Prebiotic Foods to Help Your Fiber Famished Gut

by Lucia Weiler, BSc, RD, PHEc



Prebiotics are a type of food, mostly fibers, that are beneficial for our good gut bacteria. Prebiotics provide the fuel that is necessary to get the benefits from bacteria, which live in our gut and support health. You can get prebiotics in foods that are rich in fiber, but NOT ALL fibers are prebiotic.

Prebiotics naturally provide food that healthy gut bacteria can use. To be classified as a prebiotic, the fiber must: 

  1. ESCAPE digestion (pass through the stomach undigested)
  2. Be FERMENTED by the bacteria in the gut
  3. STIMULATE the growth and/or activity of certain ‘good’ bacteria in the large intestine.

Which foods are naturally high in prebiotics?

Dietary fiber classified as having high prebiotic effects includes inulin, fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS, fructans) and galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS).

See below for examples of foods that are naturally high in prebiotics. Gradually include more of these foods in your diet to promote gut health. 

Examples of foods that are naturally high in prebiotics

    Vegetables:

    Jerusalem artichokes, chicory, garlic, onion, leek, shallots, spring onion, asparagus, beetroot, fennel bulb, green peas, snow peas, sweet corn, savoy cabbage

    Legumes:

    Chickpeas, lentils, red kidney beans, baked beans, soybeans

    Fruit:

    Custard apples, nectarines, white peaches, persimmon, tamarillo, watermelon, rambutan, grapefruit, pomegranate. Dried fruit (eg. dates, figs)

    Bread/cereals/snacks:

    Barley, rye bread, rye crackers, pasta, gnocchi, couscous, wheat bran, wheat bread, oats

    Nuts and Seeds:

    Cashews, pistachio nuts



About Ixcela

Photo: Jessica Petrucci

Ixcela helps individuals measure and improve their internal wellness. Using a simple pinprick blood test, Ixcela measures key metabolites and then makes personalized recommendations to improve gut health through exercise, dietary habits, and supplements.