Prebiotics are a type of fiber that the human body cannot digest. They serve as food for probiotics, which are beneficial microorganisms living in your gut.
Without a steady supply of prebiotics, our gut bacteria will eat the protective mucous layer in our gut. This thin mucous membrane is your first line of defence against invasion of potential harmful compounds.
So, if we truly want to improve our overall health, it’s important to take good care of our digestive system and its microbiota. And one of the best natural ways to do so is by adding prebiotic-rich foods into our diet.
In this article we’ll be going over the six best foods you can eat to support your gut health.
Be sure to read until the end because there’s one food rich in prebiotics that not too many people know about. So, if you’re ready, let’s get into it.
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 3 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.
First, let’s talk about Probiotics vs Prebiotics. What’s the difference?
Probiotics are alive! These are usually bacteria and yeast. They aid digestion and have other health benefits.
Good sources are: Yoghurt, kefir, buttermilk, aged cheese, sauerkraut, kimchi, sourdough bread, miso, tempeh, kombucha, beer and wine
Prebiotics are simply a form of fiber that serve as food for probiotics.
Prebiotics are not digested by human enzymes and work to nurture your friendly microorganisms.
These fibers help create a hospitable environment within which gut-friendly bacteria can develop properly and thrive.
This means increased energy and better moods because our gut is functioning properly.
Recent studies show that prebiotics can help improve sleep and reduce stress.
6 FOS Rich Prebiotic Foods
Prebiotics are rich in FOS. 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.
Now let’s dive into the 6 Prebiotic Foods that are rich in FOS.
1. Raw Chicory Root
66.4% prebiotic fiber by weight. The “king” of prebiotic fiber, is composed of roughly 65% prebiotic fiber by weight.
Chicory roots can be boiled and the leaves (endive), buds, and roots can be eaten like a vegetable.