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Thursday, 04 October 2018
What prebiotic foods should people eat?
Prebiotics are fibres and natural sugars that stimulate the good bacteria in the gut. Many prebiotic foods are suitable for vegans and people on other diets to eat. These foods include almonds, chicory, garlic, and chickpeas.
Prebiotics help beneficial bacteria grow in the gut. They work with probiotics, which are healthful bacteria or yeasts, to improve health. To date, the majority of research around gut health has focused on probiotics, with prebiotics being a relatively new area of focus.
More research is necessary to uncover all of the health benefits of prebiotics, but they are likely to be a valuable dietary component.
Many of the best-known sources of prebiotics are suitable for vegans. This article looks at 19 of these foods, which include vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, and seeds.
Vegetables with a high prebiotic content include:
Chicory root is high in inulin, a prebiotic fibre, making it a rich source of prebiotics.
2. Jerusalem artichokes
Jerusalem artichokes are a source of fibre and prebiotics.
Artichokes are high in fibre and low in carbohydrate.
They have a low glycemic index (GI), which helps keep blood sugar levels stable.
Eating this fibrous vegetable can increase the number of good bacteria in the gut.
Garlic is another source of prebiotics that promotes the growth of beneficial gut bacteria and prevents harmful bacteria from multiplying.
Garlic is a nutritious food to include in the diet.
4. Onions, shallots, and spring onions
Onions, shallots, and spring onions all belong to the same family of vegetables.
In addition to being a good source of prebiotics, these foods aid digestion, boost beneficial gut bacteria, and have antioxidant properties.
Leeks are another member of the onion family that can help people boost their prebiotic intake.
6. Savoy cabbage
Savoy cabbage contains vitamins B and C and is an excellent source of naturally occurring prebiotics, making it good for the gut.
Legumes are the fruits or seeds of plants from a specific family. Legumes with a high prebiotic content included
Chickpeas are a good food choice for people looking to increase their prebiotic intake.
Chickpeas are also rich in protein, iron, and B vitamins.
Pink or red lentils are filling, easy to digest, and very healthful.
They are a rich source of fibre and help stimulate beneficial bacteria as well as aid digestion.
9. Red kidney beans, baked beans, and soybeans
Red kidney beans are easy to include in a range of meals.
Beans are another type of food that can boost good gut bacteria.
Beans are high in protein and an excellent source of potassium.
The nutritional content of beans makes them a great staple food to eat regularly.
These legumes are rich in fibre too.
Fruits with a high prebiotic content include:
Bananas are beneficial for the gut and contain naturally occurring fibre that help increase good bacteria and reduce bloating.
11. Custard apples
Custard apples have antioxidant properties that make them beneficial for heart and brain health and may help lower cholesterol.
Their prebiotic properties come from their naturally occurring fibre, which feeds the good bacteria in a person's gut and helps fight off the harmful bacteria.
Watermelon is another fruit that contains prebiotics and can feed the good bacteria in a person's stomach. The water content of watermelon is high, so this fruit is good for hydration too.
Citrusy grapefruit is another ideal choice for vegans who are looking for prebiotic foods to eat. The high fibre content of grapefruit makes it beneficial for gut health, and it is also high in vitamins A and C.
Several cereal grains also have a high prebiotic content, including:
Bran contains fibre that feeds beneficial gut bacteria.
Bran also promotes regular bowel movements and may reduce cholesterol.
Barley is an immune-boosting, antioxidant powerhouse and an excellent source of prebiotic fibre.
Oats are a beneficial choice for vegans as they offer a range of health benefits due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds with a high prebiotic content include:
Almonds are popular as a healthful snack food.
Almonds are high in dietary fibre and a good source of prebiotics.
Almonds can add flavour and texture to a range of hot and cold dishes
In addition to their fibre content, almonds are also a good source of calcium for vegans.
18. Pistachio nuts
Pistachio nuts contain high levels of vegetable protein, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. They are an excellent source of prebiotics for vegans and can help stimulate good gut bacteria.
Flaxseeds are a versatile seed that people can include in many dishes.
They contain large amounts of fibre that helps maintain gut health and keep the digestive system running smoothly.
Source: Medical News Today, By Bethany Cadman