Gut Health - Fibre, Prebiotics & Probiotics

Following on from my previous gut health post, as promised I will delve more into the actual food side of things and what you can include in your diet to improve your gut health.

There are 3 different types of fibre: insoluble, soluble and resistant starch.

Think of the insoluble fibre as the skin of an apple – it adds bulk to your stool.

The soluble fibre is the flesh of the apple – it promotes movement through your bowels to keep them working regularly. 

Resistant starch is the newer kid on the block in terms of being known – and does exactly what it’s name suggests – resists digestion. It’s able to make it through the small intestine (without being digested) to the large intestine where bacteria then ferments it – this produces short chain fatty acids which can be absorbed back into the body or used by good bacteria in the colon for energy. 

So where can you get these food sources of fibre from? A good mix of fruit and vegetables in your diet is a good starting point, and where possible keep the skin on for mo insoluble fibre. In terms of resistant starch? – this is found in slightly underripe bananas, cooked and then cooled oats, pasta & rice, as well as green banana flour (just to name a few options). 

Then we get to probiotics – these guys are your good gut bacteria, but in order to work efficiently need to be fuelled by prebiotics. 

The best source of probiotics comes from yoghurt, but is also found in kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir and miso. Getting some of these foods in your diet should help to improve your gut health. 

Prebiotic foods to keep the probiotic guys happy include artichokes, garlic, onion, leeks, asparagus, bananas, oats, barley, apples.

So as you can see by getting a mix of fruits, vegetables and grains in your diet you’ll definitely be helping to keep your gut happy