A Guide to Improve Gut Health

gut health

Written by Vicki Ma & Victoria Laios APD

Don’t be grossed out – these little guys living in our stomach are our friends.

Those 1000 little bacteria species in our intestine are just trying to help us out. Why should you care? Believe it or not, these little guys in our stomach can have major impact on our health. New studies are showing that gut bacteria can have an impact on how much weight we might lose (or gain)!  

So now that I have your attention, it’s time to talk about the gut!

Probiotics and prebiotics are important for keeping our gut healthy. A healthy digestive system is the foundation for good health and vitality – this can be achieved by including certain foods into our diet. To avoid any more confusion, what is the difference between probiotics and prebiotics?

  • Probiotics – are the live cultures of good bacteria in our gut. These help change our intestinal bacteria to balance gut health.
  • Prebiotics – are the non-digestible dietary fibres found naturally in food. These help to promote the growth of good bacteria in our large intestine.

How do probiotics and prebiotics improve gut health?

Much research has been undertaken into the health benefits of probiotics and prebiotics. Findings indicate that including probiotic and prebiotic foods into our diet can help improve our digestion and boost the immune system.

Foods high in probiotics and prebiotics

Want to improve your gut health, manage your weight and reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases? The table below provides a list of foods that contain natural sources of probiotics and prebiotics. These foods can be introduced as part of a healthy well-balanced diet.

     PROBIOTICS       PREBIOTICS
·     Yoghurt

·     Kefir

·     Kimchi

·     Sauerkraut

·     Pickles

·     Tempeh

·     Miso seasoning

·     Buttermilk

 

·      Asparagus

·      Beetroot

·      Green peas

·       Leek

·       Lentils/chickpeas

·       Pomegranate

·       Grapefruit

·       Rye bread

·       Barley

Hopefully this has given you some food for thought?….Overall, we are able to modify our diet to ensure that we have a good bacterial profile in our gut. Along with consuming prebiotic and probiotic foods, it is important to have a diet high in fibre and low in saturated fat.

If you would like to know more about how to incorporate these foods into your diet make sure you book an appointment with our Accredited Practicisng Dietitian. Keeping a healthy digestive system is the foundation to good health.

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