Prebiotics are non-digestible, fermentable carbohydrates that stimulate the growth and activity of beneficial bacteria (namely the lactobacillus and bifidobacterium species). In more simple terms prebiotics encourage probiotic colonies in your gastrointestinal tract. In fact they are fundamental to promoting intestinal health.
Some actions of prebiotics include modulating host resistance to pathogenic organisms in the colon and possessing anti-inflammatory effects with positive influences on the liver and lipid synthesis, reducing cholesterol in animal studies.
Importantly, when most of us are unknowingly struggling with low to moderate grade nutrient deficiencies, prebiotics have been shown to increase mineral absorption -calcium and magnesium notably. If you are at risk of osteoporosis, want stronger teeth and bones, less muscle cramps and better energy, prebiotics will help.. keeping in mind also that coffee depletes our uptake of these 2 key minerals in the body.
So where do you find these useful gut helpers?
Foods most commonly associated with prebiotic activity include:
Combine any of these with a cup of green tea and you will further enhance probiotic proliferation (this mechanism is related to the antioxidant and anti radical influence of the polyphenols found in green tea).
For a prebiotic chart and guidance in your dietary needs I can gladly provide you with further supportive material, for your optimal igestive health and overall wellbeing.