Before we get into the high-fiber foods we need to make a quick distinction between the terms probiotic and prebiotic. These terms unfortunately sound very similar and cause a lot of confusion.
So probiotics are live microorganisms, you’ll find them in raw fermented foods and supplements, these bacteria can help populate your gut with friendly aka “good” bacteria. Probiotic rich foods include raw fermented sauerkraut, water kefir, yogurt, milk kefir, raw kimchi, etc. (big emphasis on raw, if the food has been pasteurized it will not contain probiotics). Note that the living organisms in these foods are frequently described as “live cultures” on product labels.
Prebiotics on the other hand refer to foods that feed the bacteria that’s already in your gut (so prebiotics feed probiotics). An example of a prebiotic is fiber, it passes through your body undigested and eventually reaches your gut bacteria, which is why fiber is so important to include in your diet.
In one of our last posts, we talked about how 80% of our immune system gets regulated through the gut, yet it is estimated that nearly 90% of the population do not get enough fiber in their diet. It’s easy to see why we eat the way we eat, so much of our food has been highly processed and it might taste delicious, but it won’t feed your hungry bacteria that needs to support a whole body.
Gut microbiome refers to all the microbes in your intestines (all 100 trillion of them). Did you know that these microorganisms can weigh as much as 1-2kg and are crucial to our health?
The good news is that it’s easy to find a selection of foods to meet your daily fiber intake which is at around 30g according to the British Dietetic Association
Most people think of broccoli as a high fiber food and it is a healthy choice with 2.8g per 100g serving, but you might be surprised to learn that even a medium sized pear can supply you with up to 20% of your daily requirement. So, move over broccoli, here are our picks for 5 High-fiber foods to help you look after your gut health:
Avocado – 13g of fiber in 1 whole avocado
Chickpeas – 12.5g of fiber in 1 cup of cooked chickpeas
Green Peas – 7g of fiber in 1 cup
Pears – 6g of fiber in 1 medium pear
Bananas – 3.1g of fiber in 1 medium banana
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Sources for nutritional data: USDA, Healthline