YOUR GUIDE TO PRE­BI­OTICS

Don’t con­fuse your pre­bi­otics with pro­bi­otics. Here is a lowdown on what pre­bi­otics are and a list of food items that pro­vide them

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Lifestyle - Abhinav Verma ■ abhinav. verma@ hin­dus­tan­times. com In­puts by nu­tri­on­ists Kan­chan Pat­ward­han and Tripti Tan­don

Most of us are aware of what pro­bi­otics are; they are good bac­te­ria which are re­quired by our body to keep our di­ges­tive sys­tem healthy. Pro­bi­otics con­trol the growth of harm­ful, in­fec­tion-caus­ing bac­te­ria in our gut. They also help the food move smoothly in the gut. Pro­bi­otics can be found in fer­mented foods such as yo­ghurt and soft cheese like Gouda. How­ever, pro­bi­otics are not to be con­fused with pre­bi­otics. Pre­bi­otics are a type of sol­u­ble fi­bre which can only be di­gested by our gut. Their main func­tion is to pro­vide nour­ish­ment for the healthy bac­te­ria. Think of it this way: pre­bi­otics serve as food for pro­bi­otics and re­duce the amount of dam­ag­ing bac­te­ria in our colon, which, in turn, also im­proves the ph level in gut. They also boost the im­mune sys­tem. So, in­clude th­ese food items in your daily diet and en­sure a healthy di­ges­tive sys­tem.

Ba­nanas

Ev­ery­body loves ba­nanas, even your gut. Ba­nanas are one of the best sources of pre­boitics, they make sure that your gut mem­brane func­tions smoothly. othly. Ba­nanas are high inn fi­bre and potas­sium.. Go for riper ba­nanas in­stead of yel­low­ish green ba­nanas, anas, as they may have higher starch lev­els and could be hard to di­gest.

Onions

Your cheap­est and eas­i­est way to get your daily dose of pre­bi­otics is to con­sume onions. They con­tain in­ulin, a type of a di­etary fi­bre, which is es­sen­tial for cleans­ing the gut and to pro­mote the growth of good bac­te­ria. Onions are es­sen­tial for boost­ing the im­mu­nity of gut.

Cab­bage

One of the best nat­u­ral sources of pre­bi­otics is cab­bage. And this is pre­cisely the rea­son whyw it is used in dishes such as sauerkraut­sauer and kim­chi salad.sal Sauerkraut is a Ger­man word for fer­ment­edf cab­bage. Fer­mented cab­bage is an ex­cel­lent ch choice for pre­bi­otic ics as it fu­els the gro growth of healthy gut bbac­te­ria and is also re­quired for proper func­tion­ing of the bowel move­ment.

Legumes

Easy to di­gest, and just as nu­tri­tious, legumes such as lentils, chick peas and green peas are the ideal choice for your nat­u­ral source of pre­bi­otics. They have the right amount of fi­bre and nat­u­ral sugar to boost gut bac­te­ria and keep your gut safe from in­fec­tions. For op­ti­mum di­ges­tion, soak your lentils a night be­fore con­sump­tion. Opt for red lentils as they are thin and eas­ier to di­gest as com­pared to other va­ri­eties. They are sweeter in taste.

Whole grains

Whole grains such as oat­meal, bar­ley and wheat are rich in pre­bi­otics. They are light on the stom­ach, eas­ily avail­able and help you sa­ti­ate much faster. Pre­bi­otics in whole grains also im­prove your abil­ity to ab­sorb cal­cium and pre­vent bloat­ing.

Beans

Beans are strong di­ges­tive boost­ers. How­ever, for easy di­ges­tion, make sure they are prop­erly soaked and well cooked. In­cor­po­rate them in your diet to get your daily dose of pre­biot- ics. They con­tain oligosac­cha­rides, which are a form of car­bo­hy­drates re­quired for feed­ing the good gut bac­te­ria.

Ap­ples

An ap­ple a day is the key to a healthy stom­ach. Rich in pre­bi­otics, it con­tains pectin, which pre­vents the growth of bad bac­te­ria in the stom­ach and con­trol the ph level. It also pre­vents acid­ity and aids in healthy bowel move­ments.

Whole grains

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