The following article was written by Heinen’s Chief Dietitian, Melanie Jatsek RD, LD.
If you’ve ever planted a vegetable garden, you know there are a few things you must do to produce viable crops: choose a location with plenty of sunlight, plant the seeds in fertile soil and provide ongoing nourishment to the seeds until they are ready for harvest.
The rules for cultivating a healthy microbiome (the collection of trillions of bacteria and fungi living within your intestines, mouth and nose) are a lot like the rules for planting a garden. Think of the seeds as probiotics, or live beneficial bacteria, and the nourishment as prebiotics.
As you learned in A 5-Step Plan to Restore Healthy Digestion After the Holidays, prebiotic fiber is used by healthy gut bacteria as fuel to promote the growth of more beneficial bacteria. It acts just like fertilizer!
Dandelion greens, Jerusalem artichokes, garlic, asparagus, bananas, oats, apples, konjac root (found in shirataki noodles), cacao, jicama, flax seeds and seaweed are among the best food sources of prebiotic fiber.
But what if you want something more convenient?
Lucky for you, Heinen’s offers a new line of functional prebiotic beverages to make getting this all-important fiber simpler and more enjoyable!
OLIPOP’s trademark functional formula contains a blend of eight unique botanicals and plant fibers, each hand-picked for their distinct microbiome-supporting benefits. Inside each can of OLIPOP are prebiotic fibers like cassava root, chicory root, Jerusalem artichoke and gut-soothing ingredient, like marshmallow root.
With flavors like Doctor Goodwin (i.e., Dr. Pepper), Vintage Cola, Cream Soda, Classic Root Beer (my personal favorite!), Strawberry Vanilla, Orange Squeeze, Classic Grape and Ginger Lemon, you’ll swear you are sipping on your favorite soda, minus the sugar!
The staple ingredient in Poppi is unfiltered apple cider vinegar, a source of prebiotics and health-promoting plant compounds called polyphenols.
To balance the strong flavor of vinegar, fruit and natural sweeteners are added. Try one of Poppi’s many flavors, including Orange, Raspberry Rose, Ginger Lime, Strawberry Lemon and Watermelon.
Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar Refreshers
You’re probably familiar with Bragg apple cider vinegar. Now it’s easier than ever to get a daily dose of prebiotics with Bragg Refreshers! Each bottle contains two tablespoons of Bragg apple cider vinegar mixed with just a splash of 100% juice. You’ll love the Concord Grape & Hibiscus and Honey & Green Tea flavors. Established in 1912, Bragg is a trusted brand known as America’s original health food company.
Most of your prebiotic fiber should come from whole food sources like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and raw nuts and seeds. These foods offer benefits far beyond fiber, including natural plant compounds to protect your body from a wide range of diseases. If you’re not sure where to begin, download the Club Fx Top 100 Foods List and use it to guide your next shopping trip!