Trillions of bacteria live in your digestive tract. It is great to have a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria for optimal gut health. Prebiotics are modified dietary fibers that feed the good bacteria living deep within your digestive system. Your colon cells also absorb more nutrients when your digestive tract stays healthy. Below are important prebiotic foods to be included in your diet.
Apple is one of the important prebiotic foods to be included in your diet. You can have any variety of fresh and crunchy apples. Apples really keep the doctor away since they are high in fiber and antioxidants. There are around 5 grams of fiber in one medium apple with the skin. According to research, apples contain pectin, a type of fiber converted to butyric acid that helps digest carbohydrates.
Another mainstream fruit to consider is bananas. They can make your breakfast and desserts a whole lot sweeter and healthier. Bananas contain inulin, a type of fiber, plenty of vitamins, and essential minerals like potassium. Snacking on a single banana is excellent to combat muscle cramps. FOS is a fiber that helps digestion and is abundant in bananas.
Flax seeds are traditional superfoods. It is a great source of fiber and Omega 3 fatty acids that prevent constipation, diabetes and high cholesterol. Flax seeds also improve your gut capacity to re-absorb fats and help you stay regular. Avoid buying ground flaxseed powder. Grind flax seed is fresh before using them. The healthy fats break down quickly when exposed to air.
Allium is a family of plants that includes garlic, onions and leeks. These vegetables form the base of countless dishes across the globe. The sulphur vapors that make you tear up give alliums their peculiar spicy sweet taste. Garlic allows the growth of a beneficial bacteria called Bifidobacteria in your gut. This unique prebiotic property is critical to promote gut health. The fiber content of onions is similar to garlic. They too contain the FOS kind of fiber.
Barley is one of the important prebiotic foods to be included in your diet. Whether you use the grain as a side or as a component of the main dish, barley can be a regular part of your grain rotation. Barley has plenty of fiber that makes it super digestive. One hundred grams of barley contains 2 to 20 grams of beta-glucan. Studies have shown this compound to suppress appetite and improve insulin sensitivity.
Sweet watermelon also joined the team of prebiotics. Nothing beats freshly prepared watermelon juice when it comes to experiencing summer in a glass. It is packed with plenty of vitamins and minerals. 92% of watermelon is water. That is why it is excellent for hydrating your gut and promoting bowel movements.
Legumes and Pulses
A plant based diet can help significantly. Swap red meat with legumes and pulses like black-eyed peas, chickpeas, lentils and dried beans. They have excellent nutritional benefits. Besides being a great source of amino acids, pulses can make you healthier and safeguard you from cancer, diabetes and heart diseases. They contain 10 – 15 grams of fiber per 100 grams. That is why they are excellent for preventing constipation.