11 Prebiotic Foods and Supplements for a Healthier Gut
Improve gut health by taking these best prebiotic supplements and prebiotic organic foods! Read on to find out more. Prebiotics contain beneficial bacteria that naturally occur in the gut. They are available over-the-counter (OTC) or by prescriptions. Prebiotics come in many forms including supplements, food, and capsules. Although, you usually don’t need a refill prescription to get hold of prebiotics. However, you may be able to speak with your doctor about prebiotic prescriptions, as they have huge health benefits.
11 Sources of Prebiotics: Foods and Prebiotics Supplements
What is prebiotics? Not to be mistaken for probiotics, prebiotics is a type of dietary fiber. Dietary fibers contain a combination of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These work together to improve the body’s digestive health and function. Digestive health is improved by good probiotic bacteria in the gut producing important nutrients.
For this reason, scientists have been studying prebiotic fiber for decades and providing technical updates. Their findings have given us a long list of benefits that prebiotic fiber and prebiotic supplements can provide. For instance, Fructo-Oligosaccharides and Galacto-Oligosaccharides are used as a source of fuel to strengthen the immune system. As well as promoting healthy digestion. These fibers feed friendly probiotics that help to fight infections – hence the name, prebiotics. Although, some studies have proven that Gum Arabic, which comes from the Gum Acacia tree, is a better source of prebiotic fiber than FOS and GOS. These sources of dietary fiber are great because bad bacteria cannot use them – only good probiotic bacteria can.
But what are the primary benefits of fiber? Simply, soluble fiber slows down the absorption of cholesterol, sugar, and fat. As a result, insoluble fiber helps with weight loss, regular bowel movements, immune system, digestion, heart health, oral health, and cholesterol.
Prebiotic fiber, prebiotic supplements, and prebiotic powder are important in your diet because they are the foundations for creating a healthy gastrointestinal tract, which allows the digestive system to work at optimal levels. Making sure that you are consuming the right amounts of both prebiotic and probiotic will help to strengthen the immune system and overall health.
What is Lactobacillus? Lactobacillus is a type of friendly bacteria. Lactobacillus normally lives in our digestive system. Some great sources of Lactobacillus include fermented foods like yogurt. Lactobacillus can be taken orally to treat illnesses like diarrhea as well as helping general digestion problems. Check out WebMD for more information on Lactobacillus.
Eating a banana is an easy way to get some prebiotics, as they contain small amounts of inulin.
What is inulin? It is a form of soluble fiber. Inulin fructans, such as Orafti Synergy1, naturally occur in many vegetables. The good prebiotic probiotic bacteria in the lower gut uses it to make short-chain fatty acids for digestion. Unripe bananas are also rich in resistant starch which functions similarly to inulin. On top of the rich prebiotics, bananas are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, too. They're also low-calorie fruits, so snacking on them won't make you feel guilty!
There may be some truth to the saying, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away." Apples are relatively high in fiber. You can get about 2.4 grams of fiber for every 100 grams of apple, and almost half of which is pectin. Pectin helps create butyrate, a special short-chain fatty acid that supports the good probiotic bacteria in the gut and helps eliminate the bad ones. On top of these digestive health benefits, apples are also rich in antioxidants. They help lower LDL cholesterol and protect against certain forms of cancer.
3. Whole Oats
Whole oats are rich in a prebiotic fiber called beta-glucan fiber, as well as resistant starch. Studies show that the beta-glucan fiber in oatmeal has a positive effect on gut microbial functions. On top of that, studies also show that whole oats lower LDL cholesterol and help regulate blood sugar levels.
Tip: Try to avoid instant oats that already contain artificial flavoring. To get the full health benefits of oats, stick to the plain variety such as steel cut or old fashioned oats.
4. AsparagusEvery 100 grams of asparagus contains approximately 2-3 grams of inulin. Aside from promoting gut health, this vegetable is packed with all sorts of nutrients and antioxidants, such as vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, and folate. Asparagus is also quite versatile—you can easily add it to different dishes.
5. Yacon Root
Yacon root is similar to yams or sweet potatoes. It is a great source of prebiotics inulin and fructooligosaccharides (FOS). Research shows that fructooligosaccharides are metabolized by good gut probiotic bacteria to create short-chain carboxylic acids for the following benefits:
- Enhance good bacteria in the gut
- Promote regular bowel movements
- Lower blood pressure
- Regulate blood sugar levels
- Improve the immune system
Enjoy yacon root by roasting or steaming it. It goes well with salads and stir-fries.
