You’ve heard about how great prebiotic foods are for your stomach, right?
Oftentimes online you’ll hear that the prebiotic foods can help prevent gut inflammation, help with weight loss, and perhaps even magically cure all your stomach ailments!
But here’s the dirty little secret – prebiotic foods are plant foods that help healthy bacteria grow in your gut, but there’s nothing secret to them! Prebiotic foods are just overall great foods to eat.
This article lists the 6 best prebiotic foods that you can whip up in a few minutes.
As you’ll see, you should eat all of these anyways because they are incredibly wholesome, healthy and nutritious!
There’s hardly anything special about these foods. Who cares why they are healthy! We just know they are healthy so eat more of them!
That’s the point of this article. Rather than going super deep into the types of micro bacteria and organisms living in your stomach, we’re just going to keep things simple.
I’m organizing this 6 best prebiotic foods list by ease of eating.
What is an example of a prebiotic that’s easy to make or eat?
For example, apples are listed #1 below because they are a prebiotic food and they are incredibly easy to eat.
However, please do note that after reviewing the prebiotic foods that make up this top 6 list, I’ll answer some additional questions in case you don’t know much about prebiotics and gut bacteria:
- What’s the best way to eat prebiotic foods?
- What is a natural prebiotic?
- Is apple cider vinegar a prebiotic?
- What are the best prebiotic and probiotic foods?
Without any further ado, let’s dive in!
6 Best Prebiotic Foods That Are Easy To Make
1 – Apples
Apples are a prebiotic because of a chemical called ‘Pectin’.
Now you don’t need to know much about Pectin other than it’s a type of fiber that you can find in apple peels.
Is Pectin really a prebiotic? Yes, in this 2016 study here scientists showed that eating 2 apples a day for 2 weeks significantly increased amounts of good bacteria in participants’ bellies.
Interestingly, having apple broth negated the positive gut bacteria otherwise found by eating normal apples.
This makes sense because the pectin is in the apple peel! When you take an apple broth you oftentimes remove the skins and all the fiber content.
But hey, honestly you needn’t worry about pectin. Apples have tons of other amazing benefits including:
- Protection against heart disease
- Boosted levels of antioxidants
- More regular, stable metabolism
As stated above, I put apples first because they are incredibly easy to buy and eat. Everyone knows where to buy apples.
But as you’ll see in our discussion below, while there may be ‘healthier’ prebiotic foods, you may not be able to easily get these.
And, my belief is that all these prebiotic foods are pretty much equal in terms of health anyways.
Like you’re splitting straws if you are picking prebiotic foods based on small differences in their health benefits. Picking prebiotic foods to eat based on ease of food intake is a much better criterion in my opinion.
And apples are incredibly easy!
Easy snack idea: pair apples with peanut butter. It makes for a great snack, is quick and totally amazingly good for you. Tastes good, easy, you name it.
Summary: Don’t peel your apples. But have an apple a day and the doctor will stay away.
2 – Dark Chocolate
Want another easy food with lots of prebiotic benefits that’s easy to prepare?
Try a few squares of dark chocolate. Yes, that’s right. Dark chocolate is totally a prebiotic. Dark chocolate is good for you.
Why is dark chocolate a prebiotic? Studies show that liquids with more dark chocolate mixed into the liquids boost good gut bacteria.
Basically, dark chocolate is good for your gut. You can read this Harvard article on dark chocolate for more info.
Now, I know some of you are thinking, ‘but dark chocolate can’t be good for me’.
Turns out most chocolate you get at the store is ‘milk chocolate’ and yes, milk chocolate is filled with sugar, processed crap.
So here’s the deal – most chocolate you buy is milk chocolate, which tastes delicious but can have as little as 10% cocoa solids!
Try getting some dark chocolate with 70% cocoa solids.
You’ll find the chocolate to be more bitter tasting, but rest assured your gut will appreciate this dark chocolate delight!
Summary: Eat that dark chocolate. Just be careful it’s actually dark chocolate.
3 – Oats
Pour some whole oats into a bowl. Add water and microwave. Done.
Of course for more flavor you may want to mix your oatmeal flavor with dark chocolate, maybe some apple slices or blueberries …
But the bottom line is simple:
Oats are a superfood. Oats are incredibly healthy, and just for good measure, they are a prebiotic too.
Oats are amazing.
Beta-glucans are associated with:
- Lower bad cholesterol
- Less cancer risk
- Slower, more stable digestion
Oats are also an excellent source of resistant starch. Resistant starch digests more slowly in your stomach, in comparison to other starches.
For example, the prebiotic fiber found in oats will slowly digest over 1-3 hours and will give your stomach a nice full feeling while it digests.
In contrast, the type of fiber found in white bread will digest very rapidly in less than an hour and then your stomach will be hungry even though you just ate recently.
Overall, by eating the dietary fiber found in oats, your blood sugar levels will remain stable over time, instead of swinging really high and then dropping really low.
Summary: Oats are probably the easiest and healthiest breakfast item ever. Bonus points that they also help your gut out too.
(I even debated putting oats as #1 on this list, but ultimately I went with the 4th placement)
4 – Chia Seeds
Sprinkle, sprinkle. Just add some chia seeds to:
- Apple and peanut butter slices
- Green smoothies
- Cooked vegetables
Chia seeds are one of the world’s best sources of omega 3 vitamins.
Now get this – have you ever seen a chia seed in water or pudding? What you’ll see is that the chia seed will form a gel like bubble.
