In the past decade, the health benefits of supporting a healthy gut microbiome, probiotic supplements and certain fermented probiotic foods (such as yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut and kimchi) Has been very popular.
That is good news. Due to factors such as stress, antibiotic use and poor diet, our gut health may be affected. All of these factors reduce the number of beneficial bacteria in the gut, leading to bacterial imbalance and other negative effects.
Probiotics provide a way to help restore the balance of gut microbes, but there is another way.
What are prebiotics?
Prebiotics are carbohydrates, usually dietary fiber, which help feed the beneficial bacteria in the intestines. Therefore, prebiotics will not replenish the intestines with good bacteria, but will feed the high-quality insects that already exist in the intestines and help them reproduce.
Science defines prebiotics as “health-giving substrates selectively utilized by host microorganisms”.
Generally, the substrate is soluble fiber.
Dietary fiber can be divided into two categories: soluble fiber fermented by intestinal bacteria and non-fermentable crude fiber. Although all prebiotics are soluble fibers, not all soluble fibers are prebiotics because not all of them are metabolized by beneficial gut microbes.
So far, most studies have focused on prebiotics that affect the most common gut microbes (that is, well-studied probiotics, such as Lactobacillus helveticus Strain R0052 and Bifidobacterium longum Strain R0175). These prebiotics are divided into fructooligosaccharides (FOS), galactooligosaccharides (GOS) and inulin (a type of FOS).
How prebiotics work
Research on prebiotics is new and very promising, showing many benefits.
So far, this is what we know.
Your good intestinal bacteria will convert prebiotic fibers into short-chain fatty acids called butyric acid, which promotes colon health and supports the health of the epithelial defense barrier. In fact, studies have shown that without adequate intake of prebiotic fiber, the production of butyric acid in the colon cannot be maintained.
Research also shows that prebiotics can help digestion. Enhance the bioavailability and absorption rate of minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potential iron; support cardiovascular health; and improve satiety and healthy blood sugar levels, and support immune health.
The best prebiotic foods, supplements, etc.
Prebiotic supplements are becoming more and more popular. Prebiotics are now added to everything from energy bars, beverages to baked goods. Many medical experts believe that all the prebiotics you need can be obtained from a healthy diet.
12 kinds of foods rich in prebiotics to help improve intestinal health
It is estimated that 25-75% of the dry weight of seaweed is composed of fiber. The sugars (sulfated polysaccharides) in seaweed have been shown to increase the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. In addition, they can increase the production of short-chain fatty acids, which are necessary to support and nourish the intestinal lining cells.
You know what they say about Apple every day. The pectin in apples accounts for about 50% of its total fiber content. Pectin increases butyric acid, which is a short-chain fatty acid that promotes colon health.
- Chicory root
Chicory root has an excellent coffee flavor. About 47% of the fiber comes from prebiotic inulin. Inulin nourishes intestinal bacteria and supports healthy digestion.
- Dandelion Greens
Dandelion vegetables are delicious in salads. Rich in fiber, they are a rich source of inulin, helping to eliminate and strengthen friendly bacteria in the intestines.
- Jerusalem artichoke
The fiber of Jerusalem artichoke has a high inulin content, making it better than chicory root in enhancing colon-friendly bacteria. It also helps promote immune health.
This is another reason to love garlic… Its fiber content contains both inulin and FOS. Garlic acts as a prebiotic by promoting the growth of bifidobacteria in the intestine. In addition, it can also prevent the growth of unhealthy bacteria.
Onions easily play a role in the diet-you can add them to almost any dish. Similar to garlic, its fiber contains inulin and FOS.
Leek is very delicious in soup. Leek contains up to 16% of inulin fiber, which can make intestinal bacteria happy and help digestion.
Asparagus itself is a delicious vegetable, and it can also be a kind of soup. It is also another important source of prebiotics. The inulin content per 3.5 ounce serving is about 2-3 grams.
This popular fruit is rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber. The fiber contains a small amount of inulin. Similarly, immature bananas are highly resistant to starch and have the effect of prebiotics.
Barley is a wonderful cereal grain rich in β-glucans. Beta-glucan is a prebiotic fiber that can promote the growth of friendly bacteria in the digestive tract. This fiber can also help promote healthy blood sugar levels.
Oats are very versatile. You can enjoy them as hot cereal in the morning, or you can make oat flour and use it in baked goods. They contain a lot of β-glucan fibers and some resistant starch. Beta-glucan also supports healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels, which can slow down digestion and help control appetite.
To ensure healthy and happy intestines, please continue to take probiotics. Science shows that they are good for your health. However, if you feed these prebiotic foods well, they will be more effective!
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What are prebiotics and how to get more nootropics in your diet posts first appeared on the BrainMD Health blog.