A Nutritionist's Guide To The Best Pre and Probiotic Snack Bars
Written by GMB Nutritionist, Melissa Fine
Gut-loving snack bars are all the rage right now, providing an easy (and tasty) way to get more of the good stuff into your belly. Here’s the lowdown on what pre and probiotics actually are, and the wholefoods you’ll find them in — including some of our favourite snack bars.
First things, first: what are pre and probiotics?
Found in certain carbohydrates (and also in supplement form), prebiotics are a form of fibre that provide a ‘feeding ground’ for probiotics. Probiotics rely on nourishment from their prebiotic friends in order to thrive and flourish.
Probiotics are living microorganisms (bacteria and yeasts) found in fermented foods and also supplements; once consumed, probiotics call your digestive system their home, where they make it their business to promote a healthy balance of ‘gut flora’, and it’s not just your digestive health that will reap the benefits. From blood sugar and cardiovascular health, to immune and brain health, research continues to show that your gut microbiome (the trillions of microorganisms living in your intestines – the majority in the large intestine) can have a powerful influence on every system of the body.
What are the best sources of prebiotics?
It’s easy to increase your daily intake of prebiotics when there are so many wholefoods that are naturally rich in prebiotic fibre; to name just a few:
- Legumes (peas, lentils, chickpeas, beans)
- Jerusalem artichoke
- Dandelion greens and dandelion tea
- Apples and pears
- Dried fruit
- Rolled oats
- Almonds and cashews
- Chicory root (found in coffee substitutes and prebiotic snack bars)
If you’re keen to grab some prebiotic snack bars, make sure they actually contain a prebiotic-rich food from the list above, or an isolated prebiotic derived from a wholefood like chicory root, inulin, or vegetable/apple/corn fibre.
What are the best sources of probiotics?
Fermented foods are where the probiotics are at; there are countless probiotic strains out there, some common ones being Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, Bifidobacterium bifidum and Bacillus coagulans; each comes with its own benefits and can also work synergistically with other probiotics.
You’ll find a broad spectrum of probiotics in fermented foods like:
- Good quality, unsweetened yoghurt (or coconut yoghurt)
- Tempeh (fermented soybeans)
- Probiotic-enriched snack bars; see our list below
GMB-approved snack bars containing pre and probiotics
Snack your way to good gut health with some help from a handful of our go-to bars; not just for snack time, enjoy these crumbled on top of yoghurt, porridge, or smoothie bowls, or for a wholefood dessert. these are also great for little ones who might not yet have developed a palate for sour/bitter fermented foods.
1. Supercubes Wholefoods Bars
Made with a short and sweet list of real food ingredients, these plant-based bars provide prebiotics from ingredients like almonds, dates, and chicory root, and probiotics from organic Lactobacillus. And with flavours like Lemon Slice, Lamington, and Choc Banana, you’ll have no trouble getting your pre and probiotics in with Super Cubes.
2. Krumbled Beauty Bites
If you didn’t get a taste of Krumbled Beauty Bites at the GoodnessMe Box Wholefood Markets last year, it’s time you do. Bursting with prebiotics from vegetable fibre, and the probiotic ‘Bacillus coagulans’, each of the three flavours (Lemon Coconut, Apple Cinnamon, and White Chocolate Raspberry) comes complete with a no-added-sugar white chocolate coating. Shop here.
3. Shelby’s Healthy Hedonism Bars
You’ll love these bars because they’re refined sugar free and come in flavours like Salted Caramel, Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate; your gut will love them because they have added prebiotic fibre. Shop here.
4. Wellness by Tess Probiotic Bites
Made locally with love in NSW, these wholefood bites come in two dessert-inspired flavours: Choc Protein and Hazelnut Crunch, all while giving your gut prebiotics from dates and almonds, probiotics (Bacillus coagulans), plus easy-to-digest organic brown rice sprouted protein powder.
5. ATP Noway Collagen Bars
A high protein, low carb bar that’s also free from gluten/dairy/soy/artificial colours and flavours does exist; and with over 9g of prebiotic fibre per bar, ATP’s Noway Collagen Bars love your gut, too. Wait till you hear the flavours: Coconut Brownie, Lemon Curd, and Banana Caramel Pie.
6. Guttsi Prebiotic Sugar-Free Chocolate
Yet another reason to eat chocolate, Gutsii's chocolate range will satisfy that choccie craving without the sugar, all while fuelling your good gut bacteria (look out for the word inulin on the pack!). Shop here.
7. NutraOrganics Biotics Bar
Loaded with superfoods and a medley of pre and probiotics, including an impressive Vegan Lactobacillus Fermented Sprout Blend, this bar doubles as a gut-health promoting, functional food and dessert; choose from Coconut Chocolate or Exotic Ginger Jamu, or their kid-friendly, bite-sized varieties. Shop here.
8. Health Lab Probiotic Wellness Balls
Boasting one million probiotics per ball, natural prebiotics from dates and cashews, and two unique flavours (Mixed Berry and Choc Matcha), Health Lab makes giving your gut the good stuff easy.
9. Luv & Co Probiotic Nut Bars
10. Eclipse Organic Paleo Bars
These raw, wholefood bars will give your gut bacteria some love, thanks to fudgy, prebiotic-rich dates being the first (i.e., the main) ingredient in each of the flavours, including Choc Orange Fudge and nostalgic Berry Ripe.
Shop a range of pre and probiotic snack bars and more over on The GoodnessMe Market!