Ballaststoffe und Präbiotika

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fiber and prebiotics

Dr. Adrian Weingart

fiber and prebiotics


Having bacteria in your body may sound strange or scary to many at first - but probiotic bacteria are even desirable for our bodies, especially for our digestive tract!
A healthy intestinal flora is promoted by the probiotic bacteria that settle there, i.e. living microorganisms . These have a positive effect on, among other things, digestion and the immune system of humans. In order for these bacteria to be able to "work" effectively, they need food, because the basic rule is: living things need food to function well. This applies to us humans as well as to microorganisms and therefore also to probiotics. This “food” is found in the form of prebiotics. This is dietary fiber. Dietary fiber is a component of plant foods, which is why it is also called fiber or plant fiber. Since we lack the necessary enzymes, fiber cannot be digested by us humans in the digestive tract.

PRÄbiotics for PRObiotics

What's supposed to be good about that?, you might be wondering now. Well, the answer isn't all that complicated. Because what humans cannot use "tastes" the above-mentioned probiotic "good" bacteria, especially bifidobacteria very well - once it has arrived intact in the large intestine, the dietary fibers are eagerly utilized there by the resident intestinal bacteria, which allows them to multiply. As nutrients, prebiotics therefore promote the growth and activity of good bacteria. They occur, for example, in the form of sugar molecules such as inulin or fructose oligosaccharides.

The effect

What exactly is the effect of the probiotic bacteria and the prebiotics? By taking prebiotics, whether in edible form or as a capsule, tablet or powder, the probiotic “good” strains of bacteria in your gut will feel comfortable due to the high number of food sources. This in turn ensures that they do important work to keep your intestinal flora in balance. By the growth spurt of bifidobacteria, a type of "good" bacteria, other "bad" strains of bacteria and viruses are prevented from spreading through the intestines and causing disease. Examples of such bad are pathogenic bacteria, such as certain species of E. coli or clostridia. This happens because the increased growth of the good bacteria leads to an increased production of short-chain fatty acids. This leads to an acidic pH of the intestinal wall. This acidic environment enables the intestines to better absorb some minerals such as calcium, magnesium, sodium or phosphorus, which in turn makes it more difficult for pathogens to overgrow.
Some probiotics have other abilities that are extremely useful to us. For example, they produce antibodies against pathogenic bacteria and increase the activity of our immune cells. In addition, digestion improves: if you eat a high-fiber diet, you can increase the amount and frequency of your own bowel movements, since the digestion time in the intestine is regulated normally again - goodbye to constipation, constipation and diarrhea!
But that's not all: Experts also believe that prebiotics have positive effects on bone density, as they improve the absorption and utilization of calcium.
There is also good news for the growing number of people who struggle with various forms of metabolic syndrome throughout their lives. This manifests itself as a combination of high blood pressure, obesity, increased blood lipid levels and increased blood sugar levels, which result from a deficiency effect of insulin (insulin resistance). Here, too, prebiotics are intended to reduce the risk of disease if taken regularly, the same applies to the risk of colon cancer.


As you can see, it is always worth including probiotics and prebiotics in your own diet. But where is fiber in it and which one should you eat? If you look around the food market, you will discover many products that have artificially added inulin or oligofructose to make them even healthier or more nutritious. Such products are often found in the categories of fruit juices, dairy products, baked goods, in snacks, baby food or sweets. At first glance, this seems easy, but it is actually much easier and sometimes healthier to incorporate prebiotics into your diet through natural foods. Foods rich in fiber are, for example, cereal products such as wholemeal bread, pasta or rolls, cereal flakes, muesli, brown rice, millet and grains. In principle, fiber can be found in almost all types of vegetables. Artichokes, bananas, chicory, potatoes, cabbage, peppers, mushrooms, celery, asparagus and Jerusalem artichokes have a relatively high content. Soy, legumes, as well as fruit (both fresh and dried fruit apply here) and nuts are also rich in fiber. When it comes to nuts, it should be noted that they have a high fat content and therefore also a high energy content. Therefore, you should only eat them in small amounts.
So that the probiotics can really have their full effect in your intestines, you should eat enough fiber. As described above, you can absorb these through your diet. You can also find it in the Dailybacs in the natural form of inulin from the chicory root.
For fiber, up to 30 grams of fiber per day is generally well tolerated and recommended to improve gut flora. Of course, you can eat more if you need to, but be aware that higher doses of prebiotics could cause bloating and diarrhea. This threshold is at an individual point for each person. People with a sensitive intestine, in particular, usually need less than ten grams of fiber. For example: 100 grams of whole grain bread contains 7 grams of fiber.

Fiber against constipation

As a small addition: If you are always struggling with constipation, foods such as acidified milk products, i.e. yoghurt, kefir or buttermilk, sauerkraut (juice), apple and pear juice, soaked prunes, the whole grain products mentioned above and fiber concentrates will help. These include flaxseed, wheat bran or psyllium. They all have a laxative effect. In addition, at least 30 grams of fiber per day are recommended here, so that your intestines can really get going again!
You should also drink a lot (2-3 liters per day), because dietary fibers need liquid! You should also make sure that you change your diet step by step and not radically in one fell swoop. Otherwise, you risk gas and a strong feeling of fullness. Regular exercise and one or two massages of your stomach round off the feel-good program so that your digestion gets going again!


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