Prebiotics are an emerging category of dietary fibre that can help support healthy digestion and promote a balanced microbiome. They are non-digestible fibres that act as food for good bacteria in the gut.
Prebiotic fibres are typically found in plant-based foods, such as onions, garlic, asparagus, and bananas. In addition to promoting a healthy balance of good bacteria in the gut, emerging research is showing that prebiotic fibres can have many additional benefits for our health.
Here are seven important health benefits of prebiotic fibre:
1.Promote a healthy balance of gut bacteria
Prebiotic fibres are a food source for the good bacteria in our gut. A healthy balance of microbes in our digestive tract is essential for a wide range of bodily functions. Prebiotics can promote a healthy gut microbiome that can help support optimal bodily functions and health.
Prebiotic fibres can help support a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut by increasing the growth of beneficial bacteria, such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli, and decreasing the growth of harmful species, such as Clostridia.
Emerging research suggests that prebiotic fibres may be particularly helpful for those with gastrointestinal issues, such as IBS and Colitis, since they promote healthy bacteria in the gut.
2.Help manage weight
Some prebiotic fibres, like inulin and oligofructose, have been shown to promote satiety and help people feel fuller longer, which can help promote healthy weight management. While many people wonder if prebiotics can help them lose weight, the evidence so far suggests they can help people maintain a healthy weight.
Prebiotic fibres are thought to help promote weight management by influencing satiety hormones and digestion patterns. This can help people feel fuller longer, which can help manage weight. Prebiotics have also been shown to help lower blood sugar levels after eating which can help prevent weight gain.
It’s important to note that not all prebiotic fibres have been shown to help people manage their weight.
3.May help prevent diabetes and promote blood sugar health
Prebiotic fibres have been shown to help lower blood sugar levels after eating, which can help protect against diabetes. The types of prebiotic fibres that have been shown to influence blood sugar are inulin and oligofructose. Prebiotics can also help support a healthy microbiome in our gut.
Emerging research is showing that a healthy microbiome can help prevent diabetes by producing Short-Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs), which help our bodies use insulin more efficiently and prevent the development of insulin resistance. The microbiome is also involved in the production of hormones and neurotransmitters that help regulate our blood sugar.
Prebiotic fibres have also been shown to help promote the secretion of gastric hormones that are involved in regulating blood sugar.
4.May have benefits for our immune system
Prebiotics have been shown to help change the types of bacteria in our gut, which can support a balanced immune system. Studies show that prebiotic fibres can help promote immune health by boosting certain immune cells and decreasing inflammatory cytokines.
Prebiotic fibres may also help modulate the immune system by changing the types of bacteria in our gut by increasing the production of Bifidobacteria, which can help support a healthy immune system.
5.Help protect against colorectal cancer
Prebiotic fibres have been shown to help promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut. Latest research indicates that a healthy balance of microbes in the gut can be helpful for preventing colorectal cancer.
One of the strains of good bacteria, called Bifidobacteria, can help prevent colorectal cancer by producing butyrate.
Butyrate may prevent the growth of cancer cells and has been suggested as a potential therapy for preventing colorectal cancer.
6.May improve symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), is a condition that affects the digestive system. IBS can cause a variety of symptoms, including bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation.
People with IBS often have a disrupted microbiome and a lower amount of Bifidobacteria in the gut. Increasing the amount of Bifidobacteria in the gut can help improve symptoms of IBS.
Prebiotic fibres are known to increase the concentration of Bifidobacteria, which then helps relieve the symptoms of IBS.
7.Can help relieve constipation and bloating
There are many different causes of bloating, and it can be a symptom of a variety of different conditions. Common causes of bloating include overeating, eating too quickly, swallowing air, and certain medical conditions.
Overeating is one of the most common causes of bloating. When you eat more than your stomach can comfortably hold, it can cause the stomach to distend and feel uncomfortable. Eating too quickly can also cause bloating, as it doesn’t give the stomach time to properly digest the food. Swallowing air can also lead to bloating, as this air can get trapped in the stomach and cause it to expand.
There are many different causes of constipation, and it can sometimes be a difficult condition to pinpoint the exact cause. However, some of the most common causes include a lack of fibre in the diet, dehydration, and certain medications. Constipation can also be a side effect of pregnancy or a change in lifestyle or diet. In some cases, constipation may be a sign of an underlying medical condition. If you are experiencing persistent constipation, it is important to speak to a healthcare professional to rule out any serious causes.
Since prebiotic fibre helps promote a healthy microbiome in the gut, in particular, by increasing the number of Bifidobacteria, An increased concentration of Bifidobacteria in the gut can help prevent constipation and bloating.
Prebiotic fibres are an emerging category of dietary fibre that can help promote a healthy microbiome. They can also help support a healthy balance of good bacteria in the gut and overall health. Emerging research shows that prebiotic fibres can have many additional benefits for our health, including promoting a healthy balance of gut bacteria, helping manage weight, preventing diabetes, protecting against colorectal cancer, and improving symptoms of IBS.