June 15, 2018

simple nutrition - prebiotics

simple nutrition - prebiotics


Let’s simplify prebiotics. Some of you may have heard me mention prebiotics before and some of you may be thinking I misspelled the word and it should be “probiotics”.

I didn’t. But even my computer keeps thinking I spelled it wrong and it is auto-correcting me. 

There are food substance called PREbiotics. The research and information on them is not new, but maybe just hasn’t been talked about as much in the mainstream. 

Prebiotics are non-digestible food substances that benefit our bodies by helping to stimulate the growth of probiotics, the beneficial bacteria in our large intestine. 

Probiotics are a type of fiber. Two of the most common being inulin and fructooligosaccharides (FOS)

These fibers are resistant to our digestive enzymes, therefore our bodies do not break them down. But that is a good thing. Once they reach the colon, the good bacteria that reside there will metabolize them. 

These prebiotics are beneficial because they help the probiotics in our colon proliferate and grow. The healthier our gut is, the healthier our body is. Besides just digesting food our gut helps our immune system, is associated with Vitamin D, and is connected to our brain, among others things. The end products of probiotics are short chain fatty acids which have many benefits as well. That info might have to be saved for another post though. 

You can take supplemental prebiotics or you can find prebiotics in food. Food sources of prebiotics include:

  • banana
  • barley
  • chicory
  • garlic
  • onions
  • honey
  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • leeks
  • rye
  • triticale

One thing to note: because the probiotics are breaking them down, the fibers are also considered fermentable carbohydrates. Those with irritable bowel syndrome (ibs) or SIBO may want to avoid them. 

So there you have PREbiotics. 



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