What Is Prebiotic Fiber?

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  • Written By: Kristeen Moore
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 13 January 2020
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Prebiotic fiber is a naturally-occurring substance in plant-based foods that helps to keep individuals satiated. This type of fiber is classified as soluble, or viscous, which is available in certain fruits and vegetables, such as bananas, asparagus, and onions. Prebiotics are considered to be an important way to control insulin levels and overall weight. Some individuals might require a supplement if they do not obtain enough prebiotic fiber from the foods that they eat.

Fiber is a substance that is found solely in plant-based foods, such as fruits vegetables and grains. Although prebiotic fiber itself is not digestible, it works in the body by adding bulk and nutrients. Prebiotics also complement probiotics, which are microorganisms that are thought to help to maintain digestive regularity. By eating foods with both prebiotics and probiotics, individuals might experience a reduced occurrence of gastrointestinal ailments, such as diarrhea and constipation.

This particular type of fiber is classified as soluble fiber, which nourishes the body with healthy carbohydrates. If an individual is looking to add more prebiotic fiber to his or her diet, then many vegetables and legumes are an invaluable source. Examples include carrots, potatoes, and broccoli, as well as legumes. A few fruits also contain levels of soluble fiber, including apples, berries, and plums.


There are a variety of health benefits to consuming fiber, including a reduced risk of heart disease. Many types of prebiotic fiber rich foods contain high levels of natural sugars that can help to stabilize blood glucose levels. Since fiber adds bulk to the digestive tract, some people also rely on prebiotics as a way to eat less and lose weight. Prebiotic foods are highly nutritious, which can reduce the risk of malnourishment when an individual decreases daily calories in an effort to shed extra pounds. Consuming prebiotic fiber is important in the diet, but eating too much can also cause gastrointestinal problems, particularly if a person does not drink enough water.

Although prebiotics are naturally present in a variety of foods, some individuals take fiber supplements to make up for the absence of the substances in their diets. These types of supplements are available in either powder or capsule form, and they are designed to be taken daily as needed. Prebiotic fiber supplements might not be the most sound weight loss choice because they do not directly cause a person to burn calories. Individuals should consider consulting with their physicians before using fiber supplements.


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