Is your gut flora out of kilter? Nutritionist Kathleen Alleaume shares how to get back in balance with a few tweaks to your eats.
Increase your fibre intake to 30g a day
Like all living organisms, our gut bacteria need fuel to survive — and dietary fibre is their preferred meal choice. A fibre-rich diet, including lots of vegies, fruit, whole grains, nuts and legumes will help support overall gut health.
Fine-tune your fibre
While it’s recommended you eat 30g of fibre each day, not all fibre is created equal. Prebiotics are a type of fibre that pass through the body undigested until they reach the colon. In the colon, prebiotics are fermented into beneficial short-chain fatty acids, which help nourish the growth of ‘friendly’ bacteria that exist naturally in your gut. In the bowel, prebiotics also become an important fuel source for healthy bacteria, helping them to grow in numbers. In other words, prebiotics are food for probiotics.
Aim for diversity
Most importantly, include a diverse array of fibre-rich plant foods, as different foods feed different microbes. Eating a wide range of foods is the best way to cultivate a more varied microbiome. Ideally, aim to eat 30 or more different plant foods every week.
Managing stress is important for many aspects of health, including gut health. Although it’s often easier said than done, minimising stress can help achieve intestinal harmony.
For more advice on gut health, we recommend: 7 signs your gut health is out of balance or Your complete guide to boosting your gut health.