We’ve touched on the benefits of probiotics and their importance in digestive and overall health. But the other side of ensuring that the probiotics we are consuming are able to work efficiently is to make sure we have an adequate source of prebiotics. Most diets are low in prebiotics, which can result in issues such as indigestion, inflammation and impaired immunity.
Prebiotics are a type of non-digestible fiber. Just like all other food we consume, prebiotics travel through the upper part of our gastrointestinal tract and remain undigested because our bodies are unable to fully break down these compounds. Once the prebiotics pass through the small intestine, they reach the colon where they are fermented or broken down by the gut microflora. At a basic level, prebiotics become a fuel source for the beneficial bacteria within our digestive system.
Prebiotics work alongside probiotics and play a fundamental role in helping our overall health by maintaining balance and diversity of intestinal bacteria. The key advantage of adequate prebiotics in our diet is that they help to increase the presence of “good bacteria,” such as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacterium.
The benefits of prebiotics include better gut health and improved digestion, enhanced immune function, lower inflammation, reduced risk of heart disease, protecting our bone health and helping to regulate hormone levels and overall mood. Sources of prebiotics include onions (raw or cooked), garlic, asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes and chicory root.
For additional sources of prebiotics https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/19-best-prebiotic-foods