A prebiotic is a food that is used as a food source for microorganisms, such as the good gut bacteria, that make up your microbiome.  Prebiotics can help the microbes to grow or to work effectively.  They are derived from non-digestible fibre compounds and come in many forms such as inulin, resistant starch, fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and galctooligosaccharides (GOS).

There is a vast array of prebiotic foods and having a good selection of these within your diet is going to help you keep your microbiome in optimal health.  Aiming to have a diet high in fruits, vegetables and wholegrains is going to supply the fibre containing the prebiotics.

One word of warning though – the more prebiotics you eat and the happier your microbiome become the more gas is produced…..don’t say we didn’t warn you….

Prebiotic benefits

The obvious benefit is providing a fuel for the good bacteria, and alongside this, a good intake of prebiotic foods is linked to a lower risk of obesity and the development of cardiovascular disease, better cholesterol levels, improved digestion and gut health, a better response to stress and lower levels of inflammation.  Many prebiotic foods are fermented by the microbiota in the gut to form Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA’s), these have been shown to have an important role to play in the health of the gut lining.

There is no better time to start increasing your dietary prebiotics, why not include some of the following foods:

  • Oats
  • Jerusalem artichokes
  • Onions
  • Leeks
  • Garlic
  • Bananas
  • Chicory
  • Asparagus
  • Barley
  • Soy beans

Our hearty barley and bean soup is rich in prebiotics and makes a tasty, filling meal.