When it comes to gut health, the low FODMAP diet can be a great way to relieve symptoms. However, sometimes cutting out such foods may not be enough to provide relief. Therefore, adding some healthy bacteria like probiotics can help restore balance in the gut and in turn help further improve symptoms. But for probiotics to flourish, it’s important to consume prebiotics to help feed the probiotics. Let’s learn about what prebiotics are, which ones are low FODMAP friendly, and supplement options that can make consuming prebiotics a little easier.
What are prebiotics?
Prebiotics are certain foods or dietary compounds that help feed probiotics, or “good” bacteria. The prebiotics help the probiotics flourish in the gut, in turn helping to restore balance in the gut and relieve digestive symptoms.
Examples of prebiotics include:
- Fermented foods like yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, and kombucha
- Vegetables such as leeks, garlic, chicory, onion, asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes, yams, dandelion leaves, and sweet potatoes
- Fruits like apples and bananas
- Whole wheat
The fermented foods listed are also good sources of natural probiotics. That means that such foods can be considered what is called a synbiotic. A synbiotic is defined as a product or compound in which a prebiotic and probiotic are both present and favor one another in improving health.
What prebiotics are low FODMAP?
Prebiotics can be a helpful addition to restoring gut balance and reducing symptoms in those with conditions like irritable bowel syndrome as well as other digestive conditions like inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, and bowel function disorders. Not to mention that prebiotics can also reduce risk and severity of gastrointestinal infection and inflammation as well as diarrhea.
However, consuming prebiotics that are high FODMAP foods may counteract such benefits in those with pre-existing digestive conditions. The following prebiotics are high in FODMAPs and should be avoided by those with IBS-C:
- Jerusalem artichokes (contain fructose and fructans)
- Asparagus (1/2 spear is considered low FODMAP, but 1 spear contains moderate levels of fructose, while 5 spears or more contains high levels of fructose and fructans)
- Garlic and onion
- Whole wheat
- Barley (the only type of barley that is low FODMAP friendly is pearl barley grains, sprouted in a ½ cup serving)
Prebiotics that are ok to consume on the low FODMAP diet include:
- Chicory leaves (1/2 cup is considered low FODMAP)
- Yams (1 cup diced is considered low FODMAP)
- Bananas (1 medium unripe banana is low FODMAP-friendly; 1/3 ripe banana)
- Oats (1/2 cup uncooked is considered low FODMAP)
- Cocoa (2 heaped teaspoons of cocoa powder is considered low FODMAP)
- Flaxseeds (1 tablespoon is considered low FODMAP)
If you feel like you don’ t consume enough of the low FODMAP prebiotics daily, then you may need a prebiotic supplement. Some great prebiotic products include the prebiotic and probiotic supplement or the prebiotic protein snack bar by Casa de Sante. Prebiotic supplements can provide a convenient way for you to consume your daily digestive health compounds if you are always on the go, but still want to feel your best.
Take home message
Sometimes even the most well-balanced diet can’t provide all the nutrients that you need to achieve optimal health. That’s why adding probiotics and their all-important prebiotic fuel can further improve your health status. And although both probiotics and prebiotics can be found in food form, supplements are also available.
If you feel like you don’t consume enough good bacteria and prebiotics in your diet, there are high-quality prebiotic supplements like the prebiotic and probiotic supplement by Casa de Sante that can complement your healthy lifestyle. For more information on how you can improve your gut health, visit the gut blog and other helpful resources at the Casa de Sante website.
-written by Staci Gulbin, MS, MEd, RD of LighttrackNutrition.com