Support Your Gut Health
In order to provide support for digestive function it’s important to have a wide variety of fibre containing foods in the diet. The two main types of dietary fibre are soluble and insoluble. Adults should aim for around 35g of fibre a-day. Although there is no upper limit exceeding 50g per day may lead to discomfort.
Soluble fibre can be digested and increases the water content in the small intestine. It helps to remove cholesterol and soften your stools.
Insoluble fibre, also known as roughage, is indigestible and effectively exfoliates the small intestine as it passes. Soluble fibre helps to bind stools and keep you regular.
|Foods Containing Soluble Fibre||Foods Containing Insoluble Fire|
|Oats||Leafy Green Vegetables|
|Lentils and Pulses||Wholegrains and Bran|
|Seeds and some Nuts||Dried Fruits|
|Fruit Including Pears and Apples||Corn including Popcorn|
Prebiotics are types of fibre which feed the good bacteria in the gut and keep your digestive system and immune function operating at normal levels. It’s a good idea to consume some prebiotic foods daily for this reason, but if you are eating a balanced diet with 5-7 portions of veg and 2-3 portions of fruit this shouldn’t be a problem.
Some common prebiotic foods include:
1. Chicory root
2. Dandelion greens
3. Jerusalem artichoke
5. Onions and other alliums like leeks
7. Bananas and plantain (especially unripe versions)
12. Burdock root
14. Wheat bran
The small intestine is populated by trillions of bacteria which act on fighting against invasion from bad bacteria. Probiotic foods are high in bioactive bacteria which populates the small intestine. They work alongside prebiotics which feed the good bacteria to ensure a well populated microbiome. You can get probiotics from supplements like Udo’s Super 8 and it is advised that a course of high dose probiotics should be taken after having to take an antibiotic medication which kills the bacteria in your small intestine.
However, some foods naturally contain high amounts of probiotic bacteria, here are a few:
1. Fermented vegetables like Sauerkraut or Kimchi
3. Fermented, un pasteurised dairy like yoghurt or kefir
4. Some unpasteurised pickles
5. Kombucha tea
It’s worth noting that if you suffer with IBS type symptoms then it might be that you have an overgrowth of bad bacteria. This can lead to uncomfortable fermentation of dietary fibre which leads to bloating, flatulence and reflux. A gradual increase of fibre is advised but if symptoms persist you may need to seek clinical guidance from a Registered Dietician.