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What Are Prebiotics — and the Best Ways to Eat Them | Nutrition | MyFitnessPal
"Prebiotics have been shown to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, stimulate the immune system, aid in the digestion of food and absorption of beneficial components, synthesize certain vitamins, and provide fuel for the growth of cells lining the colon,” says Guy Crosby, PhD, the science editor for America’s Test Kitchen and an adjunct associate professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.  

“Foods that function as prebiotics are nondigestible carbohydrates, such as resistant starch, pectins, gums, non-digestible sugars and small polymers of various sugars called oligosaccharides [one example is inulin],” says Crosby. “Also included are the beta-glucans found in oat bran.”


To boost our gut health, we should include both probiotics and prebiotics in our diets. Karen Ansel, MS, RDN, and author of “Healing Superfoods for Anti-Aging: Stay Younger, Live Longer,” recommends a food-first strategy. “Foods that are good sources of prebiotics are rich in lots of other important nutrients, too,” she explains.

Crosby agrees that food is the best source of prebiotics — meaning you don’t have to buy pricey supplements. “The multitude of beneficial bacteria living in our large intestine feed on many different forms of prebiotics,” he says. “A supplement is likely to contain only one form. It would be like humans eating the same food every day.”

Michael Smith, MD, the medical director and chief medical editor at WebMD, recommends eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, including those in the garlic and onion family, to keep your diet rich in prebiotics. “Prebiotics are good for everyone, no matter the type of diet you are on,” he says. “And since most of us do not get enough fiber to begin with (most of us only get about half the fiber we need in a day), any opportunity to pack our diets with fiber should not be missed.”


Look for prebiotics in jicama, unripe bananas, apples, legumes, whole wheat, oats, barley, cocoa and flax seeds, as well as certain starchy foods that have been cooked and cooled, such as potatoes.

Even if you’re on a low-carb diet, you can also glean prebiotics from asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes) and artichokes, dandelion greens, chicory, garlic, onions and leeks. One of Smith’s favorite sources is seaweed, since it’s “a very potent prebiotic (and great in a seaweed salad).”
prebiotics  probiotics  gut  health  food  foods  diet  fiber  resistant  starch  oat  bran  potatoes  cooking  seaweed  kimchi 
11 days ago by Michael.Massing
A biologist finds a Japanese wireweed hitching a ride on a , and it's our Observation of the Week!…
seaweed  chiton  from twitter_favs
22 days ago by cshier
The Irish for spam
'turscar: from the old word for dead seaweed that's been dropped, uninvited, by the tide on the shore.'
turscar  irish  gaeilge  spam  etymology  seaweed  stinky 
april 2019 by jm

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