Because gut health is crucial for overall health and wellness, consuming prebiotic supplements and foods are crucial. Today, we’ll take a look at 17 essential things to eat for optimal gut health.
Best Prebiotic Supplements and Foods: 17 Essentials for Optimal Gut Health
Apples’ pectin content, which accounts for about half of its total dietary fiber content, has prebiotic benefits. In particular, it promotes beneficial gut bacteria and fungi growth and reduces harmful gut bacteria by promoting increased butyrate production.
Butyrate Definition: A metabolite in the intestines which has been found to enhance sleep
Apples also contain high levels of an antioxidant called polyphenol. When combined with pectin, they can help improve gut health.
Asparagus contains inulin, which is a type of dietary fiber and prebiotic. This compound has the ability to reduce gut inflammation.
Bananas are rich in minerals, vitamins, and dietary fiber. They also contain small doses of inulin.
For a greater prebiotic kick, go for green or unripe bananas. They’re loaded with digestion-resistant starches which promote healthy bacteria growth in the gut and minimize bloating.
4. Chicory Root
Chicory roots are loaded with prebiotics, particularly inulin fiber. It helps optimize gut health by promoting healthy gut bacteria growth, better digestion, and healthy bowel movement.
And more than just helping optimize gut health, it’s also loaded with antioxidants, which help flush out toxins.
Onions contain inulin and fructooligosaccharides or FOS fibers. FOS helps promote a stronger gut flora and immune system by increasing nitric oxide production of the body.
Nitric Oxide Definition: A compound which relaxes the vessels and promotes healthy blood circulation
Onions also contain quercetin, a flavonoid compound that fights inflammation caused by free radical damage.
If prebiotic supplements aren’t practical for you, consider eating more onions every day to optimize gut health. Just make sure you brush your teeth or gargle more frequently, too!
More than just giving lots of dishes their strong, delicious flavors, garlic is one of the healthiest foods around. Because of its inulin and FOS fiber contents, garlic is highly prebiotic.
It promotes healthy gut bacteria growth while stunting that of harmful ones.
Garlic extracts are also some of the best prebiotic supplements a person can take for optimal gut health.
Because leeks belong to the same group as garlic and onions, it also provides similar prebiotic benefits, like increasing healthy gut bacteria and speeding up metabolism. Also, leeks contain flavonoids that help minimize the effects of oxidative stress.
Leeks also contain vitamin K, which is beneficial for bone and heart health.
Whole oats are rich in beta-glucan fiber and some digestion-resistant starch. These make whole oats a highly prebiotic food.
The beta-glucan fiber helps promote beneficial gut bacteria. It also helps bring down cholesterol levels and blood sugar.
Whole oats also have phenolic acid, which is considered to be antioxidative and anti-inflammatory.
Flaxseeds have soluble and insoluble dietary fibers which help:
- Increase beneficial gut bacteria
- Improve bowel movements
- Minimize absorption of dietary fat
Flaxseeds also contain phenolic antioxidants, which are helpful in managing oxidative stress in the body.
10. Wheat Bran
This is the outer layer of whole wheat grains and is one of the best prebiotic foods around. Specifically, wheat bran contains arabinoxylan oligosaccharides or AXOS, another special type of dietary fiber that helps increase Bifidobacterium levels in the stomach.
Also, part of wheat bran’s digestive health benefits is the ability to reduce digestion issues like abdominal cramps and flatulence. Certainly, this is good news for people who are often embarrassed with “gas” problems.
11. Dandelion Greens
This one’s a popular ingredient in salads. They contain inulin fiber, which helps promote healthy gut bacteria growth, strengthen the immune system, and reduce constipation.
For those who have a hard time finding fresh dandelion greens in their areas, they’re also available in supplement form, and are one of the best prebiotic supplements around.
12. Jerusalem Artichoke
Jerusalem artichoke, a.k.a. Earth apple, is a prebiotic-rich food rich in inulin, thiamine, and potassium. The latter two contents are highly beneficial for the nervous system and muscle function.
Barley is popular and healthy for three reasons:
- It’s a grain used in cereals and in making beer.
- But more importantly, it’s one of the best prebiotic foods as it contains the prebiotic fiber beta-glucan, which helps increase the number of healthy bacteria in the digestive tract.
- It’s also rich in the mineral selenium, which is antioxidative and an immune-system booster.
Both delicious and healthy, cocoa contains a type of flavonoids called flavanols. These help promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut for optimal digestive health.
15. Yacon Root
Yacon root has a high dietary fiber content, which speeds up the breakdown of carbohydrates in the body and improves the absorption of calcium in the bones.
Its inulin fiber content also helps improve bowel movement and strengthen the immune system. Yacon roots’ phenolic compound content makes them antioxidative as well.
16. Psyllium Fiber Prebiotic Supplements
This prebiotic fiber is one of the most practical prebiotic supplements in the market.
Psyllium is a soluble fiber that comes from the seeds of an Indian herb called Plantago ovata. Psyllium fiber supplement is available in most health stores and often comes in the form of:
Psyllium fiber ferments slower compared to other dietary fibers, which helps minimize digestive discomfort like gas and bloating.
17. BIOHM Prebiotic Supplements
Most prebiotic supplements only have dietary fiber as their primary prebiotic component.
BIOHM Prebiotic Supplement, on the other hand, contains digestive enzymes, too. The combination of dietary fibers and powerful digestive enzymes fosters the best possible environment for healthy gut bacteria and fungi to flourish.
It contains three of the best types of dietary fiber for optimal gut health:
- Apple Pectin
On the same note, peptidase and lipase comprise the supplement’s digestive enzymes content.
We are what we eat. If we feed our bodies with good food, like the prebiotic supplement sources above, it translates to our well-being.
Which prebiotic foods do you include in your diet? Share them with us in the comments section below!