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Peel Away the Pounds

Peel Away the Pounds

The benefits of banana prebiotic fibers explored

Have you heard the buzz about prebiotic fibers in food and their benefits?  Prebiotics (such as those found in onions, leeks and bananas) benefit everything from regulating bowel movements, hormone balance, bone health, immune support and so much more!  New research suggests that they can also help your gut and your brain talk better to each other.

As published in Gut Microbiota, researchers at the University of Leipzig Medical Center did an experiment with 59 overweight people. They gave these folks 30 grams of a chicory root fiber called inulin every day for two weeks. They wanted to see if this prebiotic could make changes in the brain when folks thought about food, especially the high-calorie kind. They took pictures of these volunteers' brains while showing them photos of yummy but not-so-healthy foods, and then looked to see what parts of the brain lit up with "I want that!" feelings. They did this before and after giving them the prebiotic and did the same test with a placebo.

Interestingly, after eating inulin, participant’s brains weren't lighting up as much when they saw high-calorie foods, meaning they possibly didn't want them as much. The scientists think that this introduction of helpful gut bacteria could be the reason for that change in appetite for fatty foods.

Of course, all this is just a starting point. Researchers are already planning future studies to check if eating this prebiotic for six months can help folks eat better and maybe even lose weight.

With all that said, here's to a future where our guts and brains might just be the perfect team for taking on those high-calorie temptations!  We’ve pulled some of our favorite banana recipes to get you started: 

Whipped Strawberry Yogurt Dip

Air Fryer Almond Blueberry Banana Muffins

Sweet Dreams (N)ice Cream


Published April 1, 2024

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