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25 Best Prebiotic Foods | Ultimate Prebiotic Foods List PDF

25 Best Prebiotic Foods | Ultimate Prebiotic Foods List PDF

The best prebiotic foods should be a regular staple in your diet in effort to achieve optimal gut health. But, what is a prebiotic, and how is it different from a probiotic? More importantly, where can you find a prebiotic foods list PDF to know what to foods to be adding into your diet?

We have everything you need right here, including both an infographic and a ➡️downloadable Prebiotic Foods List PDF.⬅️

Get ready to fuel your gut and optimize your health with the best prebiotic foods.

The Questions We’re Answering About the Best Prebiotic Foods:

  • What are prebiotics?
  • What are the benefits of prebiotics?
  • What are Examples of the best prebiotic foods?
  • Are prebiotics essential to get the optimal benefit from probiotics?  
  • Do we need to take a prebiotic fiber supplement, or can we just get everything we need from our diet?
  • What are the best prebiotic foods, and where can I download a free prebiotic foods list PDF?

What are Prebiotics?

The current definition of a prebiotic is: A substrate that is selectively utilized by host microorganisms conferring a health benefit.[4]

Over the past few years, the definition of prebiotics has expanded from just being thought of as fiber-fueling bacteria in the colon to any compound that may be used by microorganisms (aka the probiotics) to improve health.💃 

While many prebiotic substrates are non-digestible (such as fiber!), not all forms of fiber are considered a prebiotic. The main concept to remember is that for a “substrate” to be considered a prebiotic 👉it must assist in the growth and survival of beneficial gut bacteria👈 to be considered a prebiotic.  

Probiotics often include fermented foods in which gut-friendly beneficial bacteria are grown and consumed. Common examples of great probiotic-rich foods include:

  • Yogurt
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kimchi
  • Kefir
  • Kombucha

Here is a nice infographic showing this difference between some common foods that are probiotics vs prebiotics.

Infographic comparing the best prebiotic foods to the best probiotic foods

What are Examples of Prebiotics?

The following are examples of the most commonly consumed prebiotics. We frequently consume these “substrates” when we eat foods such as onions, garlic, and bananas:[5]

  • Inulin (a form of dietary fiber, not to be mistaken for insulin!)
  • Oligofructose (a subgroup of nondigestible inulin fiber)
  • Fructooligosaccharides (a nondigestible carbohydrate)

Long story short, most any non-digestible food particles that supports the health, growth, and survival of beneficial microorganisms is considered a prebiotic!  

What are the Benefits of Taking Prebiotics?

The primary benefit to consuming prebiotics is improved gut health which leads to improved digestion, bowel movements, and an enhanced immune system.

The reason we need prebiotics is to feed the healthy bacteria in our gut, AKA probiotic microorganisms. They’re living in a harsh, harsh environment and without the food and TLC they need to survive, they die off and we end up with bad bacteria overgrowing.  

This environment in our gut is naturally acidic in order to break down food for digestion. Without a gut/microbiome of flourishing healthy bacteria/microorganisms, our health will decline, and we are prone to numerous health issues.

Think of what happens when we can’t digest our food well, and our immune system is weakened- we feel sluggish, we struggle to recover from workouts when not absorbing protein, increased frequency of illness such as colds or infections, and an increased risk for autoimmune disease.  

Infographic showing the benefits of prebiotics and why you should use a prebiotic food list PDF to guide your food choices.

How to Make Sure You Receive the Benefits of Prebiotics

To benefit from prebiotics, we need to make sure to eat a diet full of probiotic-rich microorganisms i.e. the best fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kombucha, kimchi, etc. as well as supplementing with a great probiotic.  However, to get the most out of a probiotic and your consumption of fermented foods, the rest of your diet needs to be balanced to create a supportive environment for probiotic survival.  

Remember, having healthy gut bacteria and a thriving microbiome requires long-term consistent effort. You can’t expect to grow a “forest” of healthy bacteria in your gut by just planting a few saplings, watering them once or twice, and then abandoning them. This is kind of what it’s like if we consume probiotic-rich foods or a probiotic supplement, take a prebiotic supplement, then stuff ourselves with sugary foods and cheese puffs.  

