Prebiotics and Probiotics: Benefits and Sources

Prebiotics probiotics garlic onion pepper

I’m sure you’ve heard of probiotics, made wildly popular by Activia and other yogurt ads. They are great, and we will touch on them later in this post. But have you heard of prebiotics? Well to begin with, they are both meant to help with your gut health. 

Advantages of Prebiotics

Prebiotics are indigestible food that help to maintain the healthy bacteria that is in your stomach. They are a type of fiber that act as food for probiotic in your gut.

Basically, they provide nutrition for little microorganisms (probiotics) in your stomach. This helps maintain the healthy microorganisms and bacteria that you need to make sure your gut and digestive system are healthy as can be. 

They are also fatty acids that then get absorbed into your bloodstream. They help improve metabolic health.

Sources of Prebiotics

leeks is a source of prebioticsGarlic: garlic is very well known for its multiple benefits, especially for building up an immune system and helping fight germs. But it is also great prebiotic and helps feed the probiotics in your tummy and colon. 

Onions: while onions are a big staple in many foods, it also has a great fibre content. 10% of its fibre is inulin – an important prebiotic. It’s a great way to incorporate prebiotics into your daily food consumption. 

Leeks: a great soup ingredient and yet another great source of inulin. Leeks can contain up to 16% inulin fibre. They come from the same family a garlic and onions. They also aid in breaking down fat. Leeks are a great source of Vitamin-K, making them an all around fantastic and nutritious addition to any meal. 

Asparagus: this veggie has also been shown to contain inulin and promote gut health. It is also high in protein and has been shown to have antioxidant properties.

source of prebiotic garlic onion

Chicory Root: this root is a powerhouse of prebiotics. Around 47% of its fibre is inulin. It has a coffee-like flavour and is also a wealth of antioxidant compounds. This makes it very good for digestive health and liver health. 

There are different ways to incorporate chicory root into your daily routine. One way is through chicory coffee. While it does not contain any caffeine, it has a similar taste and is much better for you in the long run. If you can’t access chicory coffee, the next best thing is chicory root supplements. 

Barley: this popular ingredient is also a great source of prebiotics. It’s a cereal grain and also used in making beer.

Oats: oats are also rich in prebiotics and make a great and nutritious breakfast. An easy way to incorporate them is by making some overnight oats!

Probiotics Benefits and Sources

Now we’ve talked a lot about food for probiotics, but what are probiotics themselves? Probiotics are what we call “good bacteria”: live bacteria and yeasts that aid in maintaining or achieving a healthy digestive system. 

One of the most popular sources of probiotics is yogurt. Yogurt is fermented milk and is great for restoring the good bacteria balance in your stomach after taking antibiotics. It can help treat diarrhea in some cases as well. 

yogurt is the main source of probiotics

Kefir is, arguably, an even better source of probiotics. Kefir is a fermented milk drink and is very popular among culture in Asia. It is made by adding kefir grains to milk. Kefir grains aren’t what we traditionally think of when we think of grains. They are cauliflower shaped. They’re a combination of lactic acid bacteria and yeasts that come together to make this delicious and feel good drink. 

Sauerkraut is also another source of probiotics. The theme here is fermentation: fermented good is fantastic for gut health. Sauerkraut is cabbage that has been fermented by lactic acid. It is also a great source of antioxidants, so it can’t hurt to buy a jar. Next time you’re buying a hot dog, opt for some sauerkraut topping!

Kimchi is also very similar to sauerkraut in its health benefits. It is a spicy fermented cabbage dish and is extremely popular in Korean cuisine. 

Kombucha, a fermented tea drink, is also a great source of probiotics. It has recently seen a rise in popularity and is now sold in most grocery stores. It’s a refreshing, cool summer drink and fantastic for making sure your gut has all the good bacteria it needs. 

Keep up your gut health!

It is so important to have a healthy digestive system. It can prevent many ailments in the long run and keep you from constipation or diarrhea. There is nothing more satisfying than being regular and feeling healthy. 

It can be hard to incorporate the foods mentioned into your daily diet. For those on the go with little time to shop or cook, your best bet is supplements. A multivitamin with probiotic is a great way to make sure you are taking good care of your body and gut.