Now just imagine that these chia seeds will also form this bubble for your stomach as they help feed the good bacteria lining your stomach!
Seriously, chia seeds are amazingly healthy and you just sprinkle them into foods.
How easy is that?!
Summary: Sprinkle those chia seeds everywhere!
5 – Blueberries
Sprinkle, sprinkle, round two. This time with blueberries.
Hard to go wrong with blueberries.
I know some people are concerned about the sugar content in blueberries, but a family member of mine is pre-diabetic and can’t eat much sugar but can eat blueberries!
Now in general you don’t need to worry about sugar in fruit at all because the fiber from fruit digests really slowly.
But, not all fruits are prebiotic. It’s blueberries specifically that are prebiotic as opposed to other fruits.
In this study here, rats that were fed blueberries had healthier colons and stomachs than other rats who had no blueberries.
Now that you know blueberries contain healthy gut bacteria, go have some more of them.
Oh and did I mention that blueberries have tons of antioxidants which help your immune system? Sprinkle, sprinkle!
Here are some ideas on ways to eat more blueberries:
- Add to yogurt
- Add with oatmeals
- Have with other fruits
- Mix with peanut butter on top of whole wheat bread
Summary: Sprinkle those blueberries heartily because they are sooo beneficial for you!
6 – Spinach
Do you know of Popeye The Sailor?
He eats spinach and magically becomes super strong. I know this sounds silly, but maybe real life isn’t so far off.
Spinach is hands down one of the healthiest foods on the entire planet:
- Great source of vitamin K and vitamin C
- Helps your eyes with phytochemicals
- Tons of fiber
Plus, spinach is indeed a prebiotic.
Now that you know that spinach is a prebiotic, I hope you feel motivated to eat more of it!
However, even if spinach wasn’t a source of prebiotics, I’d still hope that you eat more spinach because you could take away all of its gut health benefits and it would still have many other health benefits.
Summary: Eat more spinach. Period.
Now that we have covered the list, let’s explore the best way to eat prebiotic foods!
What’s The Best Way To Eat Prebiotic Foods?
In my opinion, the best way to eat prebiotic foods is to make a green smoothie.
Of course there are many other ways to eat prebiotic foods too, some or which I’ve mentioned above. You don’t need to have a green smoothie, but a green smoothie does make things very easy.
For example, Jerusalem Artichokes are another prebiotic food that’s a great source of healthy gut bacteria.
However, you have to boil a Jerusalem Artichoke. You can’t just throw a Jerusalem artichoke in a blender as easily as you can spinach.
Or, dandelion greens. Again, another excellent source of prebiotic fiber and great for gut health. But where are you going to easily get dandelion greens?
And of course, chicory root. Chicory root is perhaps the ‘healthiest’ prebiotic food with lots of anti inflammatory and immune system benefits. But where are you going to get pure chicory root?!
Is spinach a better source of prebiotics than Jerusalem artichokes or dandelion greens? Probably not. They are probably about equal.
Remember that these foods are mostly equal in terms of good gut bacteria, so don’t worry too much about which is the healthiest. Just eat more of these foods!
Now, let’s switch our attention back to the green smoothie, which in my opinion is one of the easiest ways to get more good bacteria in your gut, along with a whole lot of other health benefits as well.
Here are a few reasons why the green smoothie is the best way to eat more prebiotic foods:
1 – You can mix other prebiotic foods into a green smoothie very easily
For example, just add some other great prebiotic foods like an apple, blueberries, chia seeds, spinach and some dark chocolate.
2 – Green smoothies are quick and easy to make
Then mix these ingredients in a blender for literally just a few seconds and boom!
You have a delicious green smoothie that is packed to the brim with prebiotic foods and good gut bacteria.
And remember the good thing about prebiotic foods is that these foods are just plain super beneficial for you no matter what.
So a green smoothie is just like the ultimate life hack.
If you are curious about the best green smoothie recipes, where to purchase the ingredients, and the best equipment for green smoothies then you’ll want to read my other post here.
What Is A Natural Prebiotic?
Prebiotics are fibers that pair with probiotics to promote good gut health.
A natural prebiotic therefore has two elements:
- A food that exists naturally in nature, like a blueberry.
- A food that can pair with probiotics to promote beneficial stomach bacteria growth
Since blueberries can pair with existing yeasts and other probiotics in your stomach, blueberries are an example of a natural prebiotic.
Now what about apple cider vinegar?
Is Apple Cider Vinegar A Prebiotic?
Yes. We know that apple cider vinegar contains apples, and apples are prebiotics.
Therefore apple cider vinegar is a prebiotic food.
However, apples and vinegar are mixed by humans. You never find apples and vinegar growing together on a tree.
Therefore, while apple cider vinegar is a prebiotic, apple cider vinegar is not a natural prebiotic.
And again, remember my point here, apple cider vinegar is all the rage these days.
But, all these foods are about the same, so go with what you like first.
And I don’t know about you, but I certainly do not like the taste of apple cider vinegar!
What Are The Best Prebiotic And Probiotic Foods?
I wrote extensively about prebiotic and probiotic foods here if you want more info.
The short answer is that the some of the most best and most useful prebiotic foods are the ones I listed above:
- Dark chocolate
- Chia Seeds
And the best probiotic foods, which I didn’t discuss in this article, are:
Now please let me know in the comments section down below – what’s your favorite prebiotic food to eat?