6. Jerusalem Artichoke
Jerusalem artichoke is sometimes called sunroot or earth apple. It's a root vegetable that resembles ginger. It's rich in both inulin and fructose. Both of these nutritional components promote good gut probiotic bacteria while inhibiting the growth of the bad bacteria. In addition to the digestive health benefits, studies show that the fructan found in Jerusalem artichoke may help prevent the progression of colon cancer. It's also a great source of potassium, iron, and protein.
Tip: If you're trying to figure out how to incorporate Jerusalem artichokes into your diet, think of it like a potato. While many enjoy it raw, you can also boil, steam, roast, saute, or bake it!
Approximately 17% of the fiber found in garlic are prebiotics. These prebiotics includes inulin (around 11%) and FOS (around 6%). One study shows that the prebiotics in garlic may prevent certain gastrointestinal diseases. The same prebiotics also stimulates the growth of Bifidobacteria, the same probiotics found in yogurt, and some cheeses. This probiotic helps the body break down food, absorb nutrients, and inhibit the growth of bad gut bacteria.
You can also find prebiotics in onions. There are about 1.1-7.5 grams of inulin and approximately 4.5 grams of FOS for every 100 grams of onions. Apart from improving digestion, one study shows that onion FOS can also increase the production of nitric oxide in cells. This compound helps widen blood vessels so it can increase blood flow and lower blood pressure. Just like garlic, onions don't only add flavor to your favorite dishes. They're also packed with health benefits!
9. Chicory RootChicory root is commonly used as a caffeine-free substitute for coffee. The roots of the plant are roasted, ground, and brewed into a warm beverage that closely resembles your favorite cup of joe. Chicory root is a great source of inulin, which amounts to almost half of its fiber content. One study shows that chicory root may prevent constipation and diabetes. Researchers also found that it also aids in the digestion of fatty foods. So if you don't feel like eating your prebiotics, drink them!
10. FlaxseedFlaxseed is a great source of prebiotics. Depending on the variety, its fiber content includes:
- 20-40% soluble fiber
- 60-80% insoluble fiber
Both soluble and insoluble fibers play an important role in digestion and overall health. Apart from increasing the good bacteria in the gut, studies show that flaxseed can help regulate cholesterol and bowel movements.
Tip: You can easily add flaxseed to your cereal, dressings, yogurt, and baked goods!
11. Prebiotics Supplements
It might be difficult to get a regular dose of prebiotics from natural food sources on a daily basis. An easy way to do this is by including prebiotics supplements in your diet to help maximize the good bacteria in your gut and create the optimal probiotic environment. Choose a prebiotics supplement which includes digestive enzymes as they help enhance and accelerate the fibers' prebiotic effects. But before you begin taking any new supplements, it's best to consult your doctor first. More so if you're currently undergoing treatment for a medical condition.
To get a hold of your prebiotic supplements at the same time as your refill prescriptions, check out places like the Walgreens app or your local drugstore. Be sure to keep an eye on their clip coupons for a discount with your next shop! Prebiotic supplements should be easy to get a hold of. If you’re struggling to locate what you’re looking for, be sure to request service help.
Tip: Once you have your doctor's approval, take your prebiotic supplements or prebiotic powder along with your probiotics supplement. Just like refill prescriptions, there is a best time to take your supplements. It's typically best to take it first thing in the morning before your first meal.
BlueBiology Prebiotic Powder
This scientifically formulated prebiotic powder will lay the foundations for digestive health. By helping to keep a balance of toxins and bacteria in the digestive tract. The four main ingredients in BlueBiology’s prebiotic powder are a powerful organic mix:
- Lentil Root Powder
- Organic Chicory Root Powder
- Organic Gym Arabic Flour
- Alpha Galactosidase
The mix of these ingredients will help to keep the body’s immune system and digestive system working effectively. They will allow the immune system to flourish while making the way for a healthy gastrointestinal tract. To see results from this prebiotic powder, simply add 1 scoop of powder to a glass of water, once a day.
Performance Lab Prebiotic
Performance Lab Prebiotic contains a single active ingredient. This active ingredient is Inulin-FOS, which is specifically designed to help overall gut health. Both Inulin and FOS are soluble fibers. This means that they are able to survive when traveling through the stomach. Because they can survive, it can feed the good bacteria and therefore increase it.
Introducing BIOHM Super Greens from BIOHM Health:
While many may already be aware of the benefits of probiotics, prebiotics are often forgotten. Prebiotics and probiotics go hand-in-hand. You can think of prebiotics as the fertilizer for probiotics. They aid in the growth and function of probiotics in promoting gut health.
How do you incorporate prebiotics in your diet? Have you considered prebiotics supplements? Let us know in the comments section below.