Guest Post by Sasha de Beaussett, B.A., M.Sc.
You have probably heard of prebiotics – maybe even seen them advertised on some foods and supplements.
They are the lesser known siblings of probiotics, but just as – if not more important – to gut health.
In this quick read, I will give you a good working knowledge of prebiotics, how they work, how they can improve your health, and where they are found.
What Are Prebiotics?
In short – prebiotics are carbohydrates that the human body cannot digest, but that serve as food for probiotics. Probiotics, in the human diet, are “good” bacteria that keep our digestive system working properly by preventing the propagation of “bad” bacteria. In short, prebiotics are food for probiotic bacteria.
I often hear from people, “probiotics didn’t work for me.” Of course there are a variety of factors at play, but perhaps probiotics don’t help with digestion when they are not fed a sufficient amount of prebiotics. Think of it this way, how well do you work when you aren’t being fed?
What are the Benefits of Prebiotics?
There are several benefits to prebiotics for our health. Some studies show that prebiotics may help with:
- Digestion and regularity support
- Bone health
- Immune health
- Reduction in triglycerides
- Weight management support by helping to control appetite
Why Do People Need Prebiotics?
Without prebiotics, the good bacteria in our gut would die without anything to eat. This would result in gastrointestinal problems like discomfort and pain. Over time, these issues can lead to serious problems like malnutrition, vitamin deficiencies, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Prebiotics are not something new. We have been eating them for centuries, but only now have we discovered all of the benefits of prebiotics, which, as mentioned before, keep our gut healthy, bones healthy, and strengthen our immune system.
Where Do Prebiotics Come From?
Prebiotics are a natural and integral part of the foods we eat. They are found as compounds such as fiber, which we cannot digest, but that are key to keeping our gut healthy.
Sources of Prebiotics
There are many sources of prebiotics that we have been eating for centuries.
Some of the best sources of prebiotics are:
- Raw onion: use it to top your salads or stirred into guacamole.
- Raw garlic: has many of the same properties as onion.
- Yogurt: although yogurt is most famous for the number of probiotics it contains, it also contains prebiotics. This combination of prebiotics and probiotics in a single food is rare.
- Jerusalem Artichoke: You have probably already seen regular, green artichokes. Jerusalem artichokes is a confusing name, since they aren’t really artichokes. They are also known as sunroots or sunchokes, and they look like the mix between ginger and a potato.
In addition to eating these prebiotic-rich foods, you can find Organic Jerusalem Artichoke in The Natural Citizen’s Organic Digest formulation. Stir the Organic Digest blend into oatmeal, smoothies or yogurt, to give your gut some prebiotic love and nourish your naturally-occurring probiotics. Click here to learn more about Organic Digest.By now, you know that prebiotics are important for your health. As a preventative health measure, consuming foods with prebiotics can help to alleviate potential future problems by ensuring that we provide the good bacteria to our gut early on.
If you haven’t heart some of these food, feel free to get creative! Spend some time trying out new recipes and preparations of foods containing prebiotics – or explore our blog for fun ways to incorporate Organic Digest into your diet.