Probiotics have been a consistent buzzword when it comes to gut health, but what about prebiotics? Do you really need both probiotics and prebiotics for optimal microbiome health? The answer is YES. While probiotics add millions of good bacteria to your microbiome, prebiotics feed and support the friendly bacteria already present in your gut.
In addition to helping good bacteria thrive in your microbiome, prebiotics enhance the bioavailability and uptake of minerals in the body, including calcium, magnesium, and iron.
Where to find prebiotics in your food
I load my plate with healthy foods that contain prebiotics to make sure I’m feeding the beneficial bacteria in my microbiome. These foods are generally high-fiber plant foods.
To start, I always have dark leafy greens on hand. Leafy greens and dandelion greens are made up of 25% prebiotic fiber (https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-18746/18-prebioticrich-foods-for-a-gutfriendly-diet.html), so naturally they’re great to incorporate in salads and green smoothies to fuel the body with plenty of prebiotics in one sitting.
Inulin is a form of prebiotic fiber that supports the good bacteria that is already existing in the gut. You can find inulin in jicama, Jerusalem artichoke, and chicory. Raw chicory root is made up of 65% prebiotics, and Jerusalem artichoke contains about 32% prebiotics (https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-28743/everything-you-need-to-know-about-prebiotics-a-doctor-explains.html). These two foods are the best option when it comes to prebiotic food sources. Asparagus is also a tasty source of inulin.
For a meal full of prebiotics, a good go-to that I make is grilled vegetable tacos with grilled artichoke, asparagus, and other veggies. I also add fresh avocado and raw jicama slices to top it off!
Allium vegetables are great sources of prebiotics—and best eaten raw for maximum gut impact. Beneficial allium vegetables include garlic, onion, leeks, chives, and scallions. Keep these ingredients on hand to dice and toss on top of salads, dips, tacos, soups and just about any dish you create.
Oligosaccharides are prebiotics that can be found in peas, cabbage, whole grains, lentils, and beans (http://www.nutrientsreview.com/carbs/oligosaccharides.html). Typically, I like to make bowls with whole grains, beans, or lentils as the base, then add green peas, cooked veggies, and top it with some raw or fermented cabbage. Yum!
How a prebiotic supplement can further help
While it’s important to fuel your body with nutritious foods, especially probiotic and prebiotic food sources, supplements help the body maintain a healthy consistency. Travel and busy schedules make it impossible to keep up routine meals with substantial amounts of prebiotics. Besides, who likes counting absolutely everything we put into our bodies? As your primary source of prebiotics, a supplement works best. Then, it is important to further optimize your microbiome health by adding prebiotic food sources as frequently as possible.
While I try to prepare meals consisting of prebiotic and probiotic foods, I always take a daily prebiotic and probiotic to fully optimize gut wellness.
BIOHM’s Prebiotic Supplement contains dietary fiber in the form of inulin (fructooligosaccharides FOS) and apple pectin. The supplement also contains digestive enzymes (peptidase and lipase) for aiding the digestive breakdown of foods.
While most prebiotic supplements are made with dietary fiber, BIOHM’s Prebiotic Supplement combines dietary fiber with the power of digestive enzymes to build an optimal environment for probiotics to thrive in your microbiome.
My team and I spent months engineering BIOHM, analyzing specific ingredients and evaluating the specific levels of each ingredient to include for optimal digestive balance. Our products are strategically designed to balance both the bacteria and fungi in your gut, and break down digestive plaque — a thick film on your gut’s lining that acts like a protective shield over bad bacteria and fungi.
The BIOHM Prebiotic Supplement is best when taken along with your probiotic. Take two capsules daily with our probiotic supplement for optimal digestive balance.
Greens with Cannellini Beans and Pancetta
Greens and beans? Yum! Try this recipe as a great light meal, or as a side dish. It is full of prebiotics to help keep your gut in tip-top shape. Your gut will thrive on this fiber-filled dish, supporting good bacteria in the microbiome.
- 2 slices pancetta, chopped
- 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 bunch kale, roughly chopped
- 1 bunch beet greens, roughly chopped
- salt to taste
- 1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained
- Microwave the chopped pancetta on high for 3 minutes. Drain the drippings and set the crispy pancetta aside
- In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Cook onion in oil until soft. Add the crushed garlic cloves, and cook a minute more. Stir in chopped greens, and season with salt to taste. Partially cover the pan, and cook until the greens begin to wilt. Stir in crispy pancetta and cannellini beans. Cook partially covered for 5 minutes, until the flavors have combined and the greens are tender.