13 Prebiotic Foods To Improve Gut Health
To maintain good gut health, there should be a balance of microbiome in your digestive tract. Hence, we should focus on feeding good bacteria which produce nutrients for your colon cells that lead to a healthier digestive system.
The food that good gut bacteria love to eat is known as Prebiotic Food. It can be in the form of real whole food or supplements. Although, it’s better to opt for real prebiotic foods than supplements because supplements may lead to constipation.
Hence, here is the list of 13 prebiotic foods that you can incorporate into your diet for a healthy gut:
1. Onions and Leeks
Onion is a good source of prebiotics. The gut bacteria feed on onion and produce butyrate. Butyrate is a short-chain fatty acid that is food for T cells and fights inflammation and pathogens.
It also boosts your immunity. Although one thing that needs to be kept in mind is that onions should be lightly cooked as overcooking them can lead to reduced prebiotics.
2. Jerusalem Artichoke
Known as Sunroot, Sunchoke or Earth Apple, it is a part of the Sunflower Family and has numerous benefits. This vegetable provides about 2 grams of inulin-rich dietary fibre per 100 grams.
Inulin helps to increase good gut bacteria in your colour which strengthens the digestive system. It also helps in the absorption of minerals in the Large Intestine.
Strengthening your Immune System, lowering Cholesterol levels and preventing certain metabolic disorders are some of the benefits of incorporating Jerusalem Artichoke into your diet. You can eat them raw, saute or roast them.
3. Chicory Root
Came from Dandelion Family, Chicory root is the flowering plant. It has a coffee-like flavour, hence you can make herbal coffee for yourself and gain prebiotics.
Approximately 68% of chicory root fibre comes from the prebiotic fibre inulin which improves digestion and bowel function and helps relieve constipation.
It also raises the level of adiponectin which is a protein that controls blood glucose levels that helps in preventing diabetes. It is also rich in antioxidants, hence protecting your liver from oxidative damage.
4. Dandelion Greens
Dandelions are a great source of fibre and they can be eaten raw or cooked. Belonging to the family of flowering plants, it contains 1.92 grams of fibre per 1 cup (55 grams).
The high portion of this fibre comes from inulin which reduces constipation, increases good bacteria in your gut, and strengthens the immune system. It is also a good source of antioxidants and known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects.
Known for its various health benefits, Garlic is a tasty herb, having a rich source of antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory and lipid-lowering properties.
Garlic promotes the growth of Bifidobacteria which is a beneficial bacteria in the gut. It also helps in preventing disease-promoting bacteria in the gut.
Garlic also reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, has anti-tumour effects, and lowers blood glucose levels.
6. Fermented Asparagus
Asparagus is a rich source of prebiotics and eating it fermented will give you the benefit of Probiotic Food as well.
This nutritious vegetable naturally contains Inulin that promotes the growth of Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus. It has antioxidant properties and is known for preventing certain cancers too.
Banana is a fruit rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre, and a small amount of inulin. Green bananas are high in resistant starch which has prebiotic effects that lead to the growth of good gut bacteria.
Barley is a cereal grain that contains 2-20 grams of beta-glucan per 100 grams which is a prebiotic fibre that increases the friendly bacteria in your gut. It also helps in lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Barley is also rich in selenium that helps in thyroid function, provides antioxidant benefits, and boosts your immune system.
Whole Oats contain large amounts of beta-glucan fibre and resistant starch that helps in promoting friendly gut bacteria lowers LDL Cholesterol, controls blood sugar levels, and reduce the risk of cancer.
Apples are rich in Pectin which is a soluble fibre that has prebiotic effects. Pectin increases butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid that feeds beneficial gut bacteria and decreases the population of harmful bacteria.
Apple is also known for reducing the risk of asthma and other pulmonary disorders. In addition, it also improves heart health.
Flaxseeds are a great source of prebiotics that helps in promoting good gut bacteria, encourage regular bowel movements, and reduce the amount of dietary fat you digest and absorb.
Due to its phenolic antioxidant properties, it reduces the risk of cancer and helps regulate blood sugar levels.
12. Cooked and cooled Potatoes, Rice, and Beans
Potatoes, Rice and Beans are cooked and cooled to produce resistant starch which has prebiotic effects. They keep their prebiotics even when they are cooked and reheated. Hence, these are a good source to feed healthy gut bacteria.
13. Wheat Bran
Wheat bran is the outer layer of whole wheat which is a great source of prebiotics. It also contains a special type of fibre made of arabinoxylan oligosaccharides (AXOS) that promotes Bifidobacteria in the gut.
Wheat Bran reduces Digestive Problems like gas, cramping, and abdominal pain. It is also known for its anti-cancer and antioxidant effects.
Hence, these prebiotic foods can become a saviour if you are suffering from digestive symptoms or have an unhealthy gut. It will feed good gut bacteria and balance the microbiome to strengthen your digestive system.