Morning Mix


Prebiotics vs Probiotics, plus healthy recipes

Posted at 11:55 AM, Aug 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-22 11:55:19-04

Prebiotics and probiotics are often discussed when it comes to gut problems, but do you know the difference between the two?

Nationally recognized menopause specialist Dr. Diana Bitner from Spectrum Health, explains what probiotics and prebiotics are, and how people can incorporate these foods into their diets.

Dr. Bitner says when our gut is healthy and happy, we are happy. No one likes too much gas or bloating, or loose body mass or constipation. Part of gut health is keeping the healthy bacteria in our gut well supported, and to keep the ‘bad guys’ in check.

Probiotics are the healthy bacteria which live in the gut and have been linked to fewer IBS (Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome) symptoms like constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and abdominal pain, may have some link to a lower risk of colon cancer, and can reduce inflammation and is linked with healthier blood sugars.

Probiotics are best when taken in food, as there is proof they are alive and well, are supported by the nutrients int he food, and have good variety of species. Sources include kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, yogurt without kefir, and kombucha. Probiotics are only one piece of the puzzle-to maintain the healthy bacteria, it is necessary to support the bacteria with pre-biotics, or fiber and nutrients which support the probiotics.

Prebiotics are a substances which are fermented by the healthy bacteria such as non-digestible fiber and antioxidants. They are high fiber foods which act as food for healthy bacteria. By maintaining these in your diet, you will support the healthy bacteria and reap the many potential health benefits. All the small factors can add up to keep you feeling your best and be able to focus on the important things.

Keep on reading for some foods and recipes that are great for gut health:

Non-Digestible fiber (inulin, cellulose, pectin, beta-glucan, etc):

  • Raw oats
  • Jerusalem Artichokes
  • Jimaca
  • Asparagus
  • Dandelion greens
  • Leeks
  • Garlic
  • Barley
  • Apples
  • Flax seeds
  • Walnuts


  • Leeks
  • Garlic
  • Apple
  • Cocoa
  • Flax seeds
  • Seaweed
  • Onions

Recipes with Prebiotics

Morning Smoothie:

First blend into fine powder:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 2 T cocoa powder
  • 1 T flax seeds

Then add frozen bright yellow bananas and milk of choice (almond milk is the healthiest choice,)and ice, and blend!

Breakfast Veggie Hash:


  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Leeks

Add cubed cold roasted sweet potato, warm. Then fry eggs and place over the top of plated veggie hash.

Dr. Bitner's office is located at 3800 Lake Michigan Drive Northwest, Suite A. To schedule an appointment with her, call (616)-267-8225.

All information was provided by Dr. Diana Bitner, her blog. Read more.