What Are Prebiotics? And Why Are They Good For You?

To make things slightly less confusing, it is important to briefly explain the difference between prebiotics vs probiotics. Probiotics are live “helpful” bacteria and yeasts that are often found in yogurt, fermented teas (kombucha), kimchi, or sauerkraut, that are beneficial to your gut.

However, prebiotics are non-digestible fiber compounds that increase the production of the already existing bacteria as well as decreases the “bad” bacteria by increasing your gut’s pH. With this being said, consuming foods rich in prebiotics will increase gut health, help maintain and facilitate weight loss, as well as reduce risk of heart disease. Keep these prebiotics-rich foods handy and on your grocery list:

Dandelion Greens

This newly popular green is making an unusual rise due to its impressive nutrient profile. Dandelion greens, which were at one point most commonly considered an annoyance to most gardeners, are becoming the “must have” greens. With over 25% of their fiber being prebiotics, dandelion greens also contain over 500% of your daily-recommended intake of vitamin K and are a good source of vitamin C and A. Add a handful to your next salad and you’ll be sure to be boosting your nutritional benefits.

Oats/Sprouted Grains

Of course, we know the huge benefit oats and sprouted grains have on our digestive system and overall health. Not only do oats and grains such as amaranth, buckwheat, and quinoa provide us with necessary fiber, protein, and vitamins, but 2-5% of the fiber is prebiotics. Make at least one of these grains a staple carbohydrate in your meal plan, and you’ll be sure to be reaping the benefits.

Jerusalem Artichoke

This tuber, often also referred to as “sunchokes,” is food least often used. However, Jerusalem artichokes provide a variety of beneficial nutrients. From containing vitamin C, to copper and phosphorus, the fiber in Jerusalem artichokes is made up of over 30% prebiotic fiber. With a combined flavor of potato and artichoke, this food can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Although, light cooking is recommended in order to benefit from the full prebiotic value.

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