Mon. Nov 29th, 2021


The probiotics are those foods that take care of our microbiota. That is, they ensure the health of the bacteria in our stomach, essential for the proper functioning of our body. But, these probiotics, which are usually foods like yogurts, cheese or pickles, need the ‘push’ of others to function at their highest level. We speak, then of the prebiotics.

Dr. José Antonio Balsa, head of Endocrinology and Nutrition at the Infanta Sofía University Hospital, explains that the prebiotic concept is relatively recent; was proposed in 1995 by Gibson and Roberfroid for refer to nutrients that are not digestible and that provide health benefits. Its function, says nutritionist Elena de la Fuente, from the Quirónsalud San José Hospital, is to help stimulate the activity of probiotics, since they cannot be digested. The professional emphasizes the importance of the function of these foods: «They have a symbiotic effect. It’s okay if I get these beneficial bacteria from foods like yogurt, but it makes more sense if I also feed them properly, with prebiotics.

If we talk about prebiotic foods, we do it fruits, vegetables, legumes and cereals. These types of foods are very rich in fiber, which means that our body cannot digest them well and, therefore, have that prebiotic effect on the microbiota.

How to eat prebiotics

The nutritionist Elena de la Fuente leaves some tips to be able to take prebiotics so that we get the most out of them:

– In the case of vegetables, it is better consume them rawSince they are not subjected to any process, the contribution of fiber is greater.

– Is better eat whole fruits, if you can with skin. It is better to avoid juices, even if they are natural, because when extracting the juice from the fruit we also lose the prebiotic contribution.

– Starches, such as potatoes or sweet potatoes, do not have a great contribution of fiber, but, in order for them to fulfill a prebiotic function, we can roast them and then let them cool, before eating them. ‘This process produces a type of fiber, a resistant starch, which has the effect we are looking for “, says the expert.

– The best way to eat cereals is in your integral format, to increase your fiber level.

Prebiotics are part of the foods that we must take to have a healthy and balanced diet. It is more than known that we have to eat five servings a day of vegetables and fruits. It is important to balance consumption between both types of food: two of vegetables, in the main meals, and three whole pieces of fruit, not in juice. The nutritionist comments that, if it is a smaller piece, two should be taken, as for example with tangerines, and if they are very large or very small fruits, a portion should be counted as a bowl, for example in the case of grapes, strawberries, or pineapple.

How many should I take a week

The consumption of legumes is recommended between three and five servings a week. «Being a food full of vegetable proteins and slow absorption hydrates, You have to complement it with vegetables, and replace the piece of meat, “says the nutritionist.

Finally, Dr. Balsa recalls the importance, not only of consuming prebiotics, but of maintain a balanced and healthy diet, because if you cannot “drastically modify the normal composition of our microbiota”, thus promoting a “pro-inflammatory state” that is implicated in diseases such as obesity or diabetes. ” Also, remember the damage done to our microbiota by the abusive consumption, and without indication, of antibiotics.

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