Interested in learning more about fermented foods and what to be adding to our diet in order to benefit from prebiotics?  Check out our post on the 9 Best Fermented Foods for Athletes and 7 Amazing Benefits of Eating Fermented Foods.

How to Know You’re Benefitting from Prebiotics and Probiotics

So you upped your intake of prebiotic-rich foods as well as fermented foods, but, how do you know its doing anything?

We know that including foods with prebiotic substrates or adding a prebiotic supplement can significantly improve the growth, health, and survival of healthy gut bacteria.  We also know that when this is done, overall health significantly improves.

But, how do you know you’re benefitting from prebiotics and probiotics?

How do you know if it’s been worth it to give up your favorite processed foods, candy, or cheap take-out foods? While. we know these foods make for a less favorable environment for microorganism survival, it would. benice to have clear signs we;re benefiting from the changes we’ve made in our health.

So, here are short-term signs that you’re benefitting from prebiotics and probiotics:

  • Daily bowel movements
  • Bowel movements formed like soft-serve ice cream instead of hard pellets or blowing the porcelain up like a rifle
  • Decreased or complete resolution of bloating post meal
  • Decreased or complete resolution of burping post meal

Here are long-term signs you’re benefiting from prebiotcs and probiotics:

  • Improved skin complexion
  • Decreased joint pain
  • Improved muscle recovery after workouts
  • Decreased fatigue
  • Less frequent illnesses
  • Shorter duration of illnesses
  • Decreased brain fog
  • Requiring less sleep to feel fully rested

So, when we say increasing your prebiotic and probiotic consumption improves your overall health, we don’t mean just a minor improvement in health, we mean A MAJOR improvement.💪  

When gut health improves, almost every single element of health improves.  With improved digestion comes decreased fatigue, fewer headaches and joint pain, a decreased risk for food sensitivities, improved muscle recovery, improved immune system function, decreased frequency of illness, and so on.  You get the idea.

If you make a major effort to improve your gut health but continue to have issues, there may be a chance there are greater underlying issues that need to be addressed, such as hormone issues, toxic mold exposure, parasites (remember how bad the bathroom smelled during your trip to the Cancun?), and more. If this is you, consider booking a 👉free 15-minute strategy call to map out a plan👈 to overcome your issues once and for all. Visit our coaching packages page to learn more and then book your call today and get started working with our team of dietitians right away.

Posts related to prebiotics:

What are the Best Prebiotic Foods (And a Prebiotic Foods List PDF)?

When looking for the best prebiotic fiber-rich foods, it is important to note there are 8 categories of prebiotics that have evidence to support better health.  

While fructooligosaccharides, inulin, and galactooligosaccharides are the most commonly mentioned and researched beta-glucans, isomaltooligosaccharides, guar gum, lactulose, and resistant maltodextrin have been found to be beneficial forms of prebiotics as well.[6]

Guar gum, a common additive used as a thickening agent, as well as isomaltooligosaccharides and lactulose, common artificial sweetener food additives, are a bit more debatable as to their benefits. As a result, we will leave them out of our list of the best prebiotic foods.

There are several subgroups of prebiotics, such as oligofructose, which is a subgroup of inulin, and galactose which is a subunit of galactooligosaccharides.  We will focus on organizing according to main categories to keep things simple.

So, here are the best prebiotic foods broken down by the type of prebiotics they contain (note, some foods contain more than one type of prebiotic and appear in multiple lists.) [7, 8, 9]

Best Prebiotic Foods & The Prebiotic Foods List PDF👌:


  1. Mushrooms
  2. Algae
  3. Marine plants such as seaweed
  4. Oat
  5. Barley


  1. Jerusalem artichoke
  2. Yacon
  3. Blue Agave
  4. Bananas
  5. Onions
  6. Garlic
  7. Leeks
  8. Chicory root
  9. Asparagus


  1. Green peas
  2. Lentils
  3. Lima beans
  4. Chickpeas and chickpea related products such as hummus
  5. Kidney beans


  1. Onions
  2. Garlic
  3. Bananas
  4. Leeks
  5. Chicory root
  6. Sweet potato/yams (Read about the difference)
  7. Jerusalem Artichokes (Read about how they’re different from other artichokes)
  8. Globe artichoke
  9. Jicama
  10. Leeks
  11. Agave
  12. Raw Dandelion Greens
  13. Yacon root

Looking for a handy list to print for your fridge, download, or carry with you to the hospital?  Download and print our 👉free prebiotic foods list pdf👈 for an easy guide:

Prebiotic Foods List PDF infographic listing the best prebiotics for beta-glucans, fructooligosaccharides, galactooligosaccharides, and inulin.

