A healthy gut is essential for overall health. If you have been struggling with digestive issues, adding prebiotics to your diet may be the solution. Prebiotics are non-digestible fibers that feed the good bacteria in your gut and promote a healthy microbiome. Here is a list of 10 of the best prebiotic foods to add to your diet for optimal gut health.
1. Green Bananas
A green banana contains significantly more resistant starch than a yellow banana. Resistant starch is a type of dietary fiber that resists digestion and passes through the body relatively unchanged. It has been linked to beneficial effects on blood sugar, cholesterol and other markers of health.
The difference in resistant starch content between a green and yellow banana is quite significant. Green bananas contain up to four times as much resistant starch. This is because resistance starch forms before the starches in a banana ripen and convert into simple sugars.
Research suggests that eating these green bananas helps promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in your gut, reduces bloating and improves digestion.
Inulin is a type of dietary fiber found naturally occurring in asparagus and other plant-based foods.
Inulin helps to feed and promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, thereby improving digestive health. This is because it provides food for probiotics. This is necessary for maintaining the balance of good bacteria in our gastrointestinal tract.
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, inulin helps to reduce levels of inflammation within the gut. Research has shown that consuming foods rich in inulin can help strengthen immunity and reduce susceptibility to certain illnesses.
Apart from being beneficial to our intestinal health, inulin also has various other metabolic benefits. These include: reduced blood sugar levels, improved cholesterol levels and even weight loss. All these factors make inulin a must-have for maintaining intestinal health and overall well-being.
Apples are a great source of prebiotics because they contain pectin Pectin is a type of fiber that feeds good bacteria in the gut and helps support regular digestion. Eating an apple with its skin on can give you an extra dose of prebiotics.
Pectin also helps to keep your digestive system moving such that food moves through at an appropriate rate. This prevents constipation and keeps the gut functioning optimally. Additionally, pectin may help to reduce inflammation in the intestines, as well as supporting healthy cholesterol levels. Research has shown that pectin can be beneficial for reducing risk factors related to both heart disease and stroke.
Finally, pectin has been found to have antimicrobial properties, helping to fight off harmful bacteria and viruses that can cause digestive upset. All in all, pectin is an essential component of maintaining optimal intestinal health and should be consumed regularly for maximum benefit.
Garlic contains fructooligosaccharides (FOS) which act as prebiotics and help stimulate the growth of good bacteria in your gut. FOS can also suppress bad bacteria that can cause digestive problems like diarrhea or constipation. Additionally, garlic has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties that help improve overall health and wellbeing.
Onions are another great source of FOS which can help balance out the microbiota in your gut and reduce inflammation throughout your body. They also provide antioxidants that can improve immune system functioning as well as reduce risk factors for chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
Oats are rich in beta-glucan fiber which helps feed beneficial bacteria in the gut while improving digestion by increasing stool bulk and reducing constipation . Oats also have cholesterol lowering effects which can help reduce risk factors for heart disease.
Studies have also demonstrated that beta-glucan can help lower cholesterol levels by reducing “bad” LDL cholesterol, making it an important component of a heart healthy diet.
Additionally, reducing high cholesterol levels can help reduce risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease such as stroke, heart attack, and other chronic conditions. Finally, beta-glucan has been found to be effective in stimulating immune responses such as: increasing lymphocyte production, increasing cytokine secretion leading to better overall immunity and wellbeing. Therefore, consuming foods rich in beta-glucans is an excellent way to improve your digestive health while promoting overall well-being.
Barley is also an excellent source of beta-glucan fiber which helps promote good bacterial growth while aiding digestion by increasing stool bulk and reducing constipation.
8. Jerusalem Artichokes
These vegetables have long been used as a natural remedy to improve digestive health because they contain high amounts of dietary fiber known as Fructans.
Fructans are an important component of maintaining intestinal health. They are classified as a type of dietary fiber, and they can help to improve digestive issues such as bloating, gas, cramping, diarrhea, or constipation.
Fructans act as prebiotics by feeding beneficial bacteria in the gut and helping to promote the growth of microorganisms that support a healthy balance in the intestines.
Studies have even suggested that Fructans may help reduce the risk for some chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Furthermore, Fructans help to regulate blood glucose levels and support regular elimination of waste from the body.
Flaxseeds are one of nature’s richest sources of a soluble fiber known as mucilage. Mucilage is a beneficial substance for intestinal health. It is a substance created by plants as a defense mechanism, and it serves many health benefits in humans. It works as a demulcent that helps to lubricate the intestinal walls, reducing inflammation and irritation.
Mucilage provides an excellent source of soluble fiber which can help to reduce cholesterol levels, improve digestion and add bulk to stool for easier movement through the gastrointestinal tract.
In addition to helping with regularity, mucilage may also be helpful for those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome due to its calming effect on the intestines. The fiber in mucilage helps to form a gel-like substance that binds with toxins and other waste products in the colon, preventing their re-absorption into the body. This could also potentially reduce symptoms associated with inflammatory bowel conditions such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
Furthermore, research suggests that consuming foods containing mucilage may have prebiotic effects, promoting good gut bacteria health. This could allow for better digestion of food and optimal absorption of vitamins and minerals into the bloodstream.
Finally, consumption of mucilage may help promote regular elimination which can reduce bloating and discomfort associated with constipation or irregularity. All these properties taken together make it clear that mucilage is an important part of maintaining optimum intestinal health and wellbeing.
Soy beans have been touted as a superfood for its many health benefits, especially when it comes to intestinal health. Studies have shown that consuming soy beans can reduce the risk of developing intestinal problems such as constipation, ulcerative colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Additionally, due to its high levels of dietary fiber, soybeans can help to support healthy digestion and regularity by maintaining a balance between bacteria in the gut. The high amount of isoflavones found in soybeans helps to reduce inflammation associated with these types of conditions, while providing important antioxidants that fight off free radicals and protect against cell damage.
Those who suffer from conditions such as Crohn’s disease may find relief from their symptoms through the consumption of soybeans. Furthermore, studies have indicated that consuming foods rich in isoflavones can reduce cancer risk by inhibiting the growth of certain cancer cells. Not only are there physical benefits, but mental benefits too. Due to the presence of phytoestrogens in soybeans, they may also be able to help protect against depression and anxiety. All in all, eating soybeans on a regular basis could be beneficial in maintaining intestinal health.
Eating prebiotic foods is an important part of maintaining a healthy microbiome and optimizing overall health outcomes. From apples to soybeans, there are plenty of delicious options for incorporating prebiotics into your diet.
By making sure you include these 10 superfoods into your daily routine you will be giving yourself all the nutrition you need to keep your body running smoothly!