Joyous Blog

Prebiotics vs. Probiotics

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. 

The awesome Genuine Health crew has offered joyous readers an opportunity to win their new probiotics!! Plus enter for a chance to win their fermented vegan protein powder and bars, plus greens+O.

Genuine Health Probiotics Giveaway

Lindsey H   •   February 24, 2017

Awesome video!!! Learning so much from you!

Rachel Molenda   •   February 27, 2017

Hey Lindsey! Thanks so much! So happy to hear you were able to take away so much from it :) Rachel - Joyous Health Team

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

Hey Christine!

You can definitely open them up and put them in your smoothie, coconut yogurt etc. Another option to get your probiotics in is to eat more fermented foods – sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, miso paste and fermented tempeh are all amazing options! I hope that helps :) Rachel - Joyous Health Team

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

Hey Val!

That's SO amazing! I'm so happy to hear that! Probiotics and probiotic-rich foods were one of those forgotten things for quite a while, but mainstream health care practitioners are recognizing the importance of it more and more now as new research comes out supporting it's endless benefits everyday! So happy you're sleeping better now though - that's what matters most! Thanks so much for sharing, Val! Rachel - Joyous Health Team

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

Hey Gen! Joy gave Vienna either HMF Baby or Natagen both by Genestra since birth, so she'd definitely recommend both of those :) Rachel - Joyous Health Team

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

Hey Rita! It's best to start off with a lower dose and work your way up. Taking too much at once when you haven't taken probiotics before can actually have an adverse affect and cause gas and bloating. I would say start with the 15 billion for about 2-3 weeks and see how you feel. You might need to up that or you might not need to :) Joy gave V probiotics in water and breastmilk, or if you're formula-feeding, you can put them in there as well! Rachel - Joyous Health Team

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

Hey Samantha! Glad you enjoyed the video :) In the meantime, you could check out Genestra's HMF Forte which is a high-quality probiotic and available in the US! Rachel - Joyous Health Team

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

Hey Isra! We're so happy to hear that! We love Genuine Health around here too :) Happy to hear you've had so much success with probiotics! Rachel - Joyous Health Team

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

Hey Stephanie! It would depend on which recipe you are substituting them in. For cheesy-like flavours (like Joy's Baked Mac

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

Hey Laura! Happy to hear the post was able to help you out :) Sending you lots of healing vibes during your recovery period! Rachel - Joyous Health Team

Jim Stone   •   April 1, 2017

Thank You very useful information :) Validus Nutrition

Rachel Molenda   •   April 3, 2017

So glad you enjoyed it Jim! Rachel - Joyous Health Team

Fene campbell   •   April 8, 2017

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

Rachel Molenda   •   April 10, 2017

Hey Fene, You can find all of Joy's upcoming events at the following links: :) Rachel - Joyous Health Team

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

Hey Kait, Yes, definitely! Joy gives V Genestra's HMF Baby and follows the dosage recommendations on the package :) Rachel - Joyous Health Team

Stephanie   •   January 7, 2018

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

Rachel Molenda   •   January 8, 2018

Hey Stephanie! You can do either. One is not necessarily better than the other. You can usually find the answer for this on the supplement bottle of the probiotic you're taking :) Rachel - Joyous Health Team

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

Right now she has HMF Fit for School which is a chewable and Vienna seems to like it. It's definitely not as potent as the powders though. If you want something more potent, then the powders by Genestra are a great option.

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