At some point in time, many people have heard of pre and pro-biotics. What is it about these things that helps to keep our bodies healthy?
Prebiotics: The non-digestible materials from food that stimulate the growth and activity of bacteria in the gut. These prebiotic materials provide the nutrients for probiotic and other microorganisms in the gut that maintain intestinal gut health.
Probiotics: Improve digestion, immune functioning, aid in weight loss, and prevent colon cancer. Certain probiotic strains can provide microbial balance of the gastrointestinal tract, reducing inflammation and supporting the immune system. The most common probiotics include the Lactobacillus species, Bifidobacterium species, and the yeast Saccharomyces boulardii.
One of the best ways of introducing these microorganisms into your diet is to consume “functional prebiotic foods.” These fructan dietary options will contribute to the growth and balance of these probiotic species in your body. Some examples of these functional prebiotic foods include artichokes, onions, garlic, bananas, and asparagus, peas, wheat, rye, beets, brussel sprouts, and some chocolates such as milk chocolate.
People with gastrointestinal complications and diseases such as IBS, Crohn’s disease, diverticulosis, FODMAP (Fermentable, Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols) and GERD want to be careful of fructan consumption. Consumption of fructan rich foods may cause symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, and bloating.