An Australian nutritionist has explained the importance of prebiotics and has revealed the best foods to include in your diet to improve your gut health.
Sydney-based author and founder of Supercharged food, Lee Holmes, says prebiotics help grow good intestinal bacteria, also called probiotics.
On her blog, Lee said without prebiotics that probiotics would have little chance of survival and would generally affect our health.
‘An easy way to come up with prebiotics is that they are like a really good meal for probiotics, making them robust and strong. If you want to be ahead of the gut game, incorporate these targeted, prebiotic rich foods into your life, “she said.
Lee Holmes (pictured above), author and founder of Supercharged Food in Sydney, says that prebiotics help the growth of good bacteria in your gut.
Chicory root to protect the liver
Chicory root is not only a good alternative to coffee, it is also full of antioxidants that help protect the liver against oxidative damage.
“Chicory root contains up to 47% of the prebiotic fiber known as inulin, and helps nourish our probiotics and improve the symptoms associated with digestive disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome and irritable bowel disease,” wrote Lee on her blog.
This handy plant can also break down fat more effectively and is available at most supermarkets and health food stores.
Chicory root is not only a good alternative to coffee, it is also full of antioxidants that help protect the liver against oxidative damage
Artichokes in Jerusalem to boost energy levels and mood
The next on Lee’s list is artichokes, or more specifically Jerusalem artichokes, that are packed with vitamin B to boost your energy level and mood.
In accordance with the chicory root, Jerusalem artichokes contain the fiber insulin, which makes your gut healthy and happy.
This dietary fiber can help to control cholesterol levels, stimulate the immune system and balance blood sugar and blood pressure.
“Artichoke extract can also relieve symptoms of indigestion, such as bloating, nausea, and heartburn,” Lee said.
Like chicory root, Jerusalem artichokes contain inulin, which helps boost the immune system and balances blood sugar and blood pressure
Lee’s best prebiotic-rich foods for a healthy gut
1. Chicory root
2. Artichokes from Jerusalem
5. Whole oats
6. Root vegetables
Garlic to prevent the spread of diseases and to improve the nervous system
Garlic can act as a prebiotic to prevent pathogenic bacteria from spreading around the body.
Lee explained that garlic is rich in many vitamins, minerals and fiber, such as vitamin C, magnesium and choline to stimulate both your immune system and your nervous system.
“I love adding garlic to dressings, cooking in roasted vegetables, or making it the star of the show in my Immune Boosting Roaster Garlic Bisque,” she said.
Leek is another food with lots of prebiotics full of healthy fibers and is part of the same family as garlic and onions
Leeks for your blood, bones and heather
Leek is another food with lots of prebiotics full of healthy fibers and is part of the same family as garlic and onions.
Leeks not only contain inulin to break down fat and ensure that your gut is healthy, it contains a lot of vitamin K and flavonoids, both of which are good for the health of your heart, blood and bones.
Lee has also added her favorite recipe for roasted vegetable broth, including leeks, on her website.
Whole oats to control blood sugar levels and conserve energy
The grains in whole oats contain large amounts of fiber, called beta-glucan and starch.
“Studies show that consumption of whole oats can help lower total lipoprotein cholesterol levels in low density – this is the one that we want less,” Lee explained.
Simply eating just one spoonful of porridge a day can greatly improve intestinal health, control blood sugar levels, conserve energy and is effective in curing your gut bacteria.
Just by eating just one spoonful of porridge a day can greatly improve intestinal health and keep blood sugar levels under control
Root crops for a complete cleansing of the body
For Lee’s last tip, she recommended eating more root vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, turnips, yams, and squash for complete body cleansing.
“Although they tend to be sweet in taste, root vegetables have a low glycemic index, meaning they don’t raise your blood sugar levels,” Lee said.
Root crops also contain large amounts of vitamins A and C, both of which are great for your skin and immune system.
Why prebiotics are important for your gut and overall health
Although probiotics are good living microorganisms that live in your gut, prebiotics are ‘food’ for the probiotics
Prebiotics help promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut and are responsible for metabolic health
Prebiotic-rich food contains a lot of fruits and vegetables
A healthy gut can lead to a boost of both your immune system and nervous system, stronger bones, healthier blood-pure skin and more energy
Source: Supercharged food