Whether you acquire prebiotics through food or supplement, you have to be choosy with your source. Not all prebiotics are created equal. Some are more bioavailable than others. This is why we included this list of the best prebiotic foods. Should you decide to use a supplement, we’ll discuss the best ingredients to look for in the label. Prebiotics are an integral part of the equation for a good digestive health; don’t shortchange yourself with the wrong foods and/or supplement.
The Best Prebiotics
There are various types of prebiotics. One of the most common and well documented is inulin. We can write an entire research paper talking about inulin. For the sake of brevity, all you need to know is that this prebiotic fiber is soluble and passes into the lower gut without being digested and broken down. Once it makes its arrival in the gut, it serves as food for the probiotics, or the healthy bacteria in your gut that handles the digestion, bile production, etc.
Research behind inulin is promising. In one study, both inulin and the prebiotic oligofructose (FOS) were shown to be effective for alleviating diarrhea in adults and children. Researchers also concluded there were no side effects, making the prebiotics safe.
After reviewing numerous independent studies, we believe inulin is simply one of the best prebiotics. Other sources, such as the aforementioned FOS, are valid as well. Pectin is another form, found in the peels of apples and pears.
Below is a list of prebiotic foods, ranked in order of their inulin content by percentage.
- Chicory root – 47%, though other sources have the figure at 15% to 20%. Regardless, the chicory root is one of the best prebiotic sources.
- Jerusalem artichoke – 14% to 19%. This is not to be confused with regular artichokes, which only has an inulin content of 3% to 10%.
- Onions, garlics, and leeks – these all belong to the same vegetable family. Onions have about 2% to 6%. Garlic has 9% to 16%, and leeks 3% to 10%. In all three of these, the inulin is found mainly in the bulbs.
- Bananas – 0.3% to 0.7%. While these figures are a lot smaller in comparison, bananas are still a worthy fruit due to their eat-on-the-go convenience. Just peel and eat; no preparation required. This makes bananas one of the best sources of prebiotics even if the inulin content isn’t the highest.
See our prebiotic food list for a more extensive listing of the best prebiotic sources.
How About the Best Prebiotic Supplement?
Some people just don’t find the above foods appetizing; we totally get that. Taking a prebiotic supplement is an equally valid route. That is, provided that you take a high-quality product. What exactly goes into a bottle of the top prebiotic supplement?
First, always look for prebiotics reviews to learn what others are saying about the product. Did they have good results? Did they think it’s an utter crap product? Did they experience adverse effects? Of course, always take prebiotics reviews with a grain of salt. Five-star reviews may be potentially from affiliates. Likewise, terrible reviews may come from a competing brand. Either that or the reviewer had unrealistic expectations.
In our opinion, the best prebiotic supplement should be organic with no GMOs. While it may have a mix of prebiotics, the main active ingredient should be inulin. Our all-new ACV + Prebiotics meets these parameters. Essentially, with ACV + Prebiotics, what you see is what you get. This means no fillers, and we definitely never hide behind so-called proprietary blends.
See our other post on choosing a prebiotic supplement. We go over all the details about useless fillers and the truth about proprietary blends. You’ll learn what goes into a high-quality prebiotic product and the distinguishing factors that separate it from the snake oils.
There is no single pathway to getting more prebiotics in your body. You can consume food, take a supplement, or utilize a combination of the two. Whatever your approach, just be sure to get prebiotics from the best and purest sources.