8 Best Prebiotic Foods for Digestive Health – Foods With Prebiotics

You’ve probably heard about eating more probioticsthe live microorganisms that keep your gut health in check, but have you heard of eating more prebiotics, the food you eat? to the these microorganisms? We spoke to experts to break down what prebiotics are, why you need them and what are the best prebiotic foods to support your gut.

Why do we need to eat for gut health?

The food we eat has a huge impact on our overall gut health, explains Rachel Hartley, R.Dauthor of gentle diet. “Just eating yourself and having food in your stomach triggers a cascade of muscle contractions that move food through the gut,” she explains. First, protein, fat, and carbohydrates trigger the release of digestive enzymes that break down food into smaller and smaller pieces. Some parts are absorbed for energy and the rest is left to contribute to the gut microbiome, the community of organisms that live in the gut, Hartley says.

The health of our microbiome affects our mental health, immunity and risk of chronic disease, she adds, and the foods we eat can affect our stools and the speed at which foods move through the gut .

What are prebiotics?

There is actually quite a difference between prebiotics and probiotics. While probiotics, like yogurt or miso, are foods that are loaded with good gut flora, prebiotics are the foods that have the nutrients to feed that gut flora, explains Sunny Jain, MDgastroenterologist and solar genomics Founder.

These foods contain indigestible fiber that the human body cannot break down and absorb through the intestinal tract like other minerals and vitamins. So the good gut microbes work to metabolize and ferment this prebiotic fiber, which ultimately benefits us and our gut health, he adds. The compounds strengthen the gut wall, boost the immune system, and may reduce the risk of colon cancer, Hartley says.

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“To be clear, the purpose of a prebiotic food is not to feed you and your physiology, but your commensal gut microbes and their microphysiology, commonly referred to as gut health,” says Dr. jain “By feeding these beneficial gut flora, we as the host benefit from the molecules they release into our gut, such as short-chain fatty acids. Not getting your good gut bugs the prebiotics they need can result in leaky gut.”

So you might think that the highest calorie food is best for your gut, right? Well, not so much. dr Jain explains that your gut contains both good and bad microbes, and inflammatory foods like fried foods or high-glycemic foods containing simple sugars or high-fructose corn syrup actually serve as food for the gut’s harmful microbes. Instead, opt for high-fiber foods with gut-boosting benefits.

Even though Sameer Berry, MDChief Physician at Oshi Health notes that it is important to consider other factors such as genetics, lifestyle and environmental influences when it comes to our gut health, diet is one factor we influence can Control. Here are the best prebiotic foods for gut health to add to your diet.

The best prebiotic foods for gut health


Lentils, legumes and beans all fall under the legume umbrella and provide vital prebiotics to the gut. lenses For example, not only do they contain manganese, potassium, folic acid and iron, but they also have a lot 16 grams of fiber per cup, which can help with digestion and gastrointestinal health. In addition, lentils provide resistant starch that is not digested by the small intestine but can be fermented by gut bacteria, explains Dr. berry

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Leafy vegetables

Your lettuce can help your gut. leafy greens like Kale In addition to vitamin C, bring fiber, folic acid and B vitamins to your plate research suggests that leafy greens may promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria.

full grain

Because of the high fiber content in 100% whole grain products like brown rice, whole wheat bread, and whole wheat pasta, they act as a prebiotic in the gut, explains Nicole Lindel, RDN. And while we all love whole grains, Oats, in particular, the prebiotics can pack up. A bowl of oatmeal with fresh fruit and nut butters contains soluble fiber and vitamin E, which help boost immunity and keep your bowels moving. dr Berry adds that bacteria in the gut ferment the soluble fiber found in oats, which can lead to beneficial short-chain fatty acids in the colon and potentially lower LDL cholesterol.

Jerusalem artichokes

Sometimes also called Jerusalem Artichoke, these root vegetables are rich in vitamins, potassium, iron and fiber. However, they are best known for the high amounts of prebiotic fiber, which can help support health, glucose control, weight management, and overall health. dr Berry points out that Jerusalem artichoke is also a high-FODMAP (fermentable oligo-di-mono-saccharides and polyols) food. These foods are poorly absorbed in the small intestine and often ferment quickly in the colon, he explains. Many people benefit from these foods because they support a healthy gut microbiome and provide prebiotics, but others are sensitive and can cause gastrointestinal distress, he warns.

Onions, leeks, garlic and spring onions

You may hear from this group regarding a Low FODMAP Diet as well as dozens of other fruits, vegetables, and sugars. But for those who don’t experience gastrointestinal issues from these foods, they may provide some much-needed prebiotics. Additionally, garlic contains antioxidants, vitamin C, and selenium spring onions have antioxidants that can help prevent inflammation, more fiber than expected (5% of the daily intake), and a good amount of vitamin C.

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dandelion green

Packed with inulin fiber, dandelion green was shown to reduce constipation, boost the immune system, provide anti-inflammatory properties and increase good gut bacteria. If you’ve never tasted the green, give this a go Roasted Dandelion Toast try recipe.


Related to the dandelion family, research has found that chicory is rich in the prebiotic inulin fiber, which can improve digestion and bowel function and relieve constipation. dr Berry points out that chicory root is often added to processed foods like fiber bars, gluten-free foods, and some cereals. Although used to increase fiber and naturally sweeten products, the ingredient can sometimes cause unwanted gastrointestinal distress in some people.


Similar to the benefits of other vegetables like broccoli and leafy greens, cabbage has a high proportion of fiber, vitamin K, vitamin A and iron. research has shown that cabbage (especially raw cabbage) provides the gut with prebiotics that may improve gut health.

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