Prebiotic foods contain sources of nutrition for our gut bacteria. Our gut bacteria thrive when they are well fed – if you eat processed foods, then the majority of the bacteria that survive will be the type of bacteria that thrive off these foods, and they will send messages to your brain that make you crave more processed foods. That may explain why it can be so hard at first to give up a certain type of treat, but once we’ve gone a while without it we stop craving it. The best way to promote bacteria that give us a feeling of happiness is to nourish them with the right foods. To keep it easy, I’ve put together a list of prebiotic foods that can get us started.
Examples of prebiotic foods:
· Aubergine (Eggplant)
· Bananas (closer to the green end of the scale than brown)
· Brazil nuts
· Brussels sprouts
· Brown rice
· Collard greens
· Dandelion root
· Dark chocolate
· Eggplant (Aubergine)
· Wholegrain products – ie brown rice, brown pasta, wholegrain crackers
Sources: Dr Giulia Enders talk “On Gut Feeling” March 2017, Melbourne; The Condensed Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray.
So what should I do?
- Eat more of any of the foods listed above that you can.
- For more info on why you should diversify your diet and support your gut bacteria, head to our gut health page.
- When buying probiotics, get some with a good mix of strains and prebiotic support within, such as the NatureWise time release ones which I’ve just discovered and highly recommend
- The best way to keep a diverse microbiome is to limit intake of alcohol, high sugar products and processed foods, and to maximise unprocessed foods with a mix of legumes, vegetables, fruit, nuts, and seeds. Get your protein from a variety of sources – as well as meat, there are high levels of proteins in most beans, chickpeas, lentils, peanuts, tofu and a variety of other foods. For more info on how to mix up your diet, read this post on personality and your gut.