Prebiotics and weight loss

Unlike probiotics, prebiotics do not contain any beneficial or harmful bacteria, if they bring great benefits to the bodies of those who consume them.

Therefore, it is rich in fiber, and it is not easy to digest, so it is transmitted through the digestive tract to the colon, where it encourages good bacteria to grow.

In this context, we inform you from nutritionist, Myriam Bou Khair, about the benefits of foods rich in prebiotics, and their role in losing weight.

In addition to encouraging the growth of good bacteria, foods rich in prebiotics can perform the following functions:

• Helping the body absorb calcium.

• Changing the rate at which foods cause a sudden rise in blood sugar (glycemic index).

• Food ferments faster, so you spend less time in your digestive system, eliminating constipation.

• Maintaining the health of the cells that line the intestines.

Sources of prebiotics, according to nutritionist Myriam Bou Khair, include:

Earthen pears (also called Jerusalem artichokes), dandelions, soybeans, asparagus, leeks, garlic, onions, tomatoes, bananas… Prebiotics are also found in many high-fiber foods, including some fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, such as:

Apples, bananas, barley, berries, chicory, cocoa, flax seeds, peas, beans, green plants, oats, soybeans and wheat, in addition to some packaged products that add to the contents of the variety, “prebiotics”, such as infant formula, bread, cereals, biscuits and yogurt.

Note that when shopping for these products, the word “prebiotics” may not appear on the label, but rather terms,

Such as: “galactoligosaccharides”, “fructooligosaccharides”, “oligofructose”, “dandelion fibers” and “inulin”.

It is recommended to eat the aforementioned foods fresh, as the levels of “prebiotics” decrease over time.

Regarding how much of it is allowed, the American Heart Association’s Healthy Eating Plan recommends that both men and women consume at least 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day. Within the recommended amount of fiber, some experts say one should get at least 5 grams of prebiotics in the diet each day.

On the other hand, excessive intake of fiber (“prebiotics” among them) leads to the generation of flatulence or flatulence.

In this context, the specialist, Bou Khair, calls for eating a small amount of “prebiotics”, daily, so that the intestines get used to them, with the quantity gradually increasing,

This is either raw or cooked as lightly as possible.

Lose weight?

When it comes to losing weight, stomach bacteria play a very important role. In addition to the importance of foods, which promote the growth of good bacteria in the intestine,

In improving general health by regulating hormones, and thus improving mood.

There are two categories of foods responsible for increasing the number of good bacteria in the gut.

They are: probiotics and prebiotics.

In this context, a large body of research has found that including these two types of foods in the diet can be beneficial for one, especially when it comes to weight management.

Knowing that prebiotics remain in the gut for a longer time compared to probiotics.

The former are not digested by the digestive system, and they play a more important role in weight loss than probiotics.

In sum, the “microbiome” (the intestinal flora is the group of microbes present in the human digestive system)

A healthy and varied diet is key to maintaining your metabolism, and therefore weight control.

While the role of gut bacteria in weight loss has not been proven in detail, some studies have already found a link between the two. A study suggested that prebiotic fibers can aid in the absorption of intestinal fats, and thus are an effective weight loss method.

The study said that the prebiotic fibers may impede the absorption of calories into the bloodstream, and thus impede weight gain.

Another study, which looked at the relationship between body fat in obese children and consumption of prebiotics, also had good things to say about the role of prebiotics in reducing body fat.

On the other hand, the question of a nutritionist, Bou Khair, about the “prebiotics” supplement available in pharmacies, and its role in facilitating the matter of consuming these nutrients, she answered, saying:

For healthy people, there is no need to take tablets of this supplement, as it is sufficient that the diet followed consists of a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

If someone has problems with the gut, they probably need to supplement with prebiotics to help rebuild the gut flora.”

The specialist adds that “prebiotics supplements range from capsules, which usually contain probiotics as well, to plant-based prebiotics.”

Many people combine prebiotics and probiotics for greater benefit.”

She cites Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, which says that “probiotics” are short-lived;

So prebiotics are added to the probiotics in a supplement to maintain both levels in the gut.

This combination of prebiotics and probiotics is called a “simultaneous treatment.”

Diet rich in prebiotics


A diet rich in prebiotics aims to increase beneficial bacteria as well as protect the gut microbiome from stress-induced disorders.


It requires adding fresh onions and garlic to meals, whether the latter is pasta, rice or fried foods, in addition to increasing the rate of consumption of foods rich in fiber,


Including some fruits, vegetables and whole grains.


Don’t overdo it with prebiotics.


Although the side effects of eating prebiotics are rare, excessive amounts of gas cause a lot of gas.


And if one complains of IBS, foods rich in “prebiotics” can make symptoms worse, especially bloating, constipation, diarrhea and flatulence.


It is also contraindicated to consume prebiotic foods by an individual who suffers from small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) or intolerance to foods high in FODMAPs.


They are small carbohydrates found in some foods, including wheat and legumes.

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