Original article appeared at https://healthline.com
Prebiotics are a form of dietary fiber that feed the “friendly” bacteria in your gut.
This allows your gut bacteria to produce nutrients for your colon cells, which leads to a healthier digestive system (1Trusted Source).
Some of these nutrients include short-chain fatty acids like butyrate, acetate, and propionate (2).
These fatty acids can be absorbed into your bloodstream and improve metabolic health (3Trusted Source).
However, prebiotics shouldn’t be confused with probiotics.
Probiotics are live bacteria found in certain foods or supplements. To learn more about the difference between prebiotics and probiotics, read this article.
Read on to explore 19 healthy prebiotic foods to add to your grocery list.
1. Chicory root
Chicory root comes from a flowering plant in the dandelion family. It’s popular for its coffee-like flavor and has historically been used in cooking and medicine.
It’s also a great source of prebiotics.
Approximately 68% of chicory root fiber comes from the prebiotic fiber inulin (4Trusted Source). Inulin in chicory root improves digestion and bowel function, and helps relieve constipation (5Trusted Source, 6, 7Trusted Source).
It may also help prevent diabetes by raising levels of adiponectin, a protein that helps control blood glucose levels (8Trusted Source).
Additionally, chicory root is high in antioxidant compounds that may protect your liver from oxidative damage (9).
2. Dandelion greens
Dandelions are a family of flowering plants, and their greens can be cooked or consumed raw. They’re a great source of fiber.
They contain 1.92 grams of fiber per 1 cup (55 grams) (10Trusted Source). A high portion of this fiber comes from inulin (11Trusted Source).
The inulin fiber in dandelion greens reduces constipation, increases friendly bacteria in your gut, and boosts your immune system (11Trusted Source).
Dandelion greens are also known for their anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticancer effects (12, 13, 14).
3. Jerusalem artichoke
The Jerusalem artichoke — also known as the sunroot, sunchoke, or earth apple — is part of the sunflower family and has great health benefits.
Known for its sunflower-like appearance, the vegetable provides about 2 grams of inulin-rich dietary fiber per 100 grams (13Trusted Source).
Inulin helps increase the friendly bacteria in your colon, promoting greater digestive health (16). It can also aid in the absorption of minerals in your large intestine.
Adding Jerusalem artichokes to your diet may help strengthen your immune system, lower cholesterol, and even prevent certain metabolic disorders (16Trusted Source).
The Jerusalem artichoke is also high in thiamin, or vitamin B1. Thiamin deficiency can lead to fatigue and abnormal muscle function (18Trusted Source).
Read on here https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/19-best-prebiotic-foods