Boost Your Immune System with Powerful Prebiotic Foods

Last updated June 09, 2023

Prebiotic foods play a crucial role in maintaining optimal gut health and overall well-being. These dietary fibers serve as nourishment for the beneficial bacteria residing in our gastrointestinal tract, promoting their growth, activity, and overall health.

In this blog post, we will explore the significance of prebiotics and their role in promoting beneficial gut bacteria, enhancing immune system performance, reducing inflammation, and potentially improving calcium absorption.

Moreover, we'll investigate certain nourishments that are high in prebiotic fixings, for example, dandelion greens, garlic, lentils, and chicory root.

What Are Prebiotics?

Prebiotics are a certain form of dietary fiber that promote good bacteria in your body. Good bacteria help the body produce the nutrients needed to boost your digestive system and minimize harmful bacteria in your gut. (1)

Prebiotic foods will also help feed probiotic microorganisms that are known to promote health.

Numerous prebiotics exist, with the majority originating from food sources rich in specific carbohydrates like oligosaccharides found in various foods such as cereals, vegetables, and fruit. (2)

By consuming prebiotics, we help to maintain a balanced microbial environment in the gut that supports healthy digestion and overall well-being.

Prebiotic foods have also been shown to improve metabolic health and even help prevent certain diseases.

Are Prebiotics and Probiotics the Same?

Despite how similar the two words sound, a prebiotic is not the same as a probiotic.

While prebiotics provide nourishment for healthy bacteria, probiotics are live microorganisms that can be found in fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut.

Both prebiotics and probiotics are important for maintaining a healthy gut microbiota.

Role of Prebiotics in Promoting Good Gut Bacteria

People who experience poor gut health may be exposed to a variety of additional health issues.

From bloating to constipation as well as high blood sugar, it is also possible to fall prey to more serious illnesses.

When you consume fiber-rich foods containing prebiotic ingredients, these fibers pass through the small intestine undigested and reach the large intestine where they serve as food for probiotics - the friendly (good) bacteria.

Fermented foods such as yogurt or kimchi also contain live cultures that contribute to this bacterial balance; however, it's important not to confuse them with prebiotics themselves - they're considered complementary components supporting each other's functions within our gut microbiota ecosystem.

Benefits of Prebiotic Food Sources for Your Immune System

Prebiotic foods support a healthy gut microbiome by promoting good bacteria growth. This can improve digestion, enhance immune function, reduce inflammation, and potentially increase calcium absorption.

A diet rich in prebiotic foods has been shown to support digestive health by encouraging the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs).

SCFAs have anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate symptoms associated with various inflammatory conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or Crohn's disease while also strengthening our immune response against harmful pathogens entering our gastrointestinal tract. (3)

Research has also indicated that prebiotics can modulate the immune system by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria, which in turn produce nutrients like butyrate - a compound known to suppress inflammation and improve gut barrier function. (4)

Prebiotics for Bone Health

An increasing amount of evidence exists for positive prebiotic effects on bone health and calcium metabolism. (5) Dietary fibers have been shown to increase calcium absorption in the lower intestines.

Having strong bones can help reduce the risk of bone fractures and osteoporosis.

Calcium Absorption

Several studies have suggested that consuming prebiotic foods may enhance calcium absorption within our body. This is because certain types of prebiotic fibers, such as inulin or fructooligosaccharides (FOS), can increase the solubility of minerals like calcium, making them more readily available for absorption into our bloodstream.

A study published in The Journal of Nutrition found that adolescents who consumed 8 grams of chicory root-derived inulin daily experienced significantly higher levels of calcium absorption compared to those receiving a placebo. These findings suggest that incorporating prebiotic-rich foods into your balanced diet could potentially contribute to better bone health over time.

12 of The Best Prebiotic Foods

1: Dandelion Greens

Dandelion greens are not only packed with vitamins A and K but also contain significant amounts of dietary fiber - around 4 grams per 100-gram serving. This makes them an excellent source for nourishing healthy bacteria within our large intestine.

2: Garlic

Garlic's antimicrobial properties are well-known, but it is also a rich source of prebiotic fibers like inulin and FOS. In fact, about 11% of garlic's fiber content comes from inulin and FOS - two types of prebiotics that can promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria like Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli.

3: Chicory Root

Chicory root has been utilized for generations, both as a coffee substitute due to its comparable taste and also for its medicinal advantages. Chicory root is a powerhouse of beneficial compounds, boasting high levels of antioxidants and prebiotic inulin and FOS.

4: Onions

Rich in antioxidants and dietary fibers including FOS; raw consumption is recommended for maximum benefit.

5: Jerusalem Artichokes

Also known as sunchokes; these tubers contain high levels of inulin, making them a great prebiotic food choice.

6: Bananas

While not as high in prebiotics as some other foods on this list, bananas are still a good source of dietary fiber and make for an easy snack or breakfast addition.

7: Whole Oats

Containing beta-glucan, whole oats can help support while also providing additional benefits such as lowering levels.

8: Apples

High in vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber - specifically pectin; apples provide numerous health advantages when consumed regularly.

9: Leeks

Leeks are low in calories, high in vitamins, and full of nutrients. Leeks are high in prebiotic inulin fiber, and vitamin K and help break down fat.

10: Konjac Root

Konjac root is grown underground, similar to a potato. It is popular in Asian culture as a food ingredient and medicine and is known for its health benefits when used as a dietary supplement.

