Your gastrointestinal tract likely needs your help.
That’s right, your gut.
Your gut is essentially just a tube that transfers nutrients to your whole body. When’s the last time you thought about your digestive system?
Gut health is crucial to overall wellness, yet we often don’t take very good care of it.
What might sound more familiar are symptoms of an unhealthy gut, such as:
- abdominal bloating
- stomach cramps
These digestive issues torment a large portion of the population, you are far from alone. In fact, in the United States alone, it is estimated that more than a million people suffer from Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
Our gut health can be alleviated to some extent through simple lifestyle changes and in more extreme cases; medication. But before jumping straight to meds as a solution, try thinking about lifestyle changes in the form of prebiotic foods. Our gut health is a combination of multiple factors, but most importantly is the balance between bacteria and good yeast that are beneficial to our digestive system.
Prebiotic foods contain little fibers that resist digestion and work to nurture your friendly microorganisms. These fibers help create a hospitable environment within which they can develop properly and thrive.
6 FOS Rich Prebiotic Foods
FOS, or Fructooligosccharides are sugars which naturally occur and facilitate healthy and regular bowel movements. These foods not only help relieve constipation, but can also help balance out gut bacteria.
1. Raw Chicory Root
66.4% prebiotic fiber by weight. The “king” of prebiotic fiber, is composed of roughly 65% prebiotic fiber by weight.
1% prebiotic fiber by weight. The cheapest and most widely available prebiotic source. They don’t have the highest content of FOS compared to the other foods on this list, but they are definitely the most convenient and a great addition to a smoothie.
3. Dandelion Greens
24.3% prebiotic fiber by weight. A rich source of prebiotics, and a great addition to salads or perhaps in a super prebiotic smoothie with a banana.
8.6% prebiotic fiber by weight. A good source of prebiotics and super simple to add into your diet. If you can help it, stick to raw onions for the best effect on your gut health. Diced into your chili or strung into your salad will add a nice kick to any meal.
5. Raw Jerusalem Artichokes
31.5% prebiotic fiber by weight. Very high in prebiotic fibers, and will help clear up any constipation issues. Despite it’s name, it grows wild in North America and has a very sweet taste. Yet another great way to sweeten up your salads.
17.5% prebiotic fiber by weight. Perhaps the tastiest source of prebiotics. This lovely little onion genus is a great way to add flavor to almost any dish.
These percentages don’t tell the full story however. For instance, although bananas only have 1% prebiotic fibers by weight, all you have to do is eat 100 grams of banana to get 1 gram of prebiotics.
A general rule of thumb is to try to get at least 4 grams a day of prebiotics.
As you age, your gut health will naturally decline. Your good bacteria and yeast balance will begin to wane. For this reason it is recommended you up your prebiotic intake from 4 grams up to 8 grams a day.