Prebiotics are foods that don't break down in the digestive system until they reach the colon, where they become a food source for probiotics, helping them to flourish. Examples of prebiotic foods include asparagus, artichokes, onions, bananas and many more. Inulin is another important prebiotic and is added to many food products as a functional ingredient.
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Highlights from the Infographic
- Prebiotics are non-digestible carbohydrates and are primarily oligosaccharides.
- They remain intact as they travel through the digestive system to the colon.
- In the colon, prebiotics become food for the good bacteria in the gut and help them to flourish.
- Foods that contain both prebiotics and probiotics are called synbiotic. Yogurt and kefir are examples of synbiotic foods.
- Health benefits of consuming prebiotics could include a reduction of bowel inflammation, protective effects for the prevention of colon cancer, better absorption of minerals, increased satiety, and lowered cardiovascular risk.
- Foods containing prebiotic fiber include chicory root, leeks, honey, onions, bananas, wheat bran, leeks, asparagus, artichokes and garlic.
- Inulin is an important prebiotic fiber. It is sourced from chicory root, dandelion root and elecampane root. It is added to food products to provide additional health benefits.
- Inulin is also useful for its gelling, melting, binding and sugar-substitution applications in food products.
Prebiotic Canada: http://www.prebiotic.ca/prebiotic_fibre.html
Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/expert-answers/probiotics/faq-20058065
PubMed Central: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3705355/
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