20 Prebiotic Foods for Better Digestive Health

Many people find out about probiotics, however what about prebiotics? Have you ever been lacking out on these health-boosting meals? Beneath you’ll discover 20 scrumptious prebiotic meals to incorporate in your weekly meal prep to assist your wellness and digestion. 

What Are Prebiotics? 

Prebiotics confer with particular compounds inside the meals we eat and are thought to feed the “good” micro organism in our intestine (1,2).

Prebiotics, together with probiotics, assist domesticate steadiness in our intestine microbiome and assist whole-body wellness.

Prebiotics typically get confused with Probiotics, however they’re truly various things: 

  • Prebiotics are non-digestible compounds inside our meals that feed wholesome intestine micro organism
  • Probiotics live micro-organisms present in fermented meals like yogurt that assist us digest our meals and have all kinds of results on the physique (3)

Lengthy story quick, prebiotic meals assist feed the probiotic micro-organisms regarded as useful to our well being. 

There are various forms of prebiotics, however the majority of them are from meals containing greater quantities of sure carbohydrates corresponding to oligosaccharides, polysaccharides, and dietary fibers (1,4). 

How Would possibly Prebiotics Assist a Wholesome Intestine? 

Our intestine microbiome performs a giant position in our general well being and well-being as our intestine well being impacts all of our physique’s pure processes. 

Our microbiome consists of varied microorganisms that reside in our gastrointestinal tract and assist management our digestion, oversee our immune system, talk with our brains, course of and produce vitamins and have an effect on many different elements of our well being (5).

When our intestine well being is compromised from issues like imbalances in our food plan and life-style we enhance our danger for growing a wide range of well being points. 

Alterations in our intestine microbiome have been linked to quite a few systemic ailments, corresponding to heart problems, auto-immune circumstances, and intestinal circumstances like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (5). 

So how can we assist assist wholesome digestion and a intestine microbiome? 

We are able to begin by turning into extra aware about what we eat, and feed the wholesome intestine micro organism by incorporating prebiotic meals, making a meal prep plan that serves our well being.

When ingested, prebiotics go by means of your intestines the place they’re fermented and produce important vitamins together with short-chain fatty acids corresponding to butyrate, acetate, and propionate which nourish your digestive system by servings as meals for the useful microorganisms. 

Prebiotics assist shield our gastrointestinal system, central nervous system, immune system, and cardiovascular system, and growing the variety of prebiotic-containing meals in your food plan chances are you’ll assist with (1,2):

Taking time to handle and regulate our intestine well being might enhance each space of our well being from digestion to our capacity to cut back our danger for illness (5, 6)

What Meals Are Excessive In Prebiotics?  

There are not any set tips or guidelines figuring out what it means to be “excessive in prebiotics” as no clear laws have been established but by the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) for classifying or labeling prebiotic meals (4,6).

All vegetation include prebiotics in small quantities, though science suggests just a few corresponding to onions, garlic, bananas, chicory root, and Jerusalem artichoke might include greater concentrations of particular sorts (6,7). 

Prebiotics may also be added to meals corresponding to yogurts, cereals, bread, biscuits, and drinks, however might not be labeled “prebiotic”. To test if a product incorporates prebiotics have a look at the ingredient checklist for (2): 

  • Galcto-oligosaccharides (GOS)
  • Fruto-oligosaccharides (FOS)
  • Oligofructose (OF)
  • Chicory fiber
  • Inulin 

If you happen to’re seeking to reap the advantages of consuming meals excessive in prebiotics’ do not stress an excessive amount of on the “quantity” inside the meals, however reasonably have a look at your meals high quality and amount.

Prebiotics vs Fiber 

Most Dieticians will suggest growing your consumption of dietary fiber as a easy method to enhance your consumption of prebiotics. 

There’s some reality to this as most prebiotics are dietary fibers, however not all dietary fibers are prebiotics, so it is exhausting to say if high-fiber meals additionally imply they’re excessive in prebiotics (6,7). 

This makes it a little bit difficult when attempting to navigate diet claims on meals merchandise. Simply bear in mind to test the label for those who’re buying a pre-packaged meals product for any of the prebiotic substances we listed above. 

On the finish of the day, naturally fibrous meals are typically nutrient-dense, and ingesting greater quantities of them have been linked to numerous well being advantages together with improved digestion and blood sugar management (8,9). 

The very best technique for growing your consumption of pure prebiotics is to give attention to constructing a meal plan with loads of complete meals together with contemporary fruits, greens, and complete grains.  

