Probiotics and prebiotics, what are the differences?

by Josephine Gorron

The microbiota, by performing many beneficial functions for the body, is an organ in its own right that must be pampered .

It has a metabolic, digestive, neurological and immune role.

An imbalance (dysbiosis) of the intestinal flora could be involved in certain diseases. So how to avoid it? To be on top of your digestive health, add probiotics and prebiotics to your diet.

Probiotics: bacteria for life!

Bacteria ?! Yes, yes, probiotics are microorganisms. There are bacteria, yeasts or lactic ferments. According to the WHO, the official definition is “live micro-organisms which, when ingested in sufficient quantity, exert positive effects on health, beyond the traditional nutritional effects”.

Probiotics promote the development of our good bacteria to the detriment of the bad ones. They then help our intestinal flora in its immune and digestive functions. Today, they are commonly used following the intake of antibiotics.

Lacto-fermented foods are the richest in probiotics. Lactic fermentation is the transformation of a food into a probiotic.

No confusion, lacto-fermentation does not imply the presence of lactose!

 Top 5 probiotic foods:

  • Yogurts containing these two strains, lactobacillus bulgaricus and streptococcus termophilus - promise, I'm not putting a spell on you!
  • Lacto-fermented drinks like kombucha and kefir - often in organic stores.
  • Natural sourdough bread - you will find it in organic or more traditional bakeries.
  • Brewer's yeast - to sprinkle on salads, vegetables and soup.
  • Olives and sauerkraut - I grant you it's a little less glamorous.

Prebiotics: a feast for our bacteria

Our diet directly affects the health of our gut bacteria. Depending on what we consume, some will develop rather than others. Prebiotics are soluble plant fibers that we cannot digest. However, they serve as a feast for our microbiota and in particular for probiotic bacteria. Growth and good health in perspective!

Prebiotics are essential to maintain our intestinal microbiota. They induce favorable effects on our flora, our intestines and our overall health:

  • an increase in good intestinal bacteria.
  • a decrease in acidification by reducing bad bacteria.
  • an improvement in the lining of the intestinal wall.
  • a decrease in inflammation

Top 5 prebiotic foods:

  • Very ripe fruits and vegetables - prefer organic and seasonal ones.
  • Whole grains - heavy on oat bran, rice, barley, rye and buckwheat.
  • Garlic and onions - wearing a mask is recommended in case of (a little) strong breath.
  • Legumes - in salads, side dishes or dips (hummus).
  • Seeds - flax, chia or psyllium, vary!

Prebiotics are also found in all Hygee adaptogen powders. Enjoy!

The recipe for happy and healthy bacteria?

  • Raw and cooked fruits and vegetables at every meal
  • A little vegetable protein every day
  • A handful of dried fruits daily
  • A little flax, chia, pumpkin or sunflower seeds in your salads, soups and compotes
  • Whole or semi-whole grains
  • 1 tsp Hygea of ​​Serenity , Energy , Beauty or Immunity in your favorite drinks
  • Plenty of water throughout the day


Dietician - Nutritionist in private practice, Joséphine is also passionate about yoga and meditation. Convinced that taking care of yourself through diet and physical effort are the keys to good health and general fulfillment, Joséphine offers her patients comprehensive support based on mindfulness and respect for the body.

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