Novel Ideas for Incorporating Prebiotic Foods and Supplements in Your Diet

(Usual disclaimer: FWDfuel Sports Nutrition is a participant in the Fullscript and Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Now that you know the best prebiotic foods and have a prebiotic foods list PDF, you might be wondering how to incorporate them into your diet.  We understand that many of these foods may seem foreign to you. To assist in the process of incorporating these foods into your diet,  here are 10 ways to incorporate more prebiotics into your diet:

  1. Mix prebiotic powder such as Prebiotin Fiber or Klaire Labs Biotagen into a smoothie.
  2. Chop and sprinkle fresh leeks or chives on your eggs, potatoes or pat it into your burger patty for an extra burst of flavor.
  3. Top your salad with dandelion greens or add few to your smoothie.
  4. Make sure to include kidney beans in your chili.
  5. Slice, season, and bake jicama then sprinkle on top of tacos.
  6. Slice, season, and bake for a healthier alternative to french fries that is rich in prebiotics such as these jicama fries.
  7. Try sweet potato toast in the morning.
  8. Add fresh banana to your oats in the morning, a 2 for one!!! (Remember green bananas are higher in prebiotics than ripe bananas)
  9. Sautee your asparagus in a pan of fresh garlic and onion- a 3 for one!!
  10. Make a delicious lentil soup. Perfect for a reheat and eat!
Infographic prebiotic foods list showing 4 examples of how to get more prebiotics into your meals.

The Last Word on The Best Prebiotic Food List

While there is not as in-depth research on prebiotics as the research on probiotics, the current research on prebiotics and their benefits is now a “well-established scientific fact.”  

Prebiotics have been found to improve the microbiota (gut) composition, decrease inflammation, improve immune system function, improve bowel function, and assist in improving health in many, many other ways, from decreasing the metastasizing of liver tumors to helping improve colic in babies.[21]

If you have not already, download our prebiotic foods list PDF and start to increase the amount of prebiotics you consume by focusing on increasing them in your diet. While supplements can help improve our health, we can’t out-supplement a bad diet, so be sure your diet is up to par before jumping into taking a supplement.

Now that you know all about the benefits of prebiotics and understand the answer to “Can you take prebiotics and probiotics together?”, it’s time to read about the best probiotic strains, the best time to take a probiotic for maximum benefit and learn about the top-rated probiotic to fit your individual needs.  

If you enjoyed this article and would like to improve the health of a friend or family member, please share this article!  

If you’d like to get a closer glimpse of what we’re up to, discover new ideas like the tastiest elimination diet recipes, or simply learn some nutrition tips and tricks, check us out on Instagram under the name @FWDfuel or on Tik Tok @fwdfuelsportsnutrition.     

Ready to overcome your nutrition challenges? Want to fix gut issues once and for all? Tired of bloating, hormone imbalance, feeling fatigued, low sex drive, or joint issues? We help people overcome these challenges every day! 👉Book a free 15-minute strategy call👈 to discuss how working with us can help you overcome your health challenges 🙏 once and for all.😄 You could be our next great success story, just like… 👇👇👇

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About The Author

Michael Bogden

Michael is a residency and fellowship trained sports physical therapist. A life long advocate for exercise and nutrition, he unexpectedly ran into issues with fatigue and recovery which significantly hindered his training. After working closely with his wife, Kylene, a dietitian trained in functional nutrition, he learned an entirely new approach to eating and living a more holistic lifestyle. This dramatic life change lead to remarkable improvement in his overall energy and performance. In 2017, with the help of a Functional Sports Nutrition approach, he improved his half marathon PR by 5 minutes. These improvements inspired him to create the FWDfuel blog with Kylene in order to spread the word so that others could experience the same success.

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