Prebiotics are non-digestible fibers that nourish beneficial gut bacteria. They're found in many foods, such as bananas, onions, and garlic, acting as fertilizer for a healthy microbiome.
Prebiotics vs Probiotics
Unlike probiotics, which are live bacteria, prebiotics are their food source. They work synergistically, with prebiotics helping probiotics flourish, enhancing gut health and function.
Prebiotics support immune function, improve digestion, and may reduce the risk of heart disease. They've also been linked to better mental health through the gut-brain axis.
Sources of Prebiotics
Besides fruits and vegetables, prebiotics are abundant in whole grains and legumes. Chicory root, Jerusalem artichoke, and dandelion greens are particularly rich sources.
Resistant starches act as prebiotics, resisting digestion. Found in cooled potatoes and rice, they can improve insulin sensitivity and aid in weight management.
Prebiotics and Sleep
Emerging research suggests that prebiotics may improve sleep and stress resilience by influencing gut bacteria and the metabolites they produce.
To harness their benefits, integrate prebiotic-rich foods into your diet gradually to minimize discomfort as your microbiome adjusts. Consider a diverse range for optimal health.