A good definition of prebiotics is simply foods that are rich fiber, which act as food for probiotics.
These are a kind of plant fiber which is indigestible, and they already live inside the large intestine. The benefits of prebiotics are not very clear until probiotics are mentioned, as probiotics refer to live microorganisms which can be found inside your gastrointestinal tract.
Probiotics serve several health functions including the cleaning of your stomach and overall digestive health.
Why Eat Prebiotic Foods?
Probiotics need food to survive and this is where prebiotics come in. Prebiotics act as a source of food for probiotics, and probiotics become more efficient when they have sufficient prebiotics to feed on.
In other words, the more prebiotics in your system, the more efficient your probiotics become, the healthier you are!
Most prebiotic foods also contain several other nutrients that will ensure your body becomes healthier. When eaten raw, they provide you with natural sources of vitamins and minerals your body needs to function optimally with benefits including:
- Increasing your bone density.
- Reducing the level of triglycerides in your blood.
- The ability to increase the level of good bacteria in your stomach.
- Appetite and weight control due to hormonal stability in the body.
- Boost the Immune System.
- Regulate intestines.
- Decrease inflammation in the colon as well as the rest of the stomach due to overall control and stability.
What are Some Good Prebiotic Foods?
Prebiotics exist in many foods which you eat daily, so you are probably consuming a fair amount knowingly or unknowingly already. Many root vegetables are prebiotic filled!
Pretty much all foods with a high fiber content and that are not overly processed have a fair amount of prebiotics in them. A few examples include:
Raw Chicory Root
One of the best prebiotic food sources you can eat, it contains about 65% fiber x weigh, and it can be found in gourmet markets and several health stores.
You may have eaten it without knowing since they are usually added to several food products such as dairy products, bread and breakfast bars. It possesses a flavor like coffee and despite the absence of caffeine in chicory; it is sometimes used as a coffee substitute.
Raw Jerusalem Artichoke
Although it looks like the artichoke that you are familiar with, the Jerusalem artichoke looks more like a ginger rather than an artichoke. It is commonly known as “artichoke” because it contains so much fiber, having 31.5% fiber content x weight. Along with the fact that it contains so much fiber, it also has other health benefits as it is loaded with potassium and iron.
They are great in salads and you can also boil them, since having a lower glycemic index makes it a great potato-replacement for people having diabetes.
Raw Dandelion Greens
Just 1 cup serving of raw dandelion green is able to provide you with about a total of 535% of your recommended daily amount of vitamin K. Vitamin K aids in blood clotting, and also assists in maintaining bone strength and density in a variety of ways. Other nutrients in Dandelion Greens include:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin K
You can maximize the benefits of dandelion greens by adding them to your sandwiches, salads, casseroles, stews and herbal teas; it contains a total of 24.3% fiber x weight.
It has a fiber content of 17.5% x weight, and apart from the rich fiber content of raw garlic; it is packed with large amounts of nutrients such as:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B6
You can easily add d raw garlic to your diet as a flavorful ingredient in anything from pasta to stir fry. Garlic can be cooked in to a wide variety of foods so it won’t be hard for you to find a way to add garlic in to something you already eat regularly!
Leeks can also be enjoyed in a variety of different foods. Their taste makes them very adaptable and it is far easier than you would believe to be able to work them in to your diet. They certainly can be enjoyed in soups, but cooking them does damage some of their prebiotic qualities (not optimal). A one-cup serving of leeks (including the bulb and the stem) provides 52% and 18% of the recommended daily amount of Vitamin K and Vitamin C.
Other Prebiotic Foods Worth Considering
There is a long list of foods that contain prebiotics, including:
- Raw onions: 8.6% fiber x weight
- Cooked onions: 5% fiber x weight
- Raw wheat bran: 5% x fiber
- Raw asparagus: 5% fiber x weight
- Raw banana: 1% fiber x weight
The entire root family is also loaded with prebiotics, including rutabagas, turnips, and parsnips. Rutabagas have become a staple in my diet over the past 2 weeks and am thankful for it!
Personally, my favorite prebiotic rich food is the beet, mostly because it is the primary ingredient in borscht! Have to be thankful for that!
Regardless of which food you choose, enjoying these foods in their raw state will ensure that you get the best vitamins and minerals that nature has to offer. By eating them regularly, you will fortify your body against nearly all forms of ailment.
There are creative ways of eating them and enjoying them, and exploring these ways will 100% increase the quantity you eat and your level of health!