7 Best Food Sources of Probiotics

By Lisa Franchi on January 31, 2017

You’ve probably heard about probiotics many times. How about prebiotics? They are non-digestible carbohydrates that feed the good bacteria in your gut. Consuming prebiotics has been shown to promote immunity and digestive health, and lower inflammation in the body. 

So where do you get prebiotics? Most fruits and vegetables have. But there are a few that boast of having a lot of this very important nutrient. They include the following:

Garlic 

Especially when consumed raw, garlic is an excellent source of prebiotics. It is also loaded with so many other nutrients, including manganese, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C and selenium. Minced or crushed garlic is a wonderful addition to salad dressings, sauces, pesto, and guacamole.

Onion 

Another wonderful source of prebiotics is onion, which like garlic, can be enjoyed in a lot of ways. Onion has its natural sweetness and distinct flavour and aroma, which makes it a great spice for many dishes - be it stir-fry, soups, stews, and many more.  In addition, onions are rich in cancer-fighting antioxidants and sulphur compounds. The phytochemicals in onions, along with vitamin C, also helps improve immunity.  

Asparagus 

Asparagus is one of the healthiest greens out there. Not only is it rich in prebiotics, asparagus is also loaded with vitamins and minerals that promote good health. Raw asparagus contains the most probiotics. But you can steam it so it’s softer and still healthy. 

Leeks

While they are often overlooked as a powerhouse vegetable, leeks pack some major health benefits. In addition to prebiotics, leeks contain folate, as well as kaempferol - a flavonoid that helps reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, protects your blood vessels from damage, and offers protection against colorectal cancer. 

Whole Grains 

Consuming whole grains is another great way to boost prebiotics in your digestive system. Whole grains like oats and bran have been found to help lower the risk of cancer and heart disease, presumably because of their fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Another research published in the British Journal of Nutrition also found that adding whole grains in one’s diet boosts the beneficial bacteria. 

Banana 

Apart from being an excellent source of vitamin C, B vitamins, and potassium, bananas are also beneficial in allowing good bacteria growth in your gut.  Raw banana contains prebiotic starch which allows probiotic bacteria to survive the acid in the stomach, which helps transport the good bacteria into the small and large intestine. 

Dandelion Greens 

Dandelion greens are packed with antioxidants, and vitamins C and A. More importantly, they are a natural source of inulin - a prebiotic which boosts immune function, boosts bowel movement, and reduce the amount of harmful bacteria in the colon. 

Probiotics are essential not just to your gut health but also to your overall health. And an important way to boost probiotics in your digestive system is to feed them with prebiotics. Adding these foods in your diet is just one easy and very effective way to do just that.

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