20 Prebiotic Meals For Higher Digestive Well being 

These meals include various quantities and types of prebiotics; use the chart under for fast reference when heading to the grocery retailer or planning your meal prep for the week. 

Prebiotic Meals 
Greens Mushrooms, Jerusalem Artichokes, Chicory, Garlic, Leek, Onions, Spring Onion, Asparagus, Beetroot, Fennel, Inexperienced Peas, Snow Peas, Cabbage, Dandelion Greens, Burdock, Eggplant, Endive, JIcama, Konjac, Radicchio, Yacon 
Legumes Chickpeas, Lentils, Crimson Kidney Beans, Baked Beans 
Fruit Nectarines, White Peaches, Persimmons, Watermelon, Grapefruit, Pomegranate, Dried Fruit (like dates or figs), Apples, Bananas, 
Complete-Grains and Different Merchandise Barley, Rye, Wheat (pasta, bread, and so on), Oats, Wheat Bran, Couscous, Cocoa, Flaxseed 


All the above meals are regarded as include useful prebiotics, we have highlighted just a few notable prebiotic meals under and their potential well being advantages. 

On the finish of the day consuming a various and nutritious diet with a variety of complete grains, vegatables and fruits, and different fiber-rich meals might help you determine higher digestive well being and general well being. 

1. Mushrooms 

Most forms of edible mushrooms are wealthy in carbohydrates like chitin, beta and alpha glucans, and different compounds that act as prebiotics (10). 

Not solely do mushrooms include prebiotics, however in addition they include important amino acids, in addition to minerals, corresponding to calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, and zinc which play a job in assist our power manufacturing and immune system (10). 

Check out a portobello mushroom in lieu of a burger patty or add in some chopped mushrooms to a easy stir fry recipe to get extra nutritious fungi into your food plan. 

2. Asparagus

Asparagus is a superb non-starchy vegetable so as to add to your weekly meal prep as you possibly can roast it rapidly or saute it up with different veggies. 

Most greens wealthy in prebiotics include inulin, a soluble dietary fiber that stimulates wholesome intestine micro organism like Bifidobacteria (11).

Research recommend that Bifidobacteria might help digestion, modulate the immune system and assist restore microbial integrity of the intestine microbiota after antibiotic remedy (11).

3. Seaweed

For these of us who’ve been to a seashore, this may increasingly come as a shock however these bizarre clumps of sea vegetation washed up on shore are literally edible, and imagine it or not, they’re extraordinarily nutrient-dense. 

Seaweed is a classification for nutrient-dense marine algae and is rising in popularity in western diets attributable to its big selection of nutritional vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants. 

Seaweed incorporates each soluble and insoluble dietary fiber, together with greater concentrations of nutritional vitamins A, B1, B12, C, D, and E (12). 

Numerous forms of edible seaweed embrace: 

  • Wakame 
  • Kombu
  • Nori
  • Hijiki
  • Umibudo 
  • Kelp 

4. Jerusalem Artichokes 

Jerusalem artichokes typically referred to as “sunchokes” are the tuberous root greens from a particular species of sunflower native to central North America. 

Jerusalem artichokes include a number of prebiotic compounds corresponding to inulin and oligofructose together with minerals corresponding to potassium. The precise prebiotics inside Jerusalem artichokes assist balanced intestine well being by stimulating wholesome micro organism which can improve absorption of essential minerals like calcium and magnesium (13).

These tasty tubers style nice roasted within the oven with a little bit of salt and lemon and paired with a nut pesto recipe. Or attempt them out steamed, sauteed, or boiled! 

5-7. Chickpeas, Lentils, and Kidney Beans 

Legume varieties are wealthy in protein, prebiotic carbohydrates, and a variety of micronutrients making them an amazing selection for intestine well being and general well being and wellbeing. 

Incorporating extra legumes containing prebiotic carbohydrates can positively alter the intestine microbiome, serving to regulate intestinal motion, enhance mineral absorption, and scale back weight problems danger by regulating blood glucose and levels of cholesterol (14). 

Attempt making ready a do-it-yourself black bean burger or a vegetarian chili to extend your consumption of legumes. 

8. Chicory Root

Chicory is a woody, perennial plant from the daisy and sunflower household sometimes with vivid blue flowers.

The foundation is cultivated and is often baked, floor, and used as a espresso substitute or fiber additive attributable to its excessive focus of inulin, one of many prebiotic compounds in chicory. 

