Foods Containing Prebiotics

Ok, we all agree that getting as much of your daily prebiotics is best when derived from a healthy diet, right?  This is the ideal situation, but of you don’t realize how difficult that is to achieve! So, what follows is the list of the top 10 MOST prebiotic-rich foods. If you can’t get prebiotics from these, it just gets harder and harder, right?

Even in the top 10, there are some amazing variations: Did you know that bananas contain 1% prebiotic (1 gram / 100 grams) while chicory root contains about 65% prebiotic! Wow, that is a big difference for the top 10!

Top Foods Containing Prebiotics

  1. Raw Chicory root: 64.6% prebiotic fiber by weight
  2. Raw Jerusalem artichoke: 31.5% prebiotics by weightchicory-2-high1
    (NOTE: Jerusalem artichoke is NOT the green globe artichoke you see at the store. It’s a totally different plant.)
  3. Raw Dandelion greens: 24.3% prebiotic fiber by weight
  4. Raw Garlic: 17.5% prebiotics by weight
  5. Raw Leek: 11.7% prebiotic fiber by weight
  6. Raw Onion: 8.6% prebiotics by weight
  7. Cooked Onion: 5% prebiotic fiber by weight
  8. Raw Asparagus: 5% prebiotics by weight
  9. Raw Wheat bran: 5% prebiotic fiber by weight
  10. Wheat flour, baked: 4.8% prebiotics by weight
  11. Raw Banana: 1% prebiotic fiber by weight.

Now, don’t forget that these are percentages. Or think of it as gram/100 grams. So if bananas have 1% prebiotics by weight and you eat 100 grams of banana, you get 1 gram of prebiotics.

We can also use these to get real-world examples of how much food you must eat to get your daily prebiotics. Most Americans get about 2 grams a day from their diet (mostly from wheat.)  Most food authorities suggest a MINIMUM of 4 grams a day, with many suggesting 8 grams a day and even up to 12 – 16 grams.

So let’s settle on 6 grams a day as a “good” level to reach and recast the list to show how many grams you’d need to eat of each food to get that 6 grams daily dose of prebiotics:

Amount of Prebiotic Foods Required to achieve a Daily Serving of Prebiotic Fiber

  • Raw Chicory root: 9.3g (about 1/3 oz)
  • Raw Jerusalem artichoke: 19g (3/4 oz)
  • Raw Dandelion greens: 24.7g (Just under 1 oz.)
  • Raw Garlic: 34.3g (1.2 oz – make sure you have some mouthwash handy!)Easy Alternative
  • Raw Leek: 51.3 g (1.8 oz)
  • Raw Onion: 69.8g (2.5oz)
  • Cooked Onion: 120g (1/4 pound)
  • Raw Asparagus: 120g (1/4 pound)
  • Raw Wheat bran: 120g (1/4 pound)
  • Wheat flour, baked: 125g (1/4 pound)
  • Raw Banana: 600g (1.3 pounds)

Remember, except where specified, these are RAW foods. You can’t down a bowl of french onion soup, steam up your asparagus or count leeks in your stir-fry at these same levels of prebiotic content.

So even with the world’s richest sources of prebiotics, you must watch carefully that you get enough prebiotics without “overdoing” it on other dietary factors like carbohydrates, sugar, calories, etc… We can’t imagine eating 1/4 pound of wheat flour or over a pound of bananas is a good daily dietary element for anyone – even if it means you’re “getting” your prebiotics!

Some simple math can help you make wise choices: Bananas are 1% prebiotic fiber, 22% sugars… No harm in eating a banana, but not exactly a viable source for getting enough prebiotics.

There’s also simple dietary reality:  we can’t envision someone regularly eating 1/4 pound of cooked onions or raw asparagus on a daily basis.

Now, we realize many folks already eat a low fat, high fiber diet and feel like they should be getting “enough” prebiotics through food alone. But the fact remains, unless you chew on Chicory Root, plate up a Dandelion Green salad or chow down on Jerusalem Artichoke… every day, even a health-conscious diet that’s very plant driven, may not yield enough prebiotics without taking a prebiotic fiber supplement every day.