Konjac also promotes the growth of good bacteria in the colon. Apart from promoting healthy gut bacteria, it may help with weight loss.

11: Flaxseeds

Flaxseed is well known as a good source of prebiotics that encourage regular bowel movements and reduce the amount of dietary fat that is absorbed on a daily basis.

Flaxseeds have anticancer and antioxidant properties which can aid in regulating blood sugar levels. (6)

12: Whole Oats

Whole oats are high in fiber, beta glucan fiber, resistance starch as well as soluble fiber which are also linked to the promotion of healthy bacteria. (7)

Oats are known to help with digestion, control of blood sugar, and to reduce cholesterol.

Suggested Reading: 11 Great Tasting Recipes for Kids

Extra Ideas for Incorporating Prebiotics Into Your Diet

In addition to the best prebiotic food sources above, here are a few more tips for incorporating prebiotics into your diet.

Garlic's Versatility Cooking Various Dishes

Garlic offers not only antimicrobial properties but also an abundance of prebiotics. Its strong flavor makes it easy to incorporate into numerous recipes:

Use minced garlic when preparing pasta sauces, stir-fries, soups, and stews for both flavor enhancement and gut health benefits.

Consider creating a tasty salad dressing by combining crushed garlic cloves with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper - this will help improve digestive health while enjoying fresh vegetables.

Roast whole garlic cloves in the oven and spread them on whole-grain toast or crackers for a fiber-rich snack.

Replacing Coffee with Chicory Root Tea

Chicory root has a coffee-like flavor and is high in antioxidants and contains beneficial compounds like Inulin & FOS. Sweeten your chicory root tea with honey or stevia if needed - but remember that it already has a naturally sweet taste.

By replacing your daily cup of coffee with chicory root tea, you can enjoy its prebiotic benefits.

Include Raw Onions In Your Diet

Raw onions are an excellent source of prebiotics, flavonoids, and antioxidants which are compounds that may help prevent cancer.

Consider adding onion to both cooked dishes, soups, salads, and main meals.

Beta Glucan as a Prebiotic

Beta glucan, a natural polysaccharide, falls under the category of Immuno-Modulators, implying that it alters the Immune System to optimize its efficiency.

This molecule, resembling a fiber, functions by stimulating various types of Immune System Cells within the body, including Macrophages, Neutrophils, Basophils, and Natural Killer Cells.

Beta glucan (β-glucan) is expected to be a potential prebiotic for the modulation of gut microbiota. (8)

85% Minimum Purity Beta Glucan Badge

How Beta Glucan Works

Glucan is able to activate innate immune cells. This activation triggers adaptive immune cell responses which may help to strengthen the immune system.

When the body encounters foreign pathogens recognized as non-self, beta glucan triggers a heightened state of readiness in the immune cells, preparing them to confront the invaders.

The effectiveness of the immune cells, known as immunocytes, determines the capability of our immune system to capture and eliminate intruders that are not supposed to be present within the body.

Suggested Reading: Benefits of Beta Glucan

Beta Glucan Can Work as a Prebiotic

A thorough study tested how glucans affect the growth of nine specific probiotic strains of Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Enterococcus which shows positive prebiotic activities. (9)

While many foods contain substances that have prebiotic properties, it is important to note that no food itself can be classified as a prebiotic. (10)

In essence, beta glucan acts as a catalyst, enhancing the intelligence of our immune systems and bolstering the strength of our defense mechanisms. It is not unexpected that scientists widely agree that b-glucans are categorized as prebiotics. (11)


Including prebiotic-rich foods in one's diet is a must for keeping the digestive system functioning optimally, as they offer essential dietary fiber and vital nutrients.

To improve digestive health, consuming fiber-rich foods that produce short-chain fatty acids in the large intestine is important. These fatty acids support the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut microbiota. Some examples of fiber-rich foods include wheat bran, oats, and fruits and vegetables.

Still have questions?

Our ACES Team is always there to help.

#1 supplement company since 1999

With thousands of verified 5 Star reviews, you can hear it directly from our customers.

I just take 2 to 3 of these per day, if I feel like I'm going to be traveling or around grandkids who have sicknesses then I will take more. 

Tracy Compton

We started using Beta Glucans with My Son when he was 10 years old ... I would Definitely, Definitely Recommend Beta Glucan.

Iris Ramirez

I was watching a Series by Chris Wark and He Highly Recommended Beta Glucan.

Heather Mills

I'm gonna hit 71 years old in April... I mean I'm doing things that 40 year old's do. 

G.J. Rancourt

Try it ... Your Immune System is Boosted to a Level that Mine Has Never Seen in Years.

Darcy Waller

I Feel I Have More Energy, I Feel Stronger ... I Recommend Beta Glucan to Everyone.

Diana Perez

I have not missed a day taking My Beta Glucan and I'm Really Pleased with The Results

Cheryl Houston

I just want to endorse them and say they have a great product, but they are a great company with awesome people. 

Scott Wood

Featured Better Way Health Products

As COO of Better Way Health, Taylor creates and Implements business operations and policies that reinforce our company culture. He ensures we stick to our core values and provides resources to elevate our team members in their respective roles. He is the day-to-day backbone of our world-class customer service and a seasoned authority on Beta Glucan.
    Cart0 items
    Your cart is empty!
    Have a question?
    Call Us 800-746-7640