Prebiotics feeds the good bacteria in our gut, which in turn provide us with a whole host of health benefits.
Interesting fact: Did you know that bacterial cells in our bodies outnumber our own human cells by a factor of 10? I bet you can guess they are important, huh?
The truth is, changes in these communities of bacteria may be responsible for a whole host of disease, including digestive disorders, skin disease, sinus problems, obesity and many more health problems.
Is it any wonder that we need to nourish these microbial communities with prebiotics. Popular prebiotics include prebiotin and inulin. Prebiotin is a mixture of oligofructose (short, simple molecules) and inulin (longer, more complex molecules) which feed the gut bacteria along the length of the colon. However, a number of foods are good sources of prebiotics, and below we’ve listed the top 10 prebiotic food sources.
- Raw Chicory Root – 65%
- Raw Jerusalem artichoke – 31%
- Raw Dandelion leaves – 24%
- Raw Garlic – 17%
- Raw leek – 12%
- Raw Onion – 9%
- Cooked Onion – 5%
- Raw Asparagus – 5%
- Raw Wheat bran – 5%
- Raw banana – 1%
Notes on natural sources of prebiotics
A prebiotic called lactulose is produced when milk is heated, and is therefore found in pasteurized, and UHT milk. This prebiotic promotes the growth of Bifidobacteria, which are probiotics we want in our gut.
It’s also interesting to note that a new born baby is born into an unsterilized world, and quickly has to feed the gut bacteria to boost immunity and health. Human breast milk contains prebiotics to do this, and it has been shown that breast fed babies have a higher percentage of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, whereas bottle-fed babies have a more mixed intestinal flora, and lower levels of the beneficial bifidobacteria.
Raw green bananas contain a prebiotic often called resistant starch.