Most people are aware by now that foods that offer dietary fiber and probiotics have a long list of health benefits, but nonetheless prebiotic foods are still mostly underappreciated. Canadians don’t consume enough prebiotics every day and the result can aggravate indigestion, higher levels of inflammation, lower immune function, increase weight gain and a raised risk for many chronic diseases.
What are they?
Prebiotics are a type of non-digestible fiber compound. These foods pass through the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract and remain undigested, since the human body can’t fully break them down. Once they pass through the small intestine, they reach the colon, where they’re fermented by the gut microflora.
As prebiotics make their way through the stomach without being broken down, they bring about positive changes in the digestive tract and organs. Essentially, prebiotic compounds become fuel for the beneficial bacteria that live within your gut.
Prebiotics play a fundamental role in preserving health by maintaining balance and diversity of intestinal bacteria, especially increasing the presence of “good bacteria”.
How to get them?
Raw garlic is an easy prebiotic ingredient to use that offers loads of benefits. The benefits of garlic include: cancer prevention, along with antifungal, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. The challenge is it is needed in high quantities. This may be a supplement you want to add to your diet. Talk to a dietician.
Chicory root is another excellent source. It is a high-antioxidant food and great digestive cleanser. Chicory root can be used in cooking and also used as a coffee substitute.
Keep your gut healthy. You will be thankful for it.
Any further questions you can always call upon one of our trusted colleagues, Angela Dufour. http://www.nutritioninaction.ca/
Darren and Jesse