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Learn about prebiotics: What it is, its benefits and sources

Did you know that the average human has more than 10 times more bacteria than cells living in their digestive system? This is known as microflora and every person has a unique makeup of them; just like a person’s fingerprints or DNA.

What are prebiotics

You can be assured that much of these bacteria are actually beneficial to a person’s health and are known as probiotics. Prebiotics are the lesser-known sibling of probiotics, and are the non-digestible fibres that remain in the small intestine and stomach that helps to feed probiotics, and to help them grow and flourish. There are two types of prebiotics - GOS (from animal origin), or FOS (from plant origin).

Types of prebiotics

  • animal origin
    Animal origins (GOS)
  • plant origin
    Plant origins (FOS)
 

Role of prebiotics

  • undigested fibre
    Soluble undigested fibre in the small intestine and stomach
  • bacteria food
    Reaching the colon, it is a food source for the beneficial bacteria
  • health benefits
    Increased beneficial bacteria in the intestines bring many health benefits, especially to the digestive system

Benefits of prebiotics

Eating well and ensuring a good amount of healthy bacteria in your child’s digestive system can make a difference to his well-being. It can help maintain a healthy digestive system in children. Additional benefits include:
  • protection
    Inulin
    Support growth of beneficial bacteria/good intestinal flora in the gut. Increase intestinal bifidobacteria and helps maintain a good intestinal environment.
  • strengthen immune
    Oligofructose
    Increasing beneficial bifidobacteria in the intestinal tract to combat less desirable bacteria
 

Sources of prebiotics

Prebiotics are found naturally in mothers’ breast milk and it helps to nourish and stimulate the growth of beneficial probiotics in the gut. Prebiotics also occur naturally in many foods, and generally, raw foods have more prebiotic fibres than cooked foods, such as:

  • Apples

  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Bananas
  • Beans
  • Bran
  • Cabbage
  • Garlic
  • Leeks
  • Legumes
  • Onions
  • Root vegetables
 
 
 
Other good sources include:
  • Breast milk
  • Almonds
  • Chicory
  • Whole-grain oats
  • Wild yams
  • Other dairy products
 
 




  

 

 
 

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