microbiome

Fueling the Microbiome

You may not often think about the beneficial bacteria in your gut (known as Probiotics) as having their own dietary needs, but they do!

The types of nutrients that strengthen the good bacteria (namely Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus) are known asprebiotics, and they are found in a wide variety of everyday foods. By keeping your beneficial bacteria healthy, you will also keep your gastrointestinal (GI) tract healthy.

There are numerous benefits to consuming prebiotic rich foods! For instance, a diet rich in prebiotics can:

  1. Improve satiety (feelings of fullness) and weight management;
  2. Protect against gut infections and even some types of cancer;
  3. Reduce incidence and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS);
  4. Increase absorption of certain minerals, such as calcium and magnesium; and
  5. Improve overall immune function by decreasing the presence of harmful bacteria.

Look for the following terms on food labels to seek out prebiotic sources:

  • Fructooligiosaccharides
  • Inulin
  • Wheat dextrin
  • Acacia gum

The best food sources of prebiotics are:

  • Bananas, berries (fructooligosaccrahide sources);
  • Garlic, onions, Jerusalem artichokes and leeks (inulin sources);
  • Whole grains (wheat dextrin source); and
  • Nuts and seeds

Check out these resources for more information:

FoodinSight.org

CDHF.ca

 

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