You may have heard of probiotics, but what about prebiotics?
Prebiotics are a type of dietary fiber our body needs to feed the living bacteria we find our gut.
When we include good sources of prebiotic foods in our diet, we help our digestive system thrive, and the end result is better digestion.
Studies show that when we look after our gut bacteria, not only do we improve digestive function, but our immune system and pathogenic defenses too (Carlson et al., 2018).
Here are 4 prebiotic foods to feed your gut.
One of the most popular prebiotic food sources is chicory root, which is found in the form of a starchy substance known as inulin.
Inulin not only stimulates the growth of beneficial bacteria, but suppresses the prevalence of unwanted pathogenic bacteria.
This often results in improved digestion and a reduction of digestive symptoms (Kleessen et al., 2007).
Chicory root can also be really good for cleansing the liver, and improving detoxification pathways.
A good brand is Morlife Inulin Powder.
Flaxseeds are often recognised as a vegan alternative to omega-3 fatty acids, but did you know they're also a good source of prebiotics?
Consisting of a mix of soluble and insoluble fibre, flaxseeds nourish gut bacteria, promote regular bowel movements, and also influence the absorption of dietary fats (Kajla et al., 2014).
Quality is important here, that's why we sell Organic Flaxseeds.
Besides it being an amazing addition to many dishes, Garlic also contains naturally occurring prebiotics known as fructooligosaccharides (FOS).
These naturally occurring prebiotics help promote the growth of Bifidobacteria, a strain of beneficial bacteria that lives in the gut ensures healthy digestive function (Carlson et al., 2018).
Garlic also exerts potent antioxidant and antimicrobial effects, making this one an even better choice in one's prebiotic toolkit.
Some of the best garlic we stock is Nature-Pac Fresh Garlic.
Unripe (Green) Bananas
Unripe bananas are a great source of prebiotic fibres, found in the form of resistant starch.
Prebiotic fibre found in unripe bananas have not only shown to increase the amount of healthy bacteria in our gut, but also reduce bloating (Mitsou et al., 2011).
Unripe bananas can be found in the form of Green Banana Flour.
When we consume enough prebiotics in our diet, we nourish our gut bacteria, and the result is better digestion, immune function and more.
This list is definitely not extensive, but it gives you a small range of prebiotic fibre options to add to your toolkit.
If you're looking for a good prebiotic supplement, reach out to us and we can help find something that works for you.
About The Author: Stephen Brumwell
As a Nutritionist, Biohacking enthusiast, self-experimenter, research fanatic, and self-taught writer, Stephen immerses himself deep into the literature of human optimisation and holistic wellbeing. His goal is to help people better understand the science of human health, and how they can use it to perform better and live a life that is absolutely limitless.
- Carlson, J. L., Erickson, J. M., Lloyd, B. B., & Slavin, J. L. (2018). Health effects and sources of prebiotic dietary fiber. Current Developments in Nutrition, 2(3). https://doi.org/10.1093/cdn/nzy005
- Kleessen, B., Schwarz, S., Boehm, A., Fuhrmann, H., Richter, A., Henle, T., & Krueger, M. (2007). Jerusalem artichoke and chicory inulin in bakery products affect faecal microbiota of healthy volunteers. British Journal of Nutrition, 98(3), 540-549. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0007114507730751
- Henle, T., & Krueger, M. (2007). Jerusalem artichoke and chicory inulin in bakery products affect faecal microbiota of healthy volunteers. British Journal of Nutrition, 98(3), 540-549. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0007114507730751
- Mitsou, E., Kougia, E., Nomikos, T., Yannakoulia, M., Mountzouris, K., & Kyriacou, A. (2011). Effect of banana consumption on faecal microbiota: A randomised, controlled trial. Anaerobe, 17(6), 384-387. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anaerobe.2011.03.018