Your Cart
Your Cart is Currently Empty

Memorial Day Sale! 20% off sitewide with code: MEMORIAL20 Shop Now

Home/Blog/Best 15 Prebiotic Foods for Better Gut Health

Best 15 Prebiotic Foods for Better Gut Health

By Joe Boland

November 17, 2023

Prebiotic foods

In this day and age, it’s almost impossible to go through a week without hearing about how important probiotics and probiotic foods are for your gut and overall health, and now people are starting to focus on prebiotics and prebiotic foods too.

That’s good news considering probiotics and prebiotics can both offer tremendous health benefits and can complement each other in supporting the microbiome.

That’s why you want to eat plenty of both probiotic and prebiotic foods.

What Are Prebiotic Foods?

Prebiotic foods are substances that promote the activity and growth of beneficial microorganisms, particularly bacteria, in the gut.

Unlike probiotics, which are live beneficial bacteria found in certain foods or supplements, prebiotics are non-digestible fibers and compounds that serve as a food source for these beneficial bacteria. By nourishing the beneficial bacteria in the gut, prebiotics contribute to a healthy and balanced gut microbiota.

Common examples of prebiotic foods include:

  • Inulin and Fructooligosaccharides (FOS): Found in foods like chicory root, Jerusalem artichokes, onions, garlic, leeks and asparagus.

  • Galactooligosaccharides (GOS): Present in legumes (beans, lentils), certain vegetables and some grains.

  • Resistant Starch: Found in bananas, oats, legumes and some grains. Cooking and cooling certain starchy foods, like potatoes and rice, can increase their resistant starch content.

  • Dietary Fiber: Foods rich in soluble fiber, such as fruits (apples, berries, citrus fruits), vegetables, whole grains and legumes, can serve as prebiotics.

  • Beta-Glucans: Found in certain grains, such as oats and barley.

Consuming a variety of prebiotic foods can help support a diverse and healthy gut microbiome, which is associated with various health benefits that support overall health. 

It's important to note that individual responses to prebiotics can vary, and it's advisable to introduce them gradually into your diet if you're not accustomed to consuming high-fiber foods. As always, however, you should consult with your healthcare professional prior to beginning any new dietary or lifestyle regimen.

Top Prebiotic Foods

While the exact ranking of prebiotic foods may vary, here's a list of 20 foods that are rich in prebiotics:

1. Acacia gum (or gum arabic)

  • 4 grams fiber per tablespoon

Acacia gum, also known as gum arabic, is a soluble prebiotic fiber that's been shown to act as a prebiotic. It supports gut health, can help "keep you regular" and is satiating.

2. Raw chicory root

  • 1 gram of fiber per 60 grams

Chicory contains a high concentration of inulin, a type of prebiotic fiber, which is why it’s beneficial for gut health. 

3. Raw Jerusalem artichoke

  • 2 grams fiber per half-cup

These artichokes are rich in inulin and a good source of fiber. They also provide several other micronutrients and have been found to be high in antioxidants.

4. Raw dandelion greens

  • about 4 grams fiber per ½ cup

Rich in prebiotic fibers, including inulin, dandelion greens are also high in vitamins A, C and K, which makes them potent health-promoting greens.

5. Raw garlic

  • 0 to 1 gram per clove

Garlic contains inulin and other prebiotic compounds, and it’s best to consume it in its raw form so long as you can stomach it. 

6. Raw leeks

  • 2 grams per cup

Leeks are a good source of inulin, and they're also high in vitamins K, A, C and B6. They're known to support gut health and more.

7. Raw or cooked onions

  • about 2 grams fiber per half-cup

High in inulin and FOS (fructooligosaccharides), onions are a high-fiber food that are also rich in antioxidants, particularly flavonoids like quercetin and anthocyanins.

8. Raw jicama

  • 6 grams per cup

A root vegetable high in inulin, jicama is well-known for its ability to help support a healthy weight and has a low glycemic load.

9. Raw asparagus

  • 6 grams fiber per cup

Asparagus contains inulin and supports the growth of beneficial bacteria, and it’s particularly effective as a prebiotic when consumed raw.

10. Bananas

  • 3 grams per banana

Especially when they are slightly underripe, as the resistant starch content is higher, bananas are incredibly high in fiber and one of the more versatile prebiotic foods around.

11. Apples with skin

  • about 4 to 5 grams fiber per apple

Particularly rich in pectin, a type of soluble fiber with prebiotic properties, apples support so many aspects of health, as the old saying alludes to.

12. Psyllium husk

  • 7 grams per 2 tablespoons

This bulking fiber is known to help with elimination by moving waste through the body. That's why it's often recommended for occasional constipation.

13. Whole-grain wheat, barley, oatmeal

  • about 4 grams fiber per cup

Brown rice, quinoa and whole wheat are good sources of fiber; barley contains beta-glucans and other fibers; and oats, especially when they contain beta-glucans, a type of soluble fiber, and oatmeal also are prebiotic foods.

14. Many beans and legumes

  • about 6 to 8 grams fiber per ½ cup

Beans, lentils and peas are good sources of galactooligosaccharides and fiber. So are flaxseeds, which are high in both soluble and insoluble fiber, along with almonds, chia seeds, and other nuts and seeds.

