They can strengthen your gut health by increasing “good” bacteria that help ward off pathogens in your intestinal tract and help with constipation. They also may help reduce inflammation, especially in your intestines, and strengthen the immune system by changing the balance of "good" and "bad" intestinal bacteria. Prebiotic foods have been shown to improve metabolic health and even help prevent certain diseases. Additionally, preliminary research shows that prebiotics help with allergy prevention and may help with the absorption of calcium which benefits bone health.
There's no doubt that the benefits of prebiotics are abundant, and now's the time to make a concerted effort to start integrating them into your life! In addition to adding them in supplement form, consider incorporating them into your diet with prebiotic-rich foods!
But, keep in mind, consuming these foods raw rather than cooked is important to gain the full prebiotic health benefits.
To get you started, we have identified our top 10 list of prebiotic foods!Garlic
Garlic is a flavorful herb that helps promote good bacteria and prevent harmful bacteria from growing. It not only offers prebiotic benefits but is linked to various health benefits due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and lipid-lowering properties. Research shows that garlic has disease-preventing effects on diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular, metabolic disorders, blood pressure and diabetes. Research shows that garlic's anti-inflammatory properties may even protect against the effects of asthma.
Looking for a way to incorporate raw garlic into your diet? Try Chimichurri Sauce which is the perfect topping for fish, lean beef and poultry.Onion
Onions are rich in inulin and FOS, which can help strengthen your immune system, promote gut bacteria, and improve digestion. Onions are also rich in the flavonoid quercetin, which gives onions antioxidant and anticancer properties. Onions also have antibiotic properties that may provide cardiovascular benefits.
Add raw onions, and leeks (see below), to your salads!Leek
Leeks come from the same family as onions and garlic and are a nutrient-dense vegetable often used in cooking. They are high in prebiotic inulin fiber which promotes healthy gut bacteria and helps to break down fat. They also contain high amounts of vitamin K which promotes blood clotting.Asparagus
Asparagus is a popular vegetable and another great source of prebiotic fiber and antioxidants. It promotes healthy gut bacteria and may help prevent certain cancers.
Asparagus is a spring vegetable most usually grilled, roasted or steamed, but for twist, try this Shaved Raw Asparagus with Parmesan Dressing.
Jerusalem artichokes, also known as sunchoke, provides about 2 grams of inulin-rich dietary fiber per 100 grams. Inulin helps increase the friendly bacteria in your colon, promoting greater digestive health. It can also aid in the absorption of minerals in your large intestine.
Jerusalem artichokes may help strengthen your immune system, lower cholesterol, and even prevent certain metabolic disorders. Additionally, they are high in thiamin, or vitamin B1.
You can easily incorporate artichokes into your salads, you can even make a pesto with them or try this vegetarian chili!Bananas
Bananas are more than a delicious fruit, they are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber and contain small amounts of the prebiotic inulin.
Bananas can help boost your digestion and heart health due to their fiber and antioxidant contents. They also may support weight loss because they’re relatively low in calories, nutrient dense, and filling.
They are also affordable and convenient which makes them easy to add to your diet. Try incorporating one into your morning smoothie to help get your prebiotics in at the start of the day!Barley
Barley is a popular cereal grain that is high in beta-glucan fiber, which promotes healthy bacteria in the gut. It can also lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Plus, barley is rich in selenium. This helps with thyroid function, provides antioxidant benefits, and boosts your immune system.
Consider adding barley to your soups in place of rice or pasta!Oats
Whole oats are a healthy grain with prebiotic benefits. They contain large amounts of beta-glucan fiber, as well as some resistant starch. they not only promote healthy gut bacteria but lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, offer blood sugar control and reduce cancer risk.
If oats are already a part of your morning routine, consider this great great make-ahead option - Kefir Overnight Oats - which is a prebiotic- and probiotic-rich meal!Apples
Apples are a delicious fruit with fiber and pectin, which is a type of soluble fiber that not only accounts for much of an apple's total fiber content but is what offers prebiotic benefits. Research shows that in addition to their prebiotic benefits, apples can improve heart health and may even reduce your risk of asthma and other pulmonary disorders.
Cocoa powder, created by crushing cocoa beans and removing the fat or coca butter, makes it easy to add cocoa to oatmeal, smoothies, yogurt, and other recipes.