crohn's disease

Support Your Healthy Gut Bacteria With Prebiotic Foods And Resistant Starch

Photo credit: Denise Johnson

Photo credit: Denise Johnson

Prebiotics are important for digestive, and therefore overall health (remember, health begins in the gut).

Prebiotics can inhibit cancer, strengthen your immune system and prevent obesity. They can also improve symptoms associated with autism spectrum disorders, neurological conditions, inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease), IBS and celiac disease. Prebiotics also can improve your skin health.

Prebiotics feed your good gut bacteria, whereas probiotics add healthy bacteria into your gut.

The best way to get more prebiotics in is through food sources. Food sources of prebiotics are fiber rich.

Fiber is not digested by you, rather it becomes food for your good gut bacteria, and your good gut bugs produce short chain fatty acids like butyrate, which confer health benefits to you. In fact butyrate communicates with your skin microbiome, therefore having adequate levels is important for healthy, rash (eczema) free skin.

Examples of prebiotic foods you can add to your diet include:

  • Chia seeds

  • Flax seeds

  • Hemp seeds

  • Legumes

  • Pumpkin seeds

  • Quinoa

  • Brown rice (cooked and cooled)

  • Gluten free steel cut oats (cooked and cooled)

  • Vegetables (non starchy, raw have higher prebiotic content)

    • Cruciferous (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, arugula)

    • Leafy greens

    • Onion

    • Leek

    • Garlic

    • Chicory root

    • Asparagus

    • Jerusalem artichoke

    • Dandelion greens

    • Other non starchy vegetables

  • Vegetables (starchy)

    • Sweet potatoes/yams

    • Potatoes (cooked and cooled)

  • Fruit

    • Apples

    • Green bananas (less ripe ones)

    • Berries

Notice that brown rice, oats, and regular potatoes should be cooked and cooled to gain prebiotic benefits from them. Doing this changes the structure of the starch they contain, and makes them what we call resistant starch.

Resistant starch is prebiotic. It also doesn’t result in blood sugar spikes, and is an additional benefit if you are struggling with blood sugar issues like insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and diabetes. So if you have been avoiding potatoes because of your blood sugar issues (or your weight), cook and cool them, and enjoy!

If you need guidance on what to eat, The JCB Nutrition Food Pyramid and Diet Plan will help. The program will:

  • Help you understand which foods to avoid if you are embarking on an elimination diet

  • Teach you which healthy foods contain natural chemicals that can trigger symptoms including skin and gut issues, among MANY others

  • Show you what those natural food chemicals are

  • Teach you what foods are common allergens

  • Guide you in choosing what foods to eat and in what amounts