Eat these 6 things … for better gut health
Poor gut health can really affect your overall wellbeing, including, it’s now thought, your mental health. Give your gut health a boost by making sure you eat some of these foods on a regular basis.
There’s a plethora of information out there about what to eat and what not to eat. In this age of processed foods and busy lives, improving our gut health is something we can all do – but how do you go about it without changing your whole diet and lifestyle, or buying expensive supplements from the pharmacy? Here are some simple ways to give your microbiome a boost.
Probiotics are fermented foods which contain live cultures. They boost the number and variety of beneficial bacteria in the gut, helping you digest more easily and improving your overall health. While previously the province of adventurous home-fermenters, these products are now all readily available in stores and we have lots of different brands and flavours at Hill Street, many made in Tasmania. Check our dairy cases and fridges for:
· Yoghurt - use unsweetened, full fat versions such as a traditional Greek yoghurt
· Kefir – a fermented yogurt drink which is great in smoothies or on its own
· Miso - a Japanese paste made of fermented soya beans which can be added to dips and soups
· Sauerkraut – a European speciality made with fermented cabbage
· Kimchi – fermented Korean vegetables
· Kombucha – a drink made with fermented tea
Prebiotics are non-digestible foods that assist the activity of beneficial bacteria in the gut – basically they are the ‘food’ for these bacteria. These foods generally have a high level of undigestible fibre which passes through our intestines like a digestive broom, feeding good bacteria on the way. Great sources are:
· Brussels sprouts
· Wheat bran
If you can tolerate wheat and regularly eat bread, switch out your usual bread for sourdough. Sourdough uses a fermented starter and is found to be more digestible than other breads.
4. Olive Oil
Good gut bacteria love olive oil’s acids and polyphenols. Olive oil reduces gut inflammation and is easy to use as a salad dressing or drizzled over roasted vegetables.
5. Roquefort cheese
As if you need further justification to eat this delightful French blue cheese, it has been found that the unique bacteria that create Roquefort are excellent for your microbiome!
Ginger is a stimulant for the intestines and helps keep food moving through. Use it grated fresh in juices, soups, stews and stir fries, or simply with boiling water as a tea.
Finally, avoid sugar and processed foods, which feed bad bacteria and cause them to overpopulate your gut. Incorporate these top 6 foods, and you’ll soon have a thriving microbiome.