THE HYPE ABOUT GUT HEALTH
Have you heard the hype about gut health?
Contributor: Sarah Elder Dietitian
We speak to our in house Nutritionist Sarah Elder about gut health, in which Sarah offers her expert knowledge on gut health, fibre and tips on how we can reach that 30g daily intake of fibre milestone!
Our guts contain a wealth of microbes such as bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites. Each microbe plays a different part in supporting our overall health but we need to feed them and nurture them so that they grow. Microbes produce chemical messengers and send signals to the nervous system, immune system and circulatory system. There’s even some research suggesting that if we take care of our gut it helps to improve our mental health! Living busy lives and not taking care of our gut can result in constipation, bloating and feeling unwell.
WAYS TO IMPROVE GUT HEALTH:
Improving the variety of food we eat helps to improve our gut health. Ensuring we eat regularly and stay hydrated can positively contribute to our gut health. Fibre is the edible part of plants and it is resistant to digestion. It is key in gut health as it is digested by microbes and can be turned into messenger molecules.
HOW MUCH FIBRE SHOULD WE EAT?
It’s suggested that adults in the UK should aim to eat 30g of fibre daily. Foods that are high in fibre contain over 6g of fibre per 100g. Choosing higher fibre foods at meal times will contribute to hitting your daily goal.
FIBRE CONTAINING FOODS:
Fibre containing foods include; wholegrains, oats, linseeds, nuts and seeds as well as fruit and vegetables. Why not swap out your white pasta to an added fibre pasta or wholewheat pasta; basmati rice to wholewheat rice; your cereal to an oat based breakfast and choose snacks that contain fruits, nuts and seeds. This will all help for you to meet your 30g a day.
SO, WHAT ARE THE KEY TAKE HOMES HERE ABOUT GUT HEALTH?
1. Variety is the key – the more types of fibre containing foods in your diet the more diverse your gut will become
2. Choosing higher fibre foods helps you to reach the advised 30g of fibre daily.
3. Look out for foods that say they are high in fibre and choose those over lower fibre foods.
We'll be featuring more hints, tips and advice from Sarah.
Sarah is featuring as part of our Wellness Collective - a series in which we bring together advice and ideas from experts across the industry. Keep an eye out for more features from others.
Note: All information is written for general population and not specific medical conditions. Always consult your doctor or Dietitian before making a change.
Tillisch, Kirsten, Jennifer Labus, Lisa Kilpatrick, Zhiguo Jiang, Jean Stains, Bahar Ebrat, Denis Guyonnet et al. "Consumption of Fermented Milk Product With Probiotic Modulates Brain Activity." Gastroenterology 144, no. 7 (2013): 1394-1401..
Skarupski KA, Tangney CC, Li H, Evans DA, Morris MC. Mediterranean diet and depressive symptoms among older adults over time. J Nutr Health Aging. 2013;17(5):441-5.