13 foods that are naturally packed with prebiotics, because you need more than just probiotics in your diet
If you're like us, always trying to stay healthy, you know that probiotics and prebiotics are a big trend in healthy eating. We've heard about probiotics for a while, they're the good bacteria found in lots of fermented foods like yogurt. But prebiotics are also very important, and they work with probiotics to keep your gut healthy.
According to Science Daily, prebiotics are non-digestible fibers found in many plant sources. And the friendly probiotic bacteria feed on these non-digestible fibers, so they work together to improve your overall health. But if you're not quite ready for a supplement, don't worry. Prebiotics are available in a ton of easy-to-find foods. And we've collected a list of tons of delicious foods full of prebiotics.
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Asparagus makes a simple and delicious side to all kinds of meals. You can also add it to your omelet or a stir fry. And asparagus is also full of antioxidants, which just adds another benefit.
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In a study for the journal Nutrients, the fiber and prebiotics in bananas were shown to reduce bloating. Bananas can be eaten as a snack, blended into smoothies, or even used as a substitute for fat and sugar in baked goods. Basically, they're one of the most versatile prebiotic powerhouses.
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Onions are packed with prebiotics, whether they're served raw or cooked. We also know that onions are full of flavor, so they make a delicious addition to any dish. Chop them up to add to a salad, sautée them with other veggies, or add them to your sandwiches.
4. Raw Garlic
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Yeah, we know, raw garlic can be a lot of flavor to handle, but that's the form that makes it the most beneficial from a prebiotic standpoint. But while you probably don't want to snack on a whole clove, you can add raw garlic into your diet in more subtle ways. Make your own salad dressing with oil, vinegar, spices, and garlic. Or you can add raw garlic to your favorite dips like guacamole or hummus. Garlic also has a number of antimicrobial and disease-fighting nutrients, so it's overall a super healthy option.
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That's right, you can start your day off with a prebiotic boost by eating oatmeal. Oats also help with blood sugar control and lower cholesterol. And if you want to double up on the health benefits, add some bananas to your morning oats.
6. Dandelion Greens
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We know you're used to dandelions being just weeds, but the greens of these bright flowers also contain prebiotics. Plus, they have a delicious, slightly spicy flavor. They can be made into pesto, added to pasta, or mixed with other veggies in a delicious medley.
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We've known for a long time that beans are a great vegetarian source of protein. Plus, they're tasty. But they're also an excellent source of prebiotics. So add them to your salads, eat them in a delicious chili, or enjoy a vegetarian burrito.
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Leeks are from the same family as onion and garlic, so it's no surprise they also contain prebiotics as well. These tasty veggies add delicious flavor to soups and quiches. Leeks also aid in the breakdown of fat in your system, which is an added benefit.
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Another tasty grain to add to your diet for both variety and health benefits is barley. This grain, typically used to make beer, provides not only prebiotics, but also the nutrient selenium, which improves thyroid function. You can cook barley into a hot cereal, a la oatmeal, or you can steam it to use in the place of other grains like rice.
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One of our favorite fruits also packs a ton of prebiotics, which means double the reason to snack on them. Plus, apples also contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Apples make a great treat to stave off your sweet tooth, they're great to add into your morning oats, and they're delicious in baked goods. There are tons of options for using this tasty fruit to boost your gut health.
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We bet you didn't think chocolate would be on this list! Yeah, neither did we. But cocoa beans and cocoa have tons of antioxidants, and they're also filled with prebiotics. The higher the cocoa content, the more of these important nutrients, so focus on dark chocolate and high-quality cocoa powder to get the health boost you need.
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If you haven't been adding flax seeds to your oatmeal and baked goods, now you should start. Flax seeds are an incredibly healthy addition to your diet. Not only are they packed with prebiotics, but they're also full of heart-health Omega-3s and antioxidants that help regulate blood sugar. They also have a delicious nutty flavor that goes great in baked goods, oatmeal, and salads.
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If you haven't had much jicama, it's a white, crunchy vegetable often cut into slices for dipping or snacking. And it's full of prebiotics. Along with that health benefit, it's low in calories, full of fiber, and high in Vitamin C. It's a great veggie option for snacking with hummus, it goes great in salads, and it's delicious when pickled.
Basically, there are tons of tasty ways to make your diet filled with more prebiotics.
So get ready to stuff your face — with healthy compounds that will improve your overall health!