Top up your gut health
Your gut holds a surprising number of keys to your health. A flurry of recent research shows a range of exciting benefits of treating your gut well as well as a number of claims that are yet to be substantiated (which we don’t touch on here).
We’ve done a sweep of the latest news to show you the evidence-backed ways to radiate good health with the simple benefits of prebiotics and probiotics.
What are probiotics and prebiotics?
Probiotics are the good bacteria in the gut. Prebiotics are what feed that good bacteria.
What are some common probiotics?
Probiