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Prebiotics- what are they and how can you get them from food?

Updated: Mar 12

The foods you eat, determine a lot which types of bacteria live in your gut. If you change your diet, this will also affect your gut bacteria. Foods that boost or feed your gut bacteria are referred to as prebiotics. If you want the bacteria in your gut to grow, multiply, be happy and to protect you, you need to feed it well.

What are prebiotics and how to get them from foods?

The most preferred food for your gut-loving bacteria is digestion-resistant starch. These types of indigestible fibres pass through your small intestine unchanged and reach the colon, where the bacteria feed on them. The bacteria digest them and turn them into substance that feeds the cells within the colon. You can think of prebiotics as a fuel to help enhance your gut flora.

Below are some benefits of prebiotics:

  • Better gut health and digestion

  • Promote the growth of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli

  • Prevent constipation and diarrhoea

  • Lower inflammation in the body

  • Lower colon pH level

  • Better hormonal balance

  • Higher immune function

  • Lower risk of weight gain

  • Healthier cholesterol level

  • Lower risk for cardiovascular disease

Resistance starch also helps to balance post-meal blood sugar levels, elevate insulin sensitivity and lower inflammation in the colon.

Here are some prebiotic foods to include in your daily diet to naturally feed your microbiome:

  • Cooked, cooled potatoes (boil them or roast them, put them in the fridge and eat the following day to receive the benefits)

  • Green (under-ripe) bananas (ripe bananas are yellow and have brown spots on them. To get the prebiotic benefits, consume the green bananas)

  • Raw chicory root (use it in baking or when fermenting veggies. You can also use it as a coffee substitute)

  • Cassava

  • Raw asparagus

  • Dandelion root and greens (add chopped greens to salads)

  • Plantain flour

  • Potato starch

  • Raw or cooked onions

  • Raw garlic

  • Raw leeks

  • Jerusalem artichokes

  • Raw collards

  • Raw jicama

  • Burdock root

  • Cacao

  • Coconut

  • Legumes (beans and lentils)

  • Artichokes

  • Peas

  • Apples

  • Oats

  • Green tea

  • Raw honey

  • Konjac root

  • Seaweed

Also read my blog about the probiotics to learn how you can get them from food and what you need to look out for when purchasing the supplements.

If you are looking for nutritional coaching to improve your daily diet, please don't hesitate to reach out to me

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