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Prebiotics: 5 Best Prebiotic-Rich Foods You Must Have

Prebiotics are the lesser celebrated cousin of probiotics which is no less beneficial for your overall health. They refer to the ingestible fibers present in fruits, veggies and starches.

Prebiotics: 5 Best Prebiotic-Rich Foods You Must Have

All prebiotics are fibers but not all fibers are prebiotics

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Prebiotics are a food source for good gut-bacteria
  2. Banana is a rich source of prebiotic food
  3. Both prebiotics and probiotics share an interdependent relationship
You may have heard about probiotics and their health benefits, but not many would know about prebiotics. Prebiotics are the lesser celebrated cousin of probiotics which is no less beneficial for your overall health. They refer to the ingestible fibers present in fruits, veggies and starches. They are a food source for good gut-bacteria. Keep in mind that all prebiotics are fibers but not all fibers are prebiotics. There is certain criterion for fibers which needs to be fulfilled in order to be considered as a prebiotic.

1. It must not be digested in the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract.

2. It should stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria in the intestines.

3. It should not be fermented by microflora in the intestines.

Also read: These Homemade Fermented Probiotic Drinks Are Best For Your Health

Both prebiotics and probiotics share an interdependent relationship. If a probiotic is consumed without a prebiotic, it may not flourish the way it should. Prebiotics are the main food source of probiotics and cannot multiply without them.



If we look at the foods which contain prebiotics, it can be said that all fiber-rich foods contain prebiotics. However, there are some foods which are officially termed as the best sources of prebiotics ever.
fiber

All fiber-rich foods contain prebiotics
Photo Credit: iStock

Here are the 5 best prebiotic-rich foods you must have regularly.

1. Bananas

Bananas are perhaps the most convenient yet healthy food of all time. A single banana packs a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, fiber and prebiotics. Prebiotic-rich bananas boost healthy gut bacteria and help you to get rid of bloating. The slightly unripe variety of bananas has the best prebiotic effects on your health.

Also read: 5 Problems That Bananas Can Treat Better Than Medicines

2. Asparagus

Asparagus is another popular source of prebiotics. To get maximum benefits, whole asparagus consumption is recommended. Insulin content in asparagus is 2 to 3 grams in a 100 gram serving. Research shows that asparagus promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut. It has the perfect mix of fiber and antioxidants which may even contribute to the prevention of certain cancers.

 
asparagus

Asparagus promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut
Photo Credit: iStock

3. Garlic

Garlic is that one herb which adds an incredible flavor to your food and a wide variety of nutrients to your overall health. 11% of garlic's fiber comes from insulin and the rest 6% comes from a sweet prebiotic. It promotes the growth of healthy gut bacteria and prevents the disease-causing bacteria from growing. The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of garlic have been touted to be beneficial for heart disease and asthma.

Also read: 5 Powerful Benefits Of Garlic Tea

4. Onions

Onion is another vegetable strongly linked to a stronger immune system and improved gut health. It is also linked to a wide variety of health benefits. 6% of the fiber content of onions is prebiotics. The properties of onions strengthen your gut flora and immune system. Antibiotic properties of onions can also be beneficial for your heart health.
onions

The properties of onions strengthen your gut flora and immune system

5. Oats

Whole oats are a rich source of prebiotics. They are rich in beta-glucan fibers and resistant starch. The properties of oats are linked to low bad cholesterol levels, healthy gut bacteria and better blood sugar control. They improve digestion and boost appetite as well.

Also read: 8 Best Foods To Increase Your Good Cholesterol Levels 

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information. 

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