Gut health is a phrase you may have heard a lot recently, and you may be wondering what it all means, and why it’s important. I’m here to unpack one gut-friendly ingredient which has been in the spotlight lately, prebiotics. Read on to learn more about what they are, and our recommendations on how to improve your gut health which can and ultimately support weight loss.
What is the gut?
Put simply, your gut refers to your intestines, which house millions of tiny organisms (microbiomes) that are responsible for digesting the food you eat, nutrient absorption and getting rid of waste.
Maintaining a healthy gut is important because with an unhealthy digestive system, the body struggles to get rid of wastes which can cause uncomfortable symptoms such as brain fog, diarrhoea, constipation, gas and even joint pain!
What are prebiotics?
Prebiotics are defined as non-digestible foods that help promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.1 Prebiotics are a type of fibre, which is found in food sources. However, not all fibrous foods are prebiotic.
Some examples of prebiotics include; inulin, polydextrose and wheat dextrin. Whilst this may sound very ‘sciency’, don’t let these scientific names put you off – prebiotics can be found naturally in fibre-rich foods such as vegetables, whole grain carbohydrates and fruits. For example:
What’s the difference between prebiotics and probiotics?
Prebiotics are not the same probiotics. Probiotics are live microorganisms typically found in foods such as yogurt and fermented foods. Probiotics are intended to improve or maintain the ‘good’ bacteria in the gut. Prebiotics are typically higher-fibre ingredients that act as foods for the good bacteria. In simple terms, prebiotics can be used to ‘feed’ the probiotics. Research suggests that combining the consumption of prebiotics and probiotics can have the biggest beneficial impact on gut health.1
Can prebiotics help with weight loss?
Because prebiotics are a type of dietary fibre, increasing the fibre content of your diet may help with weight loss. Fibre slows down the body’s digestion rate helping you feel fuller for longer.1 This can help regulate appetite and reduce the need for additional calories. When consumed correctly, prebiotics can help with weight loss and reduce the risk of certain health conditions.
What are the benefits of prebiotics?
We know that prebiotics can improve the health of your gut and improve digestion, but there is also evidence to show they can also reduce constipation, diarrhoea and other intestinal bowel disorders.1
Studies have also shown that taking prebiotics and dietary fibre can support a healthy immune system and promote healthy heart function.2
How can I take prebiotics?
In addition to the fibre-rich foods we listed earlier, there are other tasty ways the enjoy the benefits of prebiotics…
Our new-recipe meal replacement shakes contain gut friendly prebiotics* (4g inulin, to be precise) for a delicious way to integrate them into lifestyle. Available in 20 yummy flavours, you can relax knowing your meal replacement shakes are contributing to your gut health, as well as your weight loss journey.