Everyone knows the health benefits of probiotics, the beneficial bacteria that promotes good health. Many people ensure adequate probiotic intake either through probiotic foods or through supplementation. But how can we help our friendly bacteria flourish in our gut? It turns out that eating the right foods can feed the good bacteria in our gut and help them flourish.
Not many people are familiar with prebiotics, a type of fiber or natural sugar that the human body cannot digest. Prebiotics serve as food for probiotics, stimulating their growth in the gut. Prebiotics also help to increase calcium and magnesium absorption for stronger bones, reduce blood triglyceride levels and support weight/ appetite management.
Examples of prebiotics:
- Onions, shallots, garlic, leek, green onions
- Jerusalem artichoke
- Chicory root, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale, cauliflower
- Red kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas
- Almonds, pistachio nuts, walnuts, pecans
- Flax seeds
Easy ways to incorporate prebiotics into your diet
- Add almonds, walnuts, pistachio nuts or pecans onto your breakfast bran cereal or oat porridge.
- Have avocado on whole-grain toast or on its own.
- Add a variety of legumes to stews, soups and salads.
- Snack on whole-grain lentil crackers.
- Use garlic, onions, shallots, leeks and green onions in stir-fry dishes or daily cooking.
- Add artichokes, asparagus, broccoli and kale to your salad or as a vegetable dish to your meal.