Have you been informed about prebiotic foods? If you might feel symptoms of your gut, something random online may have brought up this term. But your gut requires a great deal more. Meet the lesser loved sibling of probiotics-prebiotics!
Take some time tosee how many trillions of bacteria live in your gut. You have a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria for an optimal digestive system should your colon cells absorb nutrients efficiently. Prebiotics are foods that feed the bacteria that live in your gut.
Start with apples.
Are you thinking of Granny Smith? Well, You can use any variety of fresh and crunchy apples. Apples really keep the doctor away since they are high in fiber and antioxidants. There are around 5 grams of fiber in one medium apple with the skin. According to research, apples contain pectin, a type of fiber converted to butyric acid that helps digest carbohydrates. Enjoy simple, quick-to-make applesauce with the peel or a fresh, crunchy apple salad with a mild vinaigrette dressing. Your gut will thank you later. If you want to try some plant-powered pills that ease bloating, gas, and cramps, then pick Zenwise Digestive Enzymes that contain probiotics and prebiotics. It is a vegan formula with amylase and bromelain for better digestion and lactose absorption. Check out the link in the description box to order your Digestive enzymes from Amazon.
Another mainstream fruit to consider is bananas.
They can make your breakfast and desserts a whole lot sweeter and healthier. Bananas contain inulin, a type of fiber, plenty of vitamins, and essential minerals like potassium. Snacking on a single banana is excellent to combat muscle cramps. FOS is a fiber that helps digestion and is abundant in bananas. Unripe Bananas can give the best prebiotic effects as they contain specialized resistant starch. Super ripe bananas also work. Try a simple two-ingredient cookie recipe when you have a few of them sitting in your fruit basket and no energy to make banana bread. Combine mashed bananas, oats, a pinch of cinnamon, and salt with water in a bowl. Oats also contain beta-glucan and fiber that aid your gut. Mix till the ingredients get semi-solid. Scoop the batter into small circular balls on a baking tray and toss it in the oven. Sometimes you can let a third ingredient, like raisins or nuts, tag along too. Want to give these cookies a chocolate twist?
Just add some cocoa powder.
It’s the same ingredient for making chocolate frostings, silky smooth ice creams, and chocolate bars. It is made by powdering cocoa beans after removing the fat. It’s rich in antioxidants and polyphenols like flavonols. Cocoa powder is an excellent anti-inflammatory food. The harmful gut bacteria cannot flourish in the presence of anti-inflammatory foods. But this is true only if you have cocoa powder without added sugars. So sadly, those unhealthy cakes and brownies do not count!
Another easy food to soothe your gut is flax seeds.
These wonder seeds are traditional superfoods. So let’s get them back on your plates ASAP. It’s a great source of fiber and Omega 3 fatty acids that prevent constipation, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Flax seeds also improve your gut capacity to reabsorb fats and help you to stay regular. Do you eat store-bought energy bars after a killer workout in the gym or during a snack break at work? Then try making homemade flaxseed-enriched date energy bars: Blitz whole flaxseeds, almonds, seedless dates, and some vanilla flavor in a grinder. Soon the mixture will start sticking. Spread it over a tray and cut small bite-sized squares. You can add flaxseed powder to your hot cereal bowls, smoothies, and sauces. Just a quick tip is to avoid buying ground flaxseed powder. Grind flax seeds fresh before using them. The healthy fats break down quickly when exposed to air.
Now let’s talk about some alliums.
Allium is a family of plants that includes scallions, garlic, onions, and leeks. These vegetables form the base of countless dishes across the globe. The sulfur vapors that make you tear up give alliums their peculiar spicy sweet taste. Garlic allows the growth of a beneficial bacteria called Bifidobacteria in your gut. This unique prebiotic property is critical to promote gut health. One teaspoon of garlic contains around a gram of fiber. In contrast, leaks have around 2 grams. The fiber content of onions is somewhere in between garlic and leeks. They, too, contain the FOS kind of fiber. Research has shown consuming allium vegetables reduces the risk of gastric cancer. So don’t shy away from using them raw, simmered, caramelized, or cooked whenever you can.
The next potent prebiotic on our list is barley.
