Discover the best sources of prebiotics for our body.

Discover the best sources of prebiotics for our body.

Prebiotics are fibers that your body cannot digest but which can promote the development of healthy bacteria in your stomach. These plant fibers enter your lower digestive tract where they serve as food for the good bacteria in your gut because your body cannot digest them. Though both probiotics and prebiotics are beneficial microorganisms, your digestive system benefits more from probiotics.

Dietary fibres are not all considered prebiotics. Inulin, fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS), and galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) are examples of well-known prebiotics. Prebiotics can help maintain a healthy digestive system, strengthen your immune system, and encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria in your stomach if you include them in your diet regularly.

Why Prebiotics Are Important?

Although more research is required to fully understand all the ways prebiotics can benefit your body, they are crucial to your health. Prebiotics are occasionally added to diets, but they are naturally present in several high-fiber foods. Additionally, they are offered as dietary supplements.

The amount of food that should be consumed daily is not officially suggested. According to studies, consuming 3 to 5 grammes of prebiotics daily may improve intestinal health. You can probably be confident you’re receiving enough dietary fibre if you consume the required amount.

Leading five prebiotic foods

Researchers examined the prebiotic data of 8,690 distinct food categories in the Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies for this investigation.

According to researchers, prebiotics were present in 37% of the foods in the database. The five items with the highest prebiotic content ranged in concentration from 79 to 243 milligrammes per gramme of food and included:

  • Green dandelion
  • Artichokes of Jerusalem
  • garlic
  • leeks
  • onions

We weren’t surprised to find that these foods ‘packed the greatest prebiotic punch,’ per se, given that our prior literature review had shown these foods to be high in prebiotics,” said Cassandra Boyd, a master’s student and the study’s presenting author. This research was done in collaboration with Dr. John Gieng, an assistant professor of nutritional sciences in the Department of Nutrition, Food Science & Packaging.

Having said that, we were astonished to find that relatively small quantities of these meals contained the 5 grams of prebiotics that the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP) recommends consuming daily. For instance, if a small onion weighs around 4 ounces, eating about half of one would provide the recommended 5 grams of prebiotics per day,” according to Boyd.

The study also identified onion rings, creamed onions, cowpeas (commonly known as black-eyed peas), asparagus, and Kellogg’s All-Bran cereal as probiotic-rich foods. Prebiotics are present in all of these foods in amounts of 50–60 milligrams per gram.

Researchers discovered that diets containing wheat had a low prebiotic content. Additionally, the prebiotic content of dairy, eggs, oils, and meat was minimal at best.

What distinguishes prebiotics from probiotics?

Probiotics are microorganisms that are applied to or consumed by humans. They are supposed to provide health benefits such as aiding in the digestion of food and maintaining the balance of your entire body because they are frequently the same “good” bacteria that reside in your gut microbiome.

Alcohol and various drugs, such as antibiotics, can occasionally destroy healthy bacteria, leaving the person with an imbalanced stomach. The microbiota can be brought back into equilibrium by consuming probiotic-rich fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, and kimchi or by adding probiotics back into the body through supplements.

The probiotic bacteria one consumes as well as the “good” bacteria found in the gut microbiome both require food in order to survive. Prebiotics can help with that.

Prebiotics are types of dietary fibre that the body cannot digest. Probiotics consume them as they pass through the digestive tract in order to survive and develop.

Prebiotics are healthy precisely because they have been indicated to improve the microbiome,” asserted Boyd. “They are substrates that beneficial bacteria can directly use to confer health benefits on the host, as these bacteria perform functions that are advantageous to human health.”

Prebiotics are known to assist with the following in addition to supporting probiotics:

Prebiotics may aid people with specific conditions including obesity and irritable bowel syndrome, as well as prevent some cancers like colorectal cancer, according to ongoing research.

Additional health advantages of prebiotics

It is not surprising that the five items listed are high in prebiotics, according to Allison Tallman, a registered dietitian and the founder of Nourished Routes, who reviewed this research.

She continued, “These foods are also high in fiber, which is good for gut health as well. Given that these delicacies might not be as well known to the average consumer, I believe people will be interested in learning more about dandelion and Jerusalem artichokes.”

The chief of the gastroenterology division at Hackensack University Medical Centre, Dr. Rosario Ligresti, concurred.

I was not surprised at all because each of these foods (has) been shown to have many health benefits, so it would make sense they are also good for our gut and our digestion,” the man said.

Many of these foods, especially Jerusalem artichokes, are high in the indigestible dietary fibre inulin that, when broken down in the gut, release the healthy prebiotic nutrients that get to work to support our digestive health in so many different ways,” explained Dr. Rosario Ligresti.

Can eating prebiotics reduce depression?

The next stage in this research, according to Boyd, is to determine whether there is a connection between prebiotic use and depression as measured by the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ9), a validated instrument.

Tallman stated that she would like to see further research on the effects of consuming these particular meals and other foods that are high in prebiotics on the human microbiota.

Some randomized controlled trials should be conducted to determine the actual health benefits of prebiotics on the human microbiota and to determine its relationship with different disease states. Additionally, there is still a tonne of research to be done on prebiotic use and the relationship between the gut and the brain,” according to registered dietitian Allison Tallman.

And while there is a tonne of existing evidence to suggest that these foods are excellent providers of prebiotics, Dr. Ligresti noted that there can never be enough significant studies conducted over extensive time periods to confirm what we may already suspect.

He continued, “More research into the advantages of a healthy microbiome fostered by these nutrients are also necessary, particularly how changing the microbiota can help cancer patients and those with autoimmune illnesses.”


For more prebiotic medications that have been suggested by doctors worldwide are available here

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