Prebiotin Prebiotic Fiber

To ensure your body is receiving the physical and mental health benefits of prebiotic fiber, consider supplementing your diet with our full spectrum prebiotic formula. Prebiotin supplements are made from the two most beneficial prebiotics we know of- inulin and oligofructose. These 100% natural, plant-based fibers have been proven by numerous independent studies to stimulate good bacteria growth throughout the entire colon. To learn more about the exciting research related to prebiotics, please visit the Science of Prebiotics section of our website.


Try Prebiotin Today


  1. Daniel beyette says:

    I am interested in prebiotic sand probiotics

  2. dr tahir says:

    What about Gum Arabic (acasia Senegal)?

  3. Roy says:

    Your article makes logical sense BUT I find your conclusion a little hard to accept, and very predictable from a company that sells Prebiotic Supplements – a conveniently self-serving conclusion, wouldn’t you say?

    I’d like to know how it can be that Food Authorities end up recommending prebiotic levels that are effectively unachievable through eating food – and only achievable by taking purchased supplements.

    Surely there must be reasonable ways of getting plenty of prebiotics from the food we eat. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate masses of fibre of various kinds which our modern diets don’t have. What are the alternatives to Chicory, for example? Eating 10g of Chicory root seems achievable, and surely it’s not the only root with such high levels of prebiotic fibre.

    I would love to hear more options for increasing dietary intake of probiotics without supplements. However, given that you’d like us to buy your supplements, you probably don’t want to promote ways for us to get prebiotics by simply eating food… I suspect I’ll need to research elsewhere. Thanks for an interesting article, though.

    Roy – South Africa

  4. Helen hammond says:

    I would like to be advised on cooked food I can and cannot eat to prevent me from getting diarrhoea and stomach cramps as I suffer from diverticulosis.

    • Marian Rutherford says:

      Hello Helen,

      I have diverticulosis too… its a horrible disease and I’m always in so much pain. i can eat one thing one day and it’s fine another time it’s all flared up… really fed up with it. Is there anything that you take that works for you?

      Anyway just wanted to say hello :0)


  5. Peter Rimmer says:

    I believe with diverticulitis avoid seeds that can enter the pouches and ferment not in a good way.Every action always has a reaction and it is our poor lifestyles in general that create these anomalies in our being.I do believe that introducing pure alo-evera into our juices it can assist with the repair of internal inflammation in your intestinal track,just do your research on prepairing and quantity to take,hope this info points you in the right direction.

    • Natalie says:

      The nuts and seed concept is, interestingly, NOT supported by scientific research. There is no evidence based research showing nuts and seeds have a greater or lesser effect on diverticulitis. If eating them makes you feel worse – don’t eat them. But if you have diverticulitis and eating nuts and seeds doesn’t affect you – then by all means, keep eating them.

  6. Avinash says:

    In the above post its mentioned that [Remember, except where specified, these are RAW foods. You can’t down a bowl of french onion soup, steam up your asparagus or count leeks in your stir-fry at these same levels of prebiotic content.]
    Whereas, in the ‘Prebiotics Vs Probiotics’ section the following is mentioned:
    [PREBIOTIC powders are not affected by heat, cold, acid or time.]

    Is it that the prebiotic powder made by prebiotin is not affected by heat, acid, etc?
    What about the prebiotic fibre that’s available in the food? Then why its mentioned that cooked food may not have the same prebiotic contents compared to raw?

  7. Khaled says:


    We noticed that you didn’t mentioned gum Arabic which has the highest prebiotic on Earth which is 8 times more than mother milk !!! In addition
    To the high calcium as well.

    • Diana Clyne says:

      Hi Khaled: Can you send me the source of that information and how it is processed from the tree. We have property that is dense with it and I would like to make it of benefit to people who need it before I am forced to just clear it.

  8. MJD says:

    Although people with diverticulitis may have been told to avoid nuts and seeds to prevent diverticulitis, there doesn’t appear to be any scientific evidence to support this recommendation. — Dr. Andrew Weil

  9. JoAnn says:

    In fact, while visiting the Mayo Clinic, a doctor there had an article stating the opposite regarding the long time recommendation to avoid seeds and nuts.

  10. julie. says:

    What if you juice dandelion greens, does that count??

    • Sherrill says:

      When you juice any fruit or greens, the fibre part ends up in the basket! if you want to eat that separately, somehow, on its own…

  11. Jessica says:

    I have been having alot of problems with my bowels. It has been going on for a little over 3 months. I thought it was going on cause I took energy shots so I stopped taking them. The problem is still there. I still have loose to diarrhea stools like 10 times a day. My appetite really hasn’t stopped and no weight loss.I have sulfar tasting burps and smelly gas and stools like rotten eggs. I’ve been ignoring this for to long and need to seek help. Just seeing if anyone else has had this problem to see what im up against. I also know everyone is different so please keep negative comments to yourself.

  12. Donna says:

    Here is an article on C-diff infections. Hope this helps.

  13. Janis says:

    I had cancer a few years ago and my nutrition counselor recomended adding to my diet, among other things, 2 tablespoon of ground flax seed. I add it to my morning smoothie. The cancer hasn’t come back, but the other happy fact is that my symptoms of diverticulitis also disappeared.

  14. jodi says:

    For gut problems I had to eliminate all dairy , eans, soy even soy sauce, gluten, from my diet for a week. Then one ata time re-I troduce them to find the culprit.

  15. Denee says:

    Responding to Julie and Sherill: There are newer up- to- date juicers that don’t discard the beneficial fibers we need. I for one do not own one but I have heard they have upgraded the newer models. I love smoothies. I eat all my fruits and veggies raw and nothing beneficial is ever taken out. I suggest a powerful blender like Ninja (which I own) or the Montell Williams’ blender for example… Get a really good one. I never use juice. I only use water or my homemade lemonade and a few cubes of ice to ensure it is cold. I have learned that carrots, apples and beets are great natural sweeteners and have less sugar than bananas. But you can judge when and how much bananas your body needs for your health concerns.

  16. Joni says:

    Had diarrhea for 3 weeks. I am type 2 diabetic and usually have good blood sugar control. Recently have not eaten as healthy as usual and triglycerides are up. Dr. Says the intestinal problems are because my blood glucose is too high. I was very surprised, but do feel much better now.

  17. Cynthia says:

    to Jessica-
    It sounds like you may be experiencing ibs, or irritable bowel syndrome. It can come on out of the blue, just as mine did about 2 years ago. I would google it and find out if any of your other symptoms match up. Good luck!

  18. Randy says:

    Great article, very detailed about the pro and prebiotic foods.

    Myself personally, I did suffer with IBS and some painful inflammation in the feet.

    But with a change in the diet, and adding fermented foods, including trace minerals, I was able to change that.

    I also write about nutrition and I am certified in Human Health and Nutrition.

    I used the list of prebiotics in a article I wrote with a link back to your website.

    Health News Library

  19. FirstLast says:

    As of August, 2915, there is a PBS fundraiser show on tv that ties together a lot of the above comments.
    The doctor who is presenting his ideas (can’t remember name) is a neurologist who has come to embrace gut health after years of recognizing that there is a lot more going on in the body, determining health, than what he was taught in medical school.
    I have only seen a few bits of his presentation so far, but to me, it sounds like the best take on eating correctly yet!
    He explains his ideas well, and is easy to listen to: prebiotics, probiotics, fermented foods, and a few more main points I didn’t pay close attention to because I was so excited about the prebiotic part.
    Find a PBS station on TV or online and feast your mind on what he has to say.

  20. Paul Gartlan says:

    If your fermented the artichoke, chicory, garlic and leek would that make the inulin more bio-available and change the RDI?

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