Foods That Are Prebiotics
Since more research focusing on PREbiotics and it’s results in some very exciting new findings, the hype around PRObiotics has shifted. Science tells us our “good gut bacteria” (probiotics) is not self-supporting and so to promote this beneficial bacteria, which is the best way to improve digestive health, we need foods that are PREbiotics.
There a lot of information coming down the track, some very good news regarding new health claims around prebiotics. Some of them substantiated some not.
Food technology to the rescue?
There have been reports and press releases recently involving some of the largest food companies in the world getting in on the medical foods business. Nestle for example has a primary focus on prebiotic additives and supplements with claims to prevent and cure many common problems such as weight control, diabetes, and digestive disorders like constipation and others.
Of course these companies will sell us on their own food products which will be pumped with some amount of prebiotics. As of this time (2011) a recommended dosage hasn’t been agreed and decided on by any one group of experts so it’s hard to say how much these food products will supply you with. Even so, I wouldn’t expect much.
No matter, you’ll probably do better by getting those nutrients from the actual foods that are prebiotics anyway. So what are they? I’ll put up a short list here with some of the more powerful and quality ones and a guide that will help to identify and understand more about what really makes a food a true prebiotic.
- brown rice
- whole grain wheat
- brown pasta
- raw onion
You may have noticed a pattern here; 3 types of foods from 1 food group. The types of foods in the list are unrefined whole grains, fresh fruits, and raw vegetables and they all belong in the carbohydrate food group. Complex carbohydrates and simple carbohydrates (fruits).
There are a few exceptions to this rule because raw honey, dark beer, red wine and dark chocolate are also good sources of prebiotics… that’s good news!
What makes a food prebiotic?
Because of the many studies and claims being made regarding prebiotics, the jury of experts is still debating on exactly which foods are truly qualified to be a prebiotic. So, while there are a lot of fruits and vegetables and whole-grains that are true prebiotics it doesn’t mean every cereal, fruit, or veggie will be one.
While the jury is still out we can still enjoy many foods knowing there’s a good chance they have high, or at least some amounts of prebiotic qualities. Here is a guideline. A food must:
- have attributes, or nutrients that get past the digestion process in the stomach and small intestine.
- the bits of food that do get passed through to the large intestine where they feed the good probiotic bacteria then start the fermentation process.
- the fermentation supports the production of even more good bacteria
Basically what these points are describing is the dietary fiber known as soluble fiber. This last step about fermentation supporting more good bacteria is really where most of the prebiotic benefits manifest themselves. Fermentation creates short chain fatty acids which can prevent pathogens (dangerous bacteria) from forming and clinging to the intestinal wall, where they can later form cancerous polyps.
Eating more foods that are prebiotic is beneficial for your digestive system
Sometimes it’s easier said than done. Not everyone wants to eat the right foods just because they are healthier. Simply adding a few more fresh fruits and raw vegetables can help. Changing over from the “white” foods to the “brown” foods is the next big step. Brown rice instead of white rice, whole wheat pasta instead of white pasta etc.
To ensure you get the best health benefits for your digestive system add a prebiotic supplement to your diet. Regardless of how healthy you start eating you won’t overdose on prebiotics!
A Prebiotic Superfood?
In the list of foods that are prebiotics there is one that has been called a superfood by several nutritionalists in recent books, it’s the kiwifruit. We have written several articles on the health benefits of kiwifruit here already and the more we learn about it the more amazed we are.
To put it simply, the kiwifruit is the most nutrient-dense fruit there is. Not only containing more vitamins and minerals than other fruits but it’s contents of dietary fiber, enzymes and phenolic compounds make it a super prebiotic food as well.
Clinical studies have shown that eating 2 to 3 kiwis a day can improve such things as constipation, allergies, cardiovascular and immune systems.
Our recommended supplement is equal to eating 3 kiwifruits a day
That’s right, taking one capsule of MX Kiwi Biotic is like eating 3 kiwifruits a day. This includes the skin which is important because that’s where many of the prebiotic nutrients are found.
See why Kiwi Biotic came out on top when researching foods that are prebiotics, and learn about all the health benefits is has for your digestive system today.
To Your Health!