Digestive health: Rowdy Prebiotic Foods introduces new energy bar sweetened with yacón root

By Douglas Yu

- Last updated on GMT

Pic: Rowdy Prebiotic Foods
Pic: Rowdy Prebiotic Foods
Rowdy Prebiotic Foods has added a third flavor, Sunflower Butter N’ Berries, to its energy bar line.

The Nevada-based company, which was founded by outdoor enthusiast Kellie Lee in 2013 after she was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, currently manufactures Chocolate Coconut Cashew- and Peanutty Dark Chocolate-flavored bars.

“I knew that digestive issues were at the root of [hypothyroidism]… so I started researching new ingredients with positive health benefits and how to eat for and live with hypothyroidism,”​ said Lee.

Functional ingredients

Similar to other Rowdy’s bars, Sunflower Butter N’ Berries is naturally sweetened with the yacón root, which is a type of perennial daisy that contains a gut-healthy sugar that acts like a fiber in the digestive system, and has nourished South Americans for hundreds of years.

The energy bar also contains egg white protein and sunflower seeds. Each 12-bars pack retails for $35 via Rowdy’s website.

Lee said all the energy bars are “schoolyard approved and have already gained a following with local runners, triathletes and backpackers because of their simple, nutrient-dense ingredients.

“We are a company committed to empowering people to improve digestive health so they can restore balance and get back to being themselves.”

The difference between prebiotics and probiotics

According to Alfred Casale, who is the chief medical officer at Geisinger Medical Center in Pennsylvania, noted both prebiotics and probiotics nourish and maintain bacteria populations in the human body.

He said probiotic bacteria are typically found in fermented foods such as yogurt, miso, sauerkraut and kimchi or natural sources like honey and dark chocolate; while prebiotics are found in asparagus, onions, leeks, apples and bananas.

“Probiotic foods contain live bacteria that will arrive in your gut already active, while prebiotics act as a stimulant for future growth, ​said Casale.

“Think of prebiotics as grass seed or fertilizer, while probiotics are a layer of sod. When you are planting grass in your yard, sod will create a strong foundation and grass seed will sustain growth.”

According to IRI, the probiotic/prebiotic claim was among the most popular functional claims present on top-growth snack categories over the past three years, along with high protein, non-GMO and no antibiotics.

The market researcher also forecasted the sales of functional snacks in the US will reach $8.5bn by 2020 with 40% of adults seeking for snacks with probiotics, IRI predicted. 

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