The benefits of probiotic and prebiotic foods for health are well known to experts. However, there is some confusion among the population about what are the most appropriate foods and what properties they present. Next, we will explain what each type consists of:
The probiotic foods contain live microorganisms, as bacteria and yeast that are part of our intestinal flora. They are beneficial for our health, especially those of the genus Lactobacillus. They exemplify the kefir , the yogurt and the yeast of beer .
Among the benefits of these foods are:
- They reinforce the immune system.
- They promote the synthesis of B vitamins and folic acid.
- They reduce disorders such as lactose intolerance and food allergies.
The prebiotic foods are those high in fiber, which is essential to support our intestinal flora. These foods have a series of benefits :
- They reinforce our immune system and prevent the attack of pathogenic microorganisms.
- They regulate the intestinal transit and stimulate the enzymes of the colon.
- They favor intestinal absorption of essential elements, such as calcium and magnesium.
- They help regulate cholesterol and glucose levels.
- They favor the elimination of toxins.
Fiber in prebiotic foods
Not all foods rich in fiber have a prebiotic effect. Only those with soluble fibers (fruits and vegetables) can be assimilated by our intestinal biota. These foods are classified according to the type of fibers that contain:
- Mucilage : present in the seeds of carob, flax or linseed, chia and mustard. Also in figs, green beans and seaweed such as agar-agar.
- Pectins : present in apples, quince, citrus, pears, plums, carrots, eggplant, squash and sweet potatoes.
- Inulin : in roots of chicory and dandelion plants, and also in garlic, plantain, artichokes, onions and thistle.
- Beta-glucans: present in oat bran.
All these foods contribute greatly to the well-being of the whole family, avoiding diseases such as diabetes, cancer or obesity. Incorporating them into our diet by increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables along with other routines, is key to enjoy a healthy life.
If you have any doubt, you can always count on your trusted doctor to solve all your doubts and make the necessary diagnoses