Whether you use the grain as a side or as a component of the main dish, barley can be a regular part of your grain rotation. Barley has plenty of fiber that makes it super digestive. One hundred grams of barley contains 2 to 20 grams of beta-glucan. Studies have shown this compound to suppress appetite and improve insulin sensitivity. Are you thinking of making it your pantry staple? The toasted flavor and delightful crunch make it a perfect cereal. Barley also makes a hefty base for various dishes, such as salads, soups, stews, and broths.
Moving along, eat more snappy asparagus.
Cooking asparagus is as simple as throwing a few ingredients together for brunch or dinner. Just snap the woody ends and place the tender part in a baking tray. Drizzle olive oil and a simple mixture of herbs, salt, and pepper. Voila! Your ideal side dish for spring, roasted asparagus, is ready! One cup contains 3 grams of fiber and vitamin K. This vitamin helps blood clotting and heal wounds quickly. This green veggie also contains inulin, a soluble fiber that feeds the gut bacteria to maintain glucose and insulin. The flavor resembles other green veggies like broccoli and green beans. But asparagus is slightly more earthy and bitter. You can also wrap some bacon around the green stalks to create a snack or a meal appetizer to invigorate your gut.
We have Dandelion Greens, too.
Nibbling on this tasty backyard green can be a bit new for many because of its bitterness; if you have never had them start with the tender leaves. They are less bitter and more palatable. Although the bitterness is essential for the flavoring of some foods, it is of great value to your gut. One cup of dandelion greens contains 2 grams of fiber. They help to break down food more efficiently by releasing stomach acids. Whip up assorted Dandelion Greens with garlic, or add them as a topping on your pizzas. Want to have them for breakfast? Then lightly salted dandelion greens with leeks by the side of an omelet can start the day off on the right foot.
Sweet watermelon also joined the team of prebiotics.
Nothing beats freshly prepared watermelon juice when it comes to experiencing summer in a glass. It’s packed with plenty of explosive flavors, vitamins, and minerals. 92% of watermelon is water. That is why it is excellent for hydrating your gut and promoting bowel movements. Antioxidants like quercetin also make it great for immunity. Some feta cheese and fresh mint with watermelon cubes is an ideal side salad, or throw them on the grill for your next barbecue with friends. Every recipe with watermelon is gut-friendly. Are you a health-conscious baker?
Then make wheat bran your buddy.
You can get the goodness of the entire wheat grain with whole wheat flour. Your gut also absorbs all the beneficial components like iron, calcium, vitamin B, and protein in this flour. But processing strips white flour of all these nutrients. Additionally, when bran is mixed with whole wheat flour, it creates an even more wholesome flour. A unique form of fiber, AXOS is also present in wheat bran. Studies have shown consuming wheat Bran for 3 months increases the count of good bacteria in the gut. Make muffins, crepes, bread, and wheat flakes from this nutritious flour. Are you picking some protein?
Stick to legumes and pulses.
A plant-based diet can help significantly. Swap red meat with legumes and pulses like black-eyed peas, chickpeas, lentils, and dried beans. They have excellent nutritional benefits. Besides being a great source of amino acids, pulses can make you healthier and safeguard you from cancer, diabetes, and heart diseases. They contain 10 – 15 grams of fiber per 100 grams. That is why they are excellent for increasing the stools’ bulk and preventing constipation. Pulses also add a rich flavor, a creamy texture, and crispness to a few dishes. Additionally, they also keep you full. Baked beans, anyone?
How often do you eat fresh custard apples?
Fresh custard apples are the most pleasing way to give your gut a probiotic boost. This fruit is very fragile. If you see a few black marks on the skin, don’t put them aside. It still won’t affect the quality of the fruit. Custard apples contain potassium, fiber, Vitamin C, B6, iron, calcium, and magnesium. They are mood elevators, strengthen your immunity, prevent blood pressure and promote digestion. It also fights inflammation in the bowels. You can prepare a delicious sweet treat by blending it with coconut milk and a drizzle of honey. To add extra richness, top it with some crushed pistachios.
Lastly, no prebiotic food list can be complete without Jerusalem artichokes.
This surprisingly underrated vegetable makes for some of the best meals while improving your gut microbiota. What’s more, they’re also easy to cook and simply delicious. Artichokes are a hassle-free way to add taste to soups. According to studies, including artichokes in your diet may boost your immune system, improve digestion and nutrient absorption from your intestine, lower cholesterol and even guard against some metabolic illnesses. It’s not just the unhealthy foods that damage your gut. A few habits can also sneakily disrupt gut health.