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Buddha bowls supply your body with necessary probiotics and prebiotics (what probiotics eat) as well as looking good (winking not guaranteed)

Healthy bacteria is setting the beauty world abuzz, and for good reason. Not only do probiotics and prebiotics benefit your general well-being, they might just be the answer to great skin, sans makeup.

‘Our good gut flora, known as probiotics, help hormone production and regulation, immune function, nutrient absorption, digestion and vitamin synthesis. If we don’t look after our gut flora, we end up with an imbalance of healthy bacteria and bad bacteria, which leaves us exposed to all sorts of environmental and dietary toxins wreaking havoc on the body — and one of the first things in our body to be affected is our skin,’ shares dietitian Alexandra Hardie.

Prebiotics vs probiotics

To fix this, we need to populate our gut with both probiotics — ‘good’ bacteria that rebalance the stomach — and prebiotics, i.e. fibre that feeds those probiotics. Natural probiotics include yogurt, kimchi and kombucha, and prebiotics are found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, including apples, asparagus, cabbage, leeks, chickpeas and lentils.

Here, we share three ways to boost your probiotics and prebiotics, pronto — because it’s a new year, and what better beauty resolution could there be than one that starts from within?

Sip: Green Smoothie

‘It’s as easy as adding avocado, banana, mango, baby spinach, coconut water, maca powder, spirulina, slippery elm and cinnamon into a blender. Slippery elm is a powder made from the bark of the slippery elm tree which helps with gut barrier function and reducing inflammation in the digestive tract.’

Green Smoothie. Image by

Eat: Buddha Bowl

‘Mix quinoa or barley with sautéed greens — I like to use broccolini, kale and Brussels sprouts — with sauerkraut, avocado, spiced roasted chickpeas, sunflower seeds and fresh herbs and drizzle with a little lemon and tahini dressing. Add some spiced tempeh for added protein and probiotics.’

Buddha Bowl. Image by Mariana Medvedeva /

Boost: Supplements

‘Your diet should come first and foremost – a diet rich in prebiotics is the key to improving gut health, and without it, taking probiotic supplements will be completely ineffective.’ Once your diet is on track, for general health, Hardie recommends ‘a probiotic supplement with a mix of Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria of up to 50 billion colony forming units (CFU) total’.


Top image by Brooke Lark /

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