Together with useful prebiotic compounds, chicory root has different minerals corresponding to potassium, calcium, magnesium, selenium, and zinc (15).

The contemporary roots have a bitter style however consuming chicory root espresso or utilizing it as a practical meals ingredient when baking or making protein shakes helps most regulate to the flavour. 

9-12. Onions, Leeks, Garlic, and Spring Garlic 

Onions, leeks, garlic, and spring onion are all greens of the Allium household all of which include prebiotic compounds corresponding to flavonoids proven to positively affect our intestine microbiota and assist immune perform and metabolism (16). 

All of those scrumptious alliums are extraordinarily versatile within the kitchen; add them to soups, salads, or stir-frys!

13-15. Nectarines, Watermelon, and Blueberries 

Most fruits are nutrient-dense sources of dietary fiber, potassium. antioxidants, carotenoids and are low-calorie (17). Research have discovered that blueberry, pears, watermelons, and nectarines include barely greater quantities of prebiotic compounds (17). 

Fruits are greater in insoluble fiber, which advantages our digestion by supporting intestinal mobility and promote the colonization of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria (16). This additionally contains dried fruits corresponding to dried figs and prunes. 

16-17. Oats and Barley 

Oats and barley include the best quantity of the prebiotic, beta-glucan. 

Science means that complete grains containing beta-glucan might assist decrease  LDL-cholesterol and blood triglyceride ranges, and encourage the expansion of useful intestine micro organism (7). 

You may simply incorporate extra oats into your meal plan by having fun with some in a single day oats for breakfast! 

18. Dandelion Greens

These underutilized greens develop wild virtually EVERYWHERE and have a tangy however bitter style. Usually you’ll discover them hanging round different inexperienced lettuces within the grocery retailer.

These greens and plenty of different dark-leafy greens home a ton of nutritional vitamins and minerals corresponding to magnesium. phosphorus, calcium, vitamin C, and Okay (17). 

You should use dandelion greens in a wide range of methods, my favourite is making them right into a scrumptious pesto however you too can: smoothie, inexperienced juice, salads, stir-fry.

19. Cocoa Powder 

You might need heard the rumor about chocolate is wholesome, that is partially true. Small quantities of darkish chocolate might offer you a well being increase however consuming greater than sparing quantities may result in excessive calorie and sugar consumption inflicting undesirable weight achieve and excessive glucose ranges (18). 

Pure chocolate, or cocoa, incorporates antioxidants that act as free radicals within the physique and assist struggle the consequences of oxidative stress (19). Cocao additionally incorporates prebiotic fibers, and like all the opposite prebiotic meals, helps feed the great micro organism in our intestine (19).  

20. Jicama Root

You could have handed this Mexican root tuber just a few occasions within the grocery retailer with out even noticing it.

This scrumptious and crunchy root vegetable has a lightweight brown exterior and pale white inside with a texture just like having fun with an apple. Jicama is a superb low-carb choice and excessive in prebiotic inulin. 

You may roast it, saute it, or discover it sliced thinly to make use of as a taco shell! 

Ideas for Wholesome Digestion

A food plan wealthy in complete meals and loads of vegatables and fruits is certain to be wealthy in prebiotics which can profit your intestine and digestive well being in the long term.

Drink loads of water 

Water performs a number of roles within the physique together with supporting digestion, nutrient absorption, and your capacity to burn fats for power (19). The truth is, with out water, your physique can’t correctly metabolize fats and carbohydrates.

Being even mildly dehydrated can negatively influence intestine perform, mind perform, temper, coronary heart well being, and power ranges (20). And whereas you will get water from meals and different drinks, there isn’t a higher supply than water itself. 

Find out how a lot water you could drink every day with this straightforward water consumption calculator. 

Begin Meal Prepping 

Beginning a meal prep plan is useful that will help you monitor, plan, and eat a relentless food plan.

There isn’t a higher method to enhance the variety of prebiotic vegatables and fruits in your food plan than to begin meal prepping your meals. When achieved accurately, meal prep can fully remodel your well being, even for those who solely select to meal prep one meal a day or just a few days every week.

Attempting to extend your consumption of greens and get selection generally is a problem. Allow us to do all of the cooking, cleansing, and meal prepping for you whereas. 

Decide a meal plan that meets your meals preferences, or get monetary savings. Getting the majority of your diet and macros lined additionally means there’s much less stress in terms of sticking to your food plan. 

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