Probiotics, also known as the “good bacteria” found in fermented foods and dietary supplements seems to be all the rage these days. But equally important is the lesser known prebiotics, non-digestible fibers that act as fertilizers to help stimulate the growth of good bacteria. Basically, probiotics introduce new bacteria into the system whereas prebiotics feed the bacteria already in the gut.
Our gut bacteria needs food to survive and do their job and prebiotics are the perfect way to feed them. Just like us, our belly bugs need good fuel to thrive, not processed junk, sugars and refined carbs. When our microbes are fed properly, they prevent inflammation by nourishing the gut barrier. Prebiotics improve insulin sensitivity, contribute to glowing skin and keep our appetite under control. Studies also show that ingesting prebiotics can improve sleep, mitigate the effects of stress, and reduce body fat in obese children.
Incorporating foods that are high in prebiotic fibers into your diet is an essential part of a balanced microbiome. Here is our list of the top prebiotic foods:
Roots: chicory, burdock, dandelion
Fruits: bananas, kiwis, apples, wild blueberries, tomatoes
Vegetables + herbs: spinach, asparagus, Jerusalem artichoke, garlic, leeks, onions
Whole, unrefined grains: oats, millet, quinoa, barley, buckwheat, brown or wild rice
Fermented Foods: sauerkraut, miso, kefir
Nuts and Seeds: flax, chia, pistachios
Other: dark chocolate, unrefined honey, apple cider vinegar
Here are some easy ways to incorporate these foods into your daily diet:
- Soak your oats overnight and add in wild blueberries, sliced bananas and flax seed
- Sprinkle chia seeds on your salads or into smoothies
- Make a salad of dandelion greens, spinach, tomatoes and quinoa with an organic olive oil and apple cider vinegar dressing
- Enjoy warm water with a drizzle of honey and fresh squeezed lemon
- Stir fry garlic, onions and Jerusalem artichokes for a tasty side dish
- Enjoy an apple and a handful of pistachios for a tasty, simple snack
So don’t just focus on taking a probiotic like LoveBug’s Here’s the Skinny. Make sure you feed these bugs by eating lots of prebiotics too!