Prebiotics are a dietary fibre that trigger the growth of bacteria having favourable effects on the intestinal flora. Prebiotics are specialized plant fibers. They act like fertilizers that stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. Prebiotics are found in many fruits and vegetables, especially those that contain complex carbohydrates, such as fiber and resistant starch. These carbs aren’t digestible by your body, so they pass through the digestive system to become food for the bacteria and other microbes.
A prebiotic effect occurs when there is an increase in the activity of healthy bacteria in the human intestine. The prebiotics stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria such as bifidobacteria and lactobacilli in the gut and increase resistance to invading pathogens. This effect is induced by consuming functional foods that contain prebiotics. These foods induce metabolic activity, leading to health improvements. Healthy bacteria in the intestine can combat unwanted bacteria, providing a number of health benefits. The most common type of prebiotic is from the soluble dietary fibre inulin. Other forms of Prebiotics are :
Inulin is common in many plants containing fructan. Furthermore, many of these plants are frequently eaten as vegetables – asparagus, garlic, leek, onion and artichokes are an excellent source of inulin. Dr. David Perlmutter in his fantastic Brain Maker book suggest we should consume 12 grams of prebiotic daily. To get 12g of prebiotic you would need for example 140g of raw onion , a small onion is 70g, medium is 110g and large is 150g. One Raw Onion per day is a great way to ensure prebiotic intake.