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Discover the top 5 prebiotic foods to improve your gut health

The development of studies on the human body has already proven that the intestine is an organ that performs numerous functions for health, mainly by the microorganisms that live inside it, called intestinal microbiota. They are responsible for nutrient absorption, digestion, act in the production of hormones and even act in the body’s immunity.

The balance between the microorganisms in the intestine is influenced by several factors, such as genetics, medication use and, of course, diet. The highlight goes to probiotics, that is, foods that contain living organisms that benefit the human body. The best known and regulated by the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) are live bacteria, such as lactobacilli.

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However, those who are gaining attention lately by scientists are prebiotics. Basically they are non-digestible nutrients that serve as “fuel” for good bacteria. They are considered food for the microbiome and are related to better blood glucose regulation, for example.

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What the studies say about the topic

San Jose State University researchers, master’s student Cassandra Boyd, who conducted the research, and her assistant professor, John Gieng, concluded that prebiotic content is found in more than 8,000 foods contained in the Boston Food and Nutrient Database.

That is, approximately 37% of the foods in the collection studied contain the probiotic. Among them we will highlight the 5 main foods, they are: dandelion leaves, Jerusalem artichoke, garlic, leek and onion that presented the highest amounts of this substance.


Garlic is a common food in Brazilian cuisines with high levels of prebiotics. Playback: Freepik

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In contrast, wheat products recorded a drop in probiotics, including eggs, oils, meats and dairy products. Based on the team’s findings, Cassandra concludes that a person needs to consume an average of 120 grams of onion to acquire 5g of prebiotics. She adds that these studies are essential to understand how food cooking affects the amount of prebiotics, in addition to better evaluating foods with multiple properties.

Featured photo: Examples of prebiotic foods. Playback/Food Connection

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Discover the top 5 prebiotic foods to improve your gut health

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