet!). 

The key difference between pre and probiotics is...

Here's my video talking about prebiotics and probiotics. Make sure you scroll all the way to the bottom so you can enter to win an awesome prize package from my friends at Genuine Health!

As mentioned in my video, this is a list of the Top PREbiotic foods:

  • Onions, leeks, garlic
  • Bananas, apples, pears
  • Asparagus
  • Jerusalem artichokes, celery root
  • Dandelion
  • Oats and barley 

Top PRObiotic foods:

  • Yogurt, kefir
  • Sauerkraut, kimchi (also a source of prebiotics)
  • Kombucha
  • Miso, tempeh
  • Pickles (raw, non-pasteurized)

I was super excited when one of my favourite natural health brands Genuine Health launched their own line of probiotics called Advanced Gut Health Probiotic. I mean it was inevitable given they are gut health experts with their line of fermented superfoods. I've been using their greens+ and fermented vegan proteins for years now.


Before I go, a few points I wanted to mention that are key about this probiotic and why I take it:

It's a multi-strain probiotic (my preference) which has 15 strains to mimic human gut flora. This promotes gut diversity and keeps your inner garden brimming with beautiful species! 

  • It has guaranteed potency. This means it will contain no less than 15 or 50 billion active live bacteria until the expiry date. 
  • The capsule is plastic-free and time-released for targeted delivery. 
  • It's vegan, soy-free, gluten-free and non-GMO. 

You can learn more about it over here. 

Do you take probiotics? What differences have you noticed in your health?

This post was created in partnership with Genuine Health, however all opinions are always my own. Read more about partnership ethos here.

Lindsey H   •   February 24, 2017

Awesome video!!! Learning so much from you!

Rachel Molenda   •   February 27, 2017

Christine   •   February 25, 2017

Hi Joy, I struggle with swallowing pills, capsules,but want the benefits of probiotics. Some people say its ok to open , some say no,some say take with food ,some say no.I find it very confusing but also pointless and expensive to take them if you are not reaping the benefits. Help ??Chris

Rachel Molenda   •   February 27, 2017

Val Flatt   •   February 25, 2017

Hi Joy! I started taking a probiotic recommended by staff at Natures Fare near me just 10 months ago purely by accident! My daughter had sent me to pick some up for her newborn and on a whim I bought a bottle for me too. For many years I have been struggling with getting a good nights sleep on a regular basis. From the very first capsule, I noticed an improvement! My ability to sleep longer thru a night regularly has improved by 90%! After all the different things I have tried over the years and all the $$$ I spent trying to find a healthy solution I am thrilled that this works but also surprised it was never ever suggested to me to try a probiotic! I realize it's one of those shots in the dark that may not work for everyone suffering with insomnia but I thought it was mentioning to those who may often get asked for a suggetion to help with this issue which is quite common amongst older women especially.

Rachel Molenda   •   February 27, 2017

Gen   •   February 25, 2017

Hi there, Is there a specific brand of probiotics you would recommend for babies and young children? Thank you :)

Rachel Molenda   •   February 27, 2017

RitaQ   •   February 28, 2017

For general health, or as one just starting to supplement with probiotics, which is recommended... 50 billion or 15 billion? Which does Joy use? Curious.... how did Joy give Vienna her probiotic as an infant when she was nursing? Thanks for answering.

Rachel Molenda   •   February 28, 2017

Samantha   •   March 2, 2017

Thanks for the video Joy, I've been searching for a good brand of probiotics...I only wish they sold them here in the U.S.! Maybe soon... :).

Rachel Molenda   •   March 3, 2017

isra   •   March 3, 2017

Great company, excited to start using their new products. Probiotics have improved my gut health enormously.

Rachel Molenda   •   March 3, 2017

Stephanie Haase   •   March 6, 2017

Just wondering about what to substitute for cashews in your recipes? I have a good sensitivity to cashews and almonds but peacans and walnuts are fine. Would one of those work as a replacement ?

Rachel Molenda   •   March 6, 2017

Laura   •   March 8, 2017

Thank you Joy! I am recovering from abdominal surgery, and was wondering about this topic, great timing.

Rachel Molenda   •   March 9, 2017

Jim Stone   •   April 1, 2017

Thank You very useful information :) Validus Nutrition

Rachel Molenda   •   April 3, 2017

Fene campbell   •   April 8, 2017

When and where will you be speaking so I can see you live

Rachel Molenda   •   April 10, 2017

shanda W.   •   July 29, 2017

Hi there, I was wondering with genuine health probiotics can i open the capsule and pour it into warm water or would the good bacterias just die if i open it? And please advise me if i should take it with food after eating ,or just take it by itself? Thank you


Kait   •   December 8, 2017

Hello! Just wondering now that V is 2, what dosage or specific probiotic does she take? If we put the capsules in our smoothies can our son have it that way? He is also 2 :)

Rachel Molenda   •   December 8, 2017

Stephanie   •   January 7, 2018

Is it best for probiotics be taken with food or on an empty stomach? Thanks!

Rachel Molenda   •   January 8, 2018

Celeste   •   July 10, 2018

Hi Joy! May I know what probiotics (brand) you give to Vienna? I used to buy Hyperbiotics for kids but will have to change my grand now because I can't get that from Amazon anymore. I have a 4 and 6 year old children. Thank you

Joy McCarthy   •   July 11, 2018

Lindsay Austman   •   December 26, 2019

Are the capsules for sale

Joy McCarthy   •   December 26, 2019

Patricia   •   July 18, 2020

What kind of probiotic does Walker take? Trying to convince my husband to take them. Thanks.

Joy McCarthy   •   July 20, 2020

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