Prebiotics are a type of dietary fibre that foster the growth and development of good bacteria in the gut, which keeps the gut healthy. Prebiotics are not digested by the body but find their way to the gut where they promote the healthy functioning of the digestive system.
Prebiotics are different from probiotics. While prebiotics are a form of dietary fibre, probiotics are a healthy kind of bacteria that live in the body.
Prebiotics have many benefits to the body, besides improving digestion. They also help to strengthen the immune system and improve bone health.
It should be noted that not all dietary fibre can be classified as prebiotics, meaning you cannot get it from the food sources where you get your typical fibre from.
That is why today, we would be looking at some prebiotic foods in Nigeria.
Onions do more than add flavour and zest to meals. They are very healthy and rich in a range of nutrients. Onions are also rich in antioxidants and have anti-cancer properties. Onions are rich in Fructooligosaccharides or FOS, which is a kind of prebiotic, with benefits including lowering cholesterol levels in the blood and protecting the digestive system against unhealthy bacteria.
One good thing about onions is that it can be used to prepare a wide range of dishes, so you can always find various ways to include it in your diet.
Just like onions, garlic is used to season and add flavours to food. In addition to other vitamins and minerals, garlic is also rich in inulin and FOS, two types of prebiotics, which is why it is good for the gut and the whole body.
Besides being used for cooking, garlic is often used in the preparation of herbs to cure various illnesses. Ginger contains prebiotics.
Pineapple is a delicious fruit with many amazing health benefits. According to one study, pineapple by-products exhibited prebiotic properties, which makes them one of the best prebiotic foods. Furthermore, pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain, which acts as a digestive aid and helps to break down protein from large food molecules into smaller ones.
What makes oats great is how healthy they are. Oats are classified as whole grains, which is a type of grain that has all three parts intact, and are considered healthier than regular grain. Oats are rich in a type of fibre known as beta-glucan, which is a thick, gel-like liquid formed in the gut with many health benefits including blood sugar regulation, lowering bad cholesterol level, and reducing the risk of cancer.
Bananas are one of the healthiest fruits you can come across. They are rich in nutrients, including magnesium, potassium, iron, and more. They are also rich in fibre as well as high-resistant starch, which has prebiotic effects on the body. Other fruits that contain prebiotics are apple, watermelon, and grapefruit.
6. Baked Beans
Beans are one of the healthiest foods that can boost good gut bacteria. Baked beans in particular are a good example of prebiotic foods. They promote a diverse and healthy gut microbiome. They also contain compounds with anti-inflammatory and lipid-reducing properties, which helps to reduce inflammation and levels of fats in the blood.
Cocoa is another rich source of prebiotics. Widely used in making beverages and other products, cocoa powder, which is gotten from grinding cocoa beans, is packed with so much nutrients, and also includes antioxidants and anti-inflammatory effects.
There are some other foods that could have prebiotics added to them. Such foods are said to be ‘fortified’ or ‘enriched’ with prebiotics. They invoice cereals, yoghurts, bread, cookies, and so on. Prebiotics can also available as dietary supplements.
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