15. Whole-grain corn

  • 6 grams fiber per half-cup

Corn can be a tricky vegetable depending on its source, but if you opt for organic whole grain corn, you can ensure you're getting the best quality that's high in fiber and works as a prebiotic food.

Are There Prebiotic Supplements?

Yes, there are prebiotic supplements available in the form of capsules, powders or liquids. These supplements typically contain concentrated forms of prebiotic fibers and compounds, such as inulin, oligofructose, fructooligosaccharides (FOS), galactooligosaccharides (GOS) and other soluble fibers. These supplements are designed to provide a convenient way to boost prebiotic intake and support the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut.

Here are some considerations when thinking about prebiotic supplements, including reading and following all label directions

  • Start Slowly: If you're new to prebiotics, it's advisable to start with a small amount and gradually increase the amount to allow your digestive system to adapt.

  • Diversity Matters: While supplements can be convenient, it's generally better to obtain nutrients, including prebiotics, from a diverse range of whole foods. A varied diet provides a broader spectrum of nutrients and promotes overall health.

  • Consult with a Healthcare Professional: Before adding prebiotic supplements to your routine, especially if you have existing digestive issues or health concerns, it's recommended to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian to provide personalized advice based on your individual health status.

  • Quality Matters: If you decide to use prebiotic supplements, choose products from reputable brands to ensure quality and purity. Look for supplements that are free from additives and unnecessary fillers.

  • Monitor Your Body's Response: Pay attention to how your body responds to the supplement. 

Remember that a balanced and varied diet that includes a range of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes can naturally provide a mix of prebiotic fibers and support a healthy gut microbiome. Dietary choices and lifestyle factors also play a crucial role in maintaining overall digestive health.

Prebiotic and Probiotic Supplements

Ancient Nutrition’s SBO Probiotics combine beneficial microbial strains with prebiotic compounds found naturally in organic seeds and mushrooms, which can help to support proper absorption and utilization of healthy microbes. Additionally, postbiotics including polysaccharides, enzymes and organic acids are added to maintain gut homeostasis.

Here are some key features of our different SBO probiotics formulas:

  • SBO Probiotics Ultimate — Features 50 billion shelf-stable CFUs of SBOs per serving, intended to help support healthy bowel transit time and digestive function, healthy immune system function and gut flora, normal nutrient absorption, and more.

  • SBO Probiotics Gut Restore — Provides a powerful combination of 25 billion SBOs plus prebiotics, postbiotics, organic licorice, marshmallow, zinc and magnesium to support overall healthy gut function, normal bowel transit time, and digestive health.

  • SBO Probiotics Women’s — Features a blend of 25 CFUs of SBOs per serving in combination with organic fermented blend of superfoods such as chasteberry, formulated specifically to help support women’s health. A SBO Probiotics Women's Once Daily is also available.

  • SBO Probiotic Men’s — Supplies men with 25 CFUs of SBOs per serving, in combination with an organic fermented blend of fenugreek, ginger and fo-ti root. A SBO Probiotics Men's Once Daily is also available. 

We recommend taking a high-quality probiotic supplement that also contains prebiotics and postbiotics on an empty stomach. Many people choose to take theirs first thing in the morning, about 30 to 60 minutes before eating. There are also probiotic gummies available.

However, you should always read and follow label directions for suggested use. Likewise, you should always consult your healthcare professional prior to starting any new dietary or lifestyle regimen, including dietary supplements.

Prebiotic Diet Plan

Creating a prebiotic-rich diet involves incorporating a variety of foods that provide the specific fibers and compounds that support the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. Here's a sample prebiotic diet plan to give you an idea:

Breakfast:

  • Overnight oats made with oats, chia seeds, almond milk, and topped with sliced bananas and a sprinkle of flaxseeds.

  • A cup of green tea.

Mid-Morning Snack:

  • Greek yogurt with a handful of blueberries and a drizzle of honey.

Lunch:

  • Quinoa salad with mixed vegetables (such as cherry tomatoes, cucumber and bell peppers) and a vinaigrette dressing containing olive oil and apple cider vinegar.

  • Grilled chicken or tofu for protein.

Afternoon Snack:

  • Carrot and cucumber sticks with hummus.

  • A small handful of almonds.

Dinner:

  • Baked salmon with a side of roasted sweet potatoes.

  • Steamed asparagus or broccoli drizzled with olive oil.

  • A mixed green salad with avocado and a lemon-tahini dressing.

Evening Snack:

  • A small bowl of mixed berries.

Hydration:

  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day.

  • Consider including herbal teas, like peppermint or ginger, for added variety.

Notes:

  • Include a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes in your meals to ensure a diverse range of prebiotic fibers.

  • Experiment with different types of prebiotic-rich foods to keep your diet interesting and varied.

  • Be mindful of portion sizes, and listen to your body's hunger and fullness cues.

  • Gradually introduce prebiotic-rich foods if you are not accustomed to a high-fiber diet to allow your digestive system to adjust.

Remember that individual dietary needs and preferences may vary, so feel free to adapt this sample plan based on your specific requirements and taste preferences. Additionally, you should always consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian before making significant changes to your diet.

icon-subscribe-save
20% off your first month, 15% off moving forward
icon-free-shipping
FREE SHIPPING ON ORDERS OVER $49
30 day money back guarantee icon
30-DAY MONEY 
BACK GUARANTEE
Get $10 off your next order when you sign up for emails.