What Foods Contain Prebiotics?

Now that the market has started to get flooded with prebiotic additives in some packaged foods, the question “what foods contain prebiotics” needs to be answered in two parts; what natural foods contain prebiotics and which foods can you buy that have them added as a supplement.

Natural prebiotic food components

As a general rule, most foods that are in the carbohydrate nutrient group are prebiotic. It was originally thought that dietary fiber was the only prebiotic nutrient but there is more to it than that. Fiber is a key ingredient, doing things like helping move foods through the intestines and regulating the slow release of sugars into the system.
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Enzymes are an important group of nutrients as well. They help to break down the food so the body can take what it needs and convert it into energy. But enzymes are much more than that, nothing would ever happen without them and having them in abundance actually prolongs youth and life!

Phenolic compounds are another key group of important nutrients for good health. The most abundant type of antioxidants in natural foods are called phenols. Antioxidants have a range of health benefits. They support the probiotic bacteria in your gut, by acting as selective antibiotics, without having a negative effect on probiotic microbes, they can actually stop the growth of the bad and dangerous microbes. Antioxidants also protect our body from oxidation, which can harm us in several ways.

Natural prebiotic foods include:

  • onions
  • garlic
  • variety of raw vegetables
  • variety of fresh fruits
  • unrefined whole grains (rice, barley, oats)

Store-bought foods with prebiotics added

Food companies have many products on the market that have added prebiotic supplements to them and you will see a lot more over the next few years. You can now find them in certain breads, cereals, yogurts, many snacks, supplement pill, and even chocolate spread.
Use your common sense though, if you start consuming several snacks that contain a chocolate spread to get your daily dose of prebiotics, you’d also be getting insane amounts of sugar along with it and that would be very counter-productive to say the least.

People will buy these food products because it’s a more convenient way to get the nutrients into the system, and at least that’s better than getting none at all. Keep in mind there’s no better way than natural whole foods. If you do opt for prebiotic supplements, choose one that’s 100% natural.