Do I really need prebiotics?

Posted by Phil Houghton on

Prebiotics contain a special type of fermentable fibre that supports good gut health. This fibre cannot be digested and becomes food for the healthy bacteria that reside in the gut. Essentially, prebiotics is a prerequisite for good bacteria; without prebiotics, these live microorganisms will not flourish. You really do need probiotics in your diet. 

You don’t need to take a pill to get a decent dose of prebiotics; you just need to add foods rich in prebiotics to your diet. Here is a list of easy to find prebiotics can you eat today.    Take note that the fibre content of some of these foods changes if you cook them, they are best eaten raw (although many of the items in this list beg to be cooked). 

  • Onions and Shallots are a fantastic source of vitamins C and B6, folate, iron, and potassium. While being rich in manganese.


  • Garlic can keep you well. One study found a daily garlic supplement reduced the number of colds by 63% compared to a placebo.


  • Cabbage is high in beta-carotene, vitamin C and fibre. The vitamin in cabbage is said to encourage the growth of new skin cells


  • Asparagus is a great source of a very good source of fibre folate, vitamins A, C, E and K. It is claimed that the folate in Asparagus works with vitamin B12 to help prevent cognitive decline.


  • Steel-cut oats are a great source of manganese, biotin and beta-glucan, which helps to lower bad cholesterol in the body.


  • Bananas contain vitamin B6, bananas are a good source of vitamin C, dietary fibre and manganese. They are also a great source of potassium.


  • Flaxseed is a good source of dietary fibre and omega-3 fatty acids. Researchers believe this the fibre in the flaxseed husk binds with cholesterol in the intestine and prevents it from being absorbed. Observational studies show that those who eat flax seeds have a lower risk of breast cancer, particularly postmenopausal women


  • Cocoa has over 300 identifiable compounds and is high in magnesium, zinc, iron, calcium, beta-carotene and omega 6 fatty acids.


Apparently, there are no official dietary recommendations for ‘adequate intake’ or ‘recommended daily allowance’ for prebiotics in healthy individuals. However, given how these prebiotic heroes are fantastic for you, you shouldn’t be shy about adding them to your plate.



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