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What Do You Know About Prebiotics?

2019-05-17 11:18 Friday

You've probably heard of probiotics. This beneficial gut bacteria promotes intestinal health and provides a variety of other health benefits. Probiotics are also found in yogurt and other fermented foods, such as kimchi and kombucha, and in supplements.


But what are prebiotics? They are essentially chemical compounds that feed probiotics in the gut. They're mostly fermentable carbohydrates, which means we humans can't digest them. In short, prebiotics help nourish gut bacteria so they can grow better.

According to Hannah D Holscher, an assistant professor of nutrition at the university of Illinois, prebiotics are the energy provided to intestinal bacteria. Probiotics, on the other hand, are gut microbes.

The Benefits of Prebiotics

Getting enough prebiotics may mean boosting your health in a variety of ways, since these compounds seem to help reduce chronic inflammation in the body. Prebiotics have been shown to help suppress and reduce systemic inflammation, a potential mechanism associated with heart disease.

In addition, regular consumption of prebiotics helps fight harmful bacteria in the gut and boosts immunity. They may also have positive effects on blood cholesterol and triglycerides as well as mental health.

How to Get Prebiotics?

We already have some prebiotics in our diet. Prebiotics are found naturally in foods such as bananas, onions, garlic, asparagus, dandelions and artichokes. But most people get probiotics from grains like wheat. Getting probiotics from food could mean maintaining a more varied diet, which could further boost health.

Another popular source of prebiotics is fiber. Chicory root inulin is the most common form of chicory. It is often added to high-fiber bars, cereals and a variety of other foods to enhance flavor.

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