Prebiotics can aid in weight loss as studies have shown. There are several key reasons for this but most importantly they help to increase your feeling of fullness after a meal.
Prebiotics are important in that they provide food for the microbes living within your gut. By doing this they can alter the composition of these bacteria. These bacteria release different types of nutrients that help your body react to and digest foods. Your body may release different types of hormones as a result of these changes. These gut satiety hormones can then impact your hunger levels.
Research has also shown that this can be dependent on the dose of prebiotics that are taken in. It can also be dependent on a person’s body composition, level of obesity and other factors. Prebiotics should not be taken with the expectation that they are a cure-all to obesity. However, that is not to say the they will not help.
There are other positive benefits that prebiotics can yield. Some researchers even suggest that prebiotics may help prevent diabetes before the disease has a chance to take root. While this research still requires further study to be firmly established it is may still be useful as a way to maintain a healthy diet.
Use of prebiotics has been studied in both humans and animals and the impact has been positive on a variety of measures. Not only obesity but also measures of cortisol (stress) have come back showing the benefits of prebiotics. Human volunteers receiving prebiotics were shown to have reduced levels of stress when compared to a control group receiving a placebo.
Where to get prebiotics
Prebiotics can be easily purchased in a nutritional supplement store. Directly purchasing inulin fiber can as a supplement can be useful because it allows you to directly measure dosage and slowly ramp up prebiotic intake. Note that we recommend slowly increasing your dosage of prebiotics as opposed to suddenly consuming large quantities. This is because a sudden onset may not allow your body enough time to adjust itself. Bacterial bloom may cause side effects such as flatulence or intestinal discomfort. If this occurs, reduce dosage and instead increase in small increments. If discomfort continues consult your physician.
Another excellent source of taking prebiotics is through ordinary foods. Here is a list of typical foods that contain prebiotics:
- Cold potatoes
These foods contain varying levels of prebiotics. Dietitians can help you understand how much is contained within each type. These prebiotics will help to supplement your diet with natural forms of prebiotics.
Sushi and cold potatoes are an easy source of prebiotics that are somewhat interesting in themselves. The cooking and then subsequent cooling of the potatoes or rice can have a crystallizing effect on the starches contained there. This causes the carbohydrates to be more difficult to digest and serve as food for bacteria within your large intestine.
Bananas and asparagus are typical sources of inulin fiber that are beneficial as prebiotics. In addition, milk contains different forms of prebiotics that can be important for your diet.