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What is a prebiotic?

I’ve heard of probiotics, but what is a prebiotic?  

Prebiotics stimulate the growth of good colon bacteria (“good guys”), and are thought to be essential for long term gut health.  It’s how we keep the good guys alive.  They are, technically, for humans, non-digestible. When the good guys ferment the prebiotics in the gut, they make compounds that (among other things) help repair injuries to the gut, and help to shut down inflammation.  Our good guys eat what we eat, and without the good guys in our gut, we cannot be healthy.  

Here at UMass Chan, we love prebiotic foods such as Steel-cut oats, bananas, and beans. Check out our website for recipes! 

Steel-cut oats: