In our last post, we took the time to explain a little bit about the differences between probiotics and prebiotics, along with a few suggestions of some ways you can incorporate prebiotic food into your daily diet. We aren’t going to be rehashing the details of that post, but we would encourage you to check it out if you have the time. But the long and short of the conversation revolved around the difference between probiotics and prebiotics. In sum, probiotics are the beneficial bacteria that live in your digestive system, whereas prebiotics refer to the act of feeding those good microbes what they need to flourish, in order for them to provide the natural health benefits they are becoming so popular for.
The other fundamental piece of information we discussed in our previous post concerned the principles behind prebiotic skin care and prebiotic nutrition being essentially the same. While the process of how we feed the beneficial bacteria found on our skin varies from how we feed the microbes found in our gut, both are essential for optimal well-being. The benefits of prebiotics include improved immune health, digestive health, reduced risk of cardiovascular issues and obesity, along with much more!
Now that we are on the same page, let’s take a look at a few more prebiotic foods for you to add to the grocery list!
It’s almost a sin that we didn’t include this prebiotic food in part one. The Jerusalem artichoke provides a great number of nutritional benefits, among which is its high fiber content. 76 percent of its fiber comes from inulin, which is a vital component in achieving digestive health. Jerusalem artichokes help increase the beneficial bacteria in the colon even more effectively than chicory root, which we highlighted in part one. But in addition to boosting your immune and digestive system, the “earth apple,” as it is sometimes called, is also high in potassium and thiamine — both of which contribute to proper muscle function and nervous system activity.
Oats are a wonderfully healthy grain that carries anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in addition to their ample amounts of beta-glucan fiber. Beta-glucan from oats has been studied for its connection to healthy gut bacteria along with its capacity to help control cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Oats also slow digestion, which in turn helps you manage your appetite more effectively! Consider starting the day with oatmeal a little more often to reap all the benefits you can.
The last prebiotic food of the day is the apple. Though there are many others, like flax seeds, cocoa, barley, dandelion greens, and beyond, we’ll have to confine our post to a few that are fairly easy to incorporate into your diet on a regular basis.
Apples are very high in fiber. In particular they carry pectin, a kind of fiber that accounts for roughly half of an apple’s total fiber content. Pectin helps feed the good bacteria while decreasing the number of bad bacteria that exist all at once. Apples also have nutrients which help lower cholesterol and reduce the likelihood of cancer. Plus, they taste pretty good too!