Sunday, June 12, 2016

19 Prebiotic Foods That Should Be a Part of a Healthy Diet - Part 1

healthy foodPrebiotics are types of dietary fiber that feed the friendly bacteria in your gut. This helps the gut bacteria produce nutrients for your colon cells and leads to a healthier digestive system Some of these nutrients include short-chain fatty acids like butyrate, acetate and propionate.

These fatty acids can also be absorbed into the bloodstream and improve metabolic health.

However, prebiotics should not be confused with probiotics. For more, read this article that explains the differences.

Here are 19 healthy prebiotic foods:
prebiotics1. Chicory Root

Chicory root is popular for its coffee-like flavor. It’s also a great source of prebiotics.

Approximately 47 percent of chicory root fiber comes from the prebiotic fiber inulin.

The inulin in chicory root nourishes the gut bacteria, improves digestion and helps relieve constipation.

It can also help increase bile production, which improves fat digestion.

Additionally, chicory root is high in antioxidant compounds that protect the liver from oxidative damage.

Bottom Line: Chicory root is often used as a caffeine-free replacement for coffee. Its inulin fiber promotes gut bacteria, reduces constipation and helps break down fat.

prebiotics2. Dandelion Greens

Dandelion greens can be used in salads and are a great source of fiber.

They contain 4 grams of fiber per 100-gram serving. A high portion of this fiber comes from inulin.

The inulin fiber in dandelion greens reduces constipation, increases friendly bacteria in the gut and boosts the immune system.

Dandelion greens are also known for their diuretic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-cancer and cholesterol-lowering effects.

Bottom Line: Dandelion greens are a great fiber-rich substitute for greens in your salad. They increase the friendly bacteria in your gut, reduce constipation and boost your immune system.

prebiotics3. Jerusalem Artichoke

The Jerusalem artichoke, also known as the “earth apple,” has great health benefits.

It provides about 2 grams of dietary fiber per 100 grams, 76 percent of which comes from inulin.

Jerusalem artichokes have been shown to increase the friendly bacteria in the colon even better than chicory root.

Additionally, they help strengthen the immune system and prevent certain metabolic disorders.

The Jerusalem artichoke is also high in thiamine and potassium. These can help your nervous system and promote proper muscle function.

Bottom Line: Jerusalem artichoke can be eaten cooked or raw. It helps boost your immune system and prevent metabolic disease.

prebiotics4. Garlic

Garlic is an incredibly tasty herb linked to various health benefits.

About 11 percent of garlic’s fiber content comes from inulin and 6 percent from a sweet, naturally occurring prebiotic called fructooligosaccharides (FOS).

Garlic acts as a prebiotic by promoting the growth of beneficial Bifidobacteria in the gut. It also prevents disease-promoting bacteria from growing.

Garlic extract may be effective for reducing the risk of heart disease and has shown antioxidant, anti-cancer and antimicrobial effects. It may also have benefits against asthma.

Bottom Line: Garlic gives great flavor to your foods and provides you with prebiotic benefits. It has been shown to help promote good bacteria and prevent harmful bacteria from growing.

prebiotics5. Onions

Onions are a very tasty and versatile vegetable linked to various health benefits.

Similar to garlic, inulin accounts for 10 percent of the total fiber content of onions, while FOS makes up around 6 percent.

FOS strengthens gut flora, helps with fat breakdown and boosts the immune system by increasing nitric oxide production in cells.

Onions are also rich in the flavonoid quercetin, which gives onions antioxidant and anticancer properties.

Furthermore, onions have antibiotic properties and may provide benefits for the cardiovascular system.

Bottom Line: Onions are rich in inulin and FOS, which can help boost your immune system, provide fuel for your gut bacteria and improve digestion.

6. Leeks

Leeks come from the same family as onions and garlic and offer similar health benefits.

Leeks contain up to 16 percent inulin fiber.

Thanks to their inulin content, leeks promote healthy gut bacteria and help in the breakdown of fat.

Leeks are also high in flavonoids, which support your body’s response to oxidative stress.

Furthermore, leeks contain a high amount of vitamin K. A 100-gram serving provides about 52 percent of the RDI, which provides benefits for the heart and bones.

Bottom Line: Leeks are often used in cooking for their distinct flavor. They are high in prebiotic inulin fiber and vitamin K.

7. Asparagus

Asparagus is a popular vegetable and another great source of prebiotics.

The inulin content may be around 2-3 grams per 100-gram (3.5-oz) serving.

Asparagus has been shown to promote friendly bacteria in the gut and has been linked to the prevention of certain cancers.

The combination of fiber and antioxidants in asparagus also appears to provide anti-inflammatory benefits.

A 100-gram (3.5-oz) serving of asparagus also contains about 2 grams of protein.

Bottom Line: Asparagus is a spring vegetable rich in prebiotic fiber and antioxidants. It promotes healthy gut bacteria and may help prevent certain cancers.

8. Bananas

Bananas are very popular. They’re rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Bananas contain small amounts of inulin.

Unripe (green) bananas are also high in resistant starch, which has prebiotic effects.

The prebiotic fiber in bananas has been shown to increase healthy gut bacteria and reduce bloating.

Bottom Line: Bananas are rich in fiber. They’re also great at promoting healthy gut bacteria and reducing bloating.

prebiotics9. Barley

Barley is a popular cereal grain and is used to make beer. It contains 3–8 grams of beta-glucan per 100-gram serving.

Beta-glucan is a prebiotic fiber that promotes the growth of friendly bacteria in the digestive tract.

The beta-glucan in barley has also been shown to lower total and LDL cholesterol and may also help lower blood sugar levels.

Furthermore, barley is rich in selenium. This helps with thyroid function, provides antioxidant benefits and boosts the immune system.

Bottom Line: Barley is high in beta-glucan fiber, which promotes healthy bacteria in the gut. It also seems to lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

prebiotics10. Oats

Whole oats are a very healthy grain with prebiotic benefits. They contain large amounts of beta-glucan fiber, as well as some resistant starch.

Beta-glucan from oats has been linked to healthy gut bacteria, lower LDL cholesterol, better blood sugar control and reduced cancer risk.

Furthermore, it has been shown to slow digestion and help control appetite.

Oats also offer antioxidant and anti-inflammatory protection due to their phenolic acid content.

Bottom Line: Whole oats are a grain rich in beta-glucan fiber. They increase healthy gut bacteria, improve blood sugar control and may reduce cancer risk.


ecowatch.com

No comments:

Post a Comment