Written by: Hadas Yariv (M Sc, MBA), food technician and nutrition expert.
What are prebiotic fibers?
Prebiotic fibers are short-chained sugars known as soluble dietary fibers. These fibers are not broken-down by the small intestine enzymes but undergo fermentation by intestine bacteria. The prebiotic fibers are vital to our health because in the fermentation process short-chained fatty acids (acetic, propionic, butyric), are produced, which increases the activity of the “good bacteria”, the probiotic bacteria.
What is “good bacteria”?
Our body populates about a trillion bacteria, mostly in the digestive system. Some of them are friendly and some harmful. The group of useful or “good” bacteria is called probiotic (bifidobacteria and lactobacilli). The activity and quantity of the “good bacteria” have a major influence on the digestive system’s health and the daily function of the body in health and sickness: they protect from harmful bacteria, help with food break-down and digestion, and produce vital vitamins and fatty acids that nourish the large intestine cells. Consumption of certain foods can cause meaningful changes in the bacterial composition in the intestine and increase specifically the group of “good bacteria”
How do prebiotic fibers contribute to our health?
Prebiotic fibers have vital contribution to the intestine’s health and general good feeling:
- Increase the activity and multiplication of “good bacteria”.
- Assist with regulating the digestive system’s activity.
- Lower PH levels, thus contributing to the strengthening of the immune system.
- Help balance blood sugar and fat levels.
- Improve the calcium and magnesium absorption in the body.
Which factors encourage growth of the “good bacteria” in the intestine?
The bacteria population in our digestive system is affected by our age, health and the food we consume. This population can undergo changes as a result of wrong nutrition, medicine, disease or exposure to environmental pollution. One of the ways to keep the balance of “good bacteria” is to increase their activity is through prebiotics: eating food or food additives containing prebiotic fibers.
Which food can prebiotic fibers be found in?
Soluble prebiotic fibers are found in fruit and vegetables such as banana, chicory root, onion, garlic, leek, oatmeal, wheat and asparagus. Prebiotics from the olligusacharrides group like inulin and guar gum are integrated into functional foods to increase their nutritional value: in bread, yogurt, morning cereal, baby food and more.
Which dietary fibers can be found in Berman Active?
Three servings (about 100 g) of Berman Active contain 11.4 g dietary fibers, of which 3 g soluble prebiotic fibers. The prebiotic fibers are inulin type, a soluble dietary fiber with a delicate sweetness produced from chicory root. The rest of the fibers are from the wheat flour the bread is made of- 100% whole wheat flour.
Learn more about Berman Active here>
What is the recommended daily dietary fiber consumption?
The daily recommendation for consumption of dietary fibers includes soluble and insoluble fibers and changes according to groups of age and sex. The recommended daily amount of fibers for adults ranges between 25 g for women and 38 for men. Studies on the subject of soluble fibers recommend 9 g a day of these fibers.
Three slices of Berman Active Bread contain 3 g of soluble fibers, and provide about 33% of the daily recommended consumption of these fibers. The total amount of fibers in three pieces of bread is 11.4 g which constitutes about 46% of the daily recommended consumption for women and 30% for men.
The dietary recommendation of experts, including the FDA, is to consume three whole grain servings per day. For example: one piece of whole wheat bread or two pieces of light bread are considered as one serving of whole grains.
* According to the ministry of health’s nutrition tables.
** Based on scientific studies.