Why Prebiotics Are Good For You

Tula

We’ve been talking up a storm about probiotics but what about prebiotics? To begin with what are they? Remember probiotics are good bacteria. Well, prebiotics are the food good bacteria thrive on.

Prebiotics are simply a specific type of soluble fiber that people cannot digest, but the friendly bacteria in our digestive tracts can.  In other words, prebiotics are food for “probiotics,” or the health-promoting bacteria that live in our intestines and help protect us from diarrhea-causing pathogenic bacteria.  These are the same probiotics or good bacteria in our skin care products.

As probiotic bacteria grow and thrive while they feast on prebiotics, they throw off all sorts of beneficial digestive by-products called short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs).  Lots of research into the health benefits of these SCFAs is emerging, and they are being credited with outcomes ranging from regularity to colon cancer prevention to inducing remissions in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases like Ulcerative Colitis.

There are lots of reasons to eat foods with prebiotics in them but first you need to know what foods are rich in these good bacteria treats.

Chicory root, Jerusalem artichoke, Garlic, regular artichokes, bananas, leeks, onions and wheat. Pretty random right? They’re also found in Inulin, which is used by the food industry to make their products creamier. Check out the ingredient list, for, say, ice cream. Now there’s a great reason to pick up a carton of Ben and Jerry’s.

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