As per this prebiotics guide, prebiotics are a group of nutrients that are degraded by intestinal microbes. In recent years, its relationship with human health has been an area of increasing concern. They can feed the intestinal microbiota, and their breakdown products are short-chain fatty acids released into the blood. Therefore, they not only affect the gastrointestinal tract, but also other distant organs. In other words, prebiotics is a fiber that the body cannot digest, but can help beneficial bacteria grow in the intestines. Since your body does not digest these plant fibers, they will just end up in your lower digestive tract. There they become a food source of healthy bacteria in your intestines.
Not all dietary fiber can be used as a prebiotic. Established prebiotics include inulin, fructooligosaccharide (FOS), and galactooligosaccharide (GOS). These two types of prebiotics, Fructooligosaccharides, and galactooligosaccharides are beneficial to our health. Due to the small number of FOS and GOS naturally present in food, scientists are trying to produce prebiotics on an industrial scale. Considering the health benefits and safety of prebiotics, their production and storage advantages, compared to probiotics, should be recognized. They seem to be attractive candidates for promoting human health, as a substitute for probiotics or in combination with probiotics. Prebiotics are different from probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria, although both are important for the digestive system. Adding prebiotics to your daily diet can help promote beneficial bacteria in the intestines, strengthen the immune system, and maintain a healthy digestive system.
Why do you need prebiotics?
Prebiotics are important to your health, but more research is needed to understand all the ways they can help your body. Prebiotics are found naturally in some high-fiber foods but are sometimes added to foods. They can also be used as dietary supplements. There is no official guideline on how much to eat per day. Studies have shown that eating 3 to 5 grams of prebiotics a day can benefit your gut health. Eating the recommended amount of dietary fiber may ensure that you get enough dietary fiber.
Prebiotics are beneficial to your body in many areas:
Intestinal and digestive system health
Prebiotics can keep your intestines and digestive system healthy. They can enhance your gut health by adding “good” bacteria, which help protect you from pathogens in the gut and help relieve constipation.
What you eat affects your immune system and allergy risk. Prebiotics strengthen the immune system by restoring the balance of the bacteria in your gut. It can also assist in reducing inflammation, specifically intestinal inflammation. A good balance of intestinal bacteria helps protect your body from diseases. Prebiotics can also help prevent allergies and eczema symptoms by directly and indirectly affecting the systems involved in the development of allergic diseases, although more research is needed.
Having strong bones is important to your health because it reduces the risk of osteoporosis and
fractures. Some research results indicate that prebiotics can aid in the absorption of calcium, which is essential for bone health. However, more research would highlight the effectiveness of prebiotics relating to factors such as health in general as well as a person’s age.
Foods Containing Prebiotics
Prebiotics are found naturally in many foods, such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. If you
have a diverse diet, you will get a lot of prebiotics from the foods you eat without the need for supplements.
Include the following food in your diet as sources of prebiotics:
Apples are rich in vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber. The fiber in apples increases healthy bacteria in the intestines and reduces harmful bacteria since it includes pectin. Although apple pulp is good for health, apple peel also contains many key nutrients that are good for health, making them an important part of apples.
Bananas contain a variety of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, including a small amount of inulin. This fruit can help increase healthy bacteria in the intestines and reduce bloating. Bananas are usually eaten raw but they can also be cooked.
Chicory root has a taste similar to coffee and can replace coffee when it is made into tea. It is rich in antioxidants and an excellent source of prebiotics. Chicory root fiber is often added to prepackaged foods to increase fiber content.
Dandelion leaves are rich in fiber, with 3.5 grams of fiber per 100 grams, including inulin. In addition to prebiotics and fiber, dandelion also contains antioxidants that help prevent cell damage, which can lead to serious diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. You can add dandelion leaves to salads, green juices, and smoothies.
Garlic is an herb that adds flavor and nutrition to your food. It has been used for centuries as a general health booster. It supports good gut flora and is a great source of inulin. Although eating raw garlic is the most beneficial for your health, most people usually just add it to their cooking.
Jerusalem artichoke is not related to artichokes, but is a vegetable with edible tubers and comes from a sunflower. They are rich in fiber, especially inulin and antioxidants. These sunflower artichokes help maintain the health of your colon and fight a variety of diseases. Cooking these artichokes works well because it can also be eaten raw.
Onions are rich in prebiotics, flavonoids, and antioxidants which help prevent cancer and other chronic diseases. Onions contain inulin and oligofructose, which can improve gut health and support the immune system. You can add onions to cooked dishes like soups, stews, and entrees, or eat them raw in dishes like salads.
Whole oats are rich in fiber and resistant starch, which are linked to balanced gut flora. Oatmeal can be cooked and often appears in packaged foods. They also help control blood sugar and digestion.
Health impact of prebiotics
Prebiotics have a significant impact on human health. It is an attractive agent to improve the quality of life and may improve the lives of humans suffering from cancer, obesity, vascular diseases, and mental disorders. There are studies on the positive effects of prebiotics on human health; however, long-term clinical trials and precisely designed genomic studies are required to confirm health claims.
By identifying the basic mechanism of prebiotics, scientists can formulate improved food supplements to improve human health. The ability to use prebiotic dietary substances to control and cure some major diseases is alluring. It is due to the normalizing of the composition of the gut microbiota. In other words, as the main organ of the body, the intestinal flora can fully take in prebiotics and become stronger and healthier, which in turn affects overall health.
Taking into account the diversity of the gut microbiota of different people and countries, and even different individuals, it seems unlikely that it is feasible to develop effective and diverse probiotics to change the microbiota to stop bleeding based on the diversity of dietary plans. On the other hand, prebiotics seem to be a more convenient option. Especially since the production and formulation process is easier and there is no need for cold chains in transport and storage. The negligible side effects of prebiotics are also a major plus.
Therefore, the design of population-specific prebiotics for the unique resident gut microbiota for different communities can ultimately help to reduce certain diseases in each society as a standardized method. This concept offers the potential to stop the huge controversy around prebiotics and may be recommended in future prebiotics guidelines from the World Health Organization.
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