Types of Prebiotics
The Many Types of Prebiotics
There are two main types of prebiotics: foods and dietary supplements. Under those two broad categories, there are a number of individual items with varying prebiotic activity. Here, you will learn about the foods and the supplements derived from them.
Raw Jerusalem Artichoke
Although the names are the same, the Jerusalem artichoke is nothing like the artichokes you commonly see for sale in the produce aisle. There is some confusion about that. Normally reliable sources list the common artichoke as a good prebiotic source, but it’s actually not.
In the Jerusalem artichoke, the underground part called the tuber is consumed. 19 grams of the raw tuber provides about 6 grams of prebiotic fiber. Cooking the tuber basically turns the fiber into mush, rendering it unbeneficial.
Raw garlic is far more common than the Jerusalem artichoke. Since garlic is associated with improved heart and cardiovascular health, adding some to your diet is a good choice.
In order to get 6 grams of prebiotic fiber, you would need to consume about an ounce of raw garlic per day. Considering that the average clove of garlic weighs only about .2 ounces, you would need to consume 5 whole cloves per day. So, while good for your health, garlic is not really one of the realistic types of prebiotics you could get through your diet.
Kiwi fruit is delicious, but most of the prebiotic fiber is in the skin, which is not that tasty. In order to get the 6 grams we have been talking about, you would need to consume 2-3 whole kiwi, skin and all on a daily basis. That is possible, but would probably become tiresome.
Other Food Sources
You could choose an ounce of raw dandelion greens, about two ounces of raw leeks, three ounces of raw onion or over a pound of bananas. The sheer amount of food necessary to get the recommended amount of prebiotic fiber is staggering. That’s why supplements are the types of prebiotics most people choose.
Prebiotic Dietary Supplements
Supplements are derived from foods. By dehydrating, extracting and encapsulating the prebiotic fiber, it is possible for a supplement to provide the beneficial fiber without adding to your daily caloric consumption.
Remember that not all fiber is prebiotic fiber. Psyllium husk is most commonly used in fiber supplements. The husks have no prebiotic activity.
Only certain kinds of fiber contribute to the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. The foods mentioned above have been tested for their effectiveness at doing just that. There may be other types of prebiotics. What you have read about here are the ones we are aware of today.
The prebiotic supplement that I use is called Kiwi-Klenz and it is made by an impressive company called Xtend-Life Natural Products. Kiwi-Klenz is an extract derived from kiwi fruit, and it has been shown to substantially increase the amount of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract within as little as 48 hours.
In addition to its prebiotic effect, Kiwi-Klenz also is a concentrated source of soluble fiber, provides significant enzymic activity and contains phenolic compounds which inhibit the growth of bad bacteria while promoting the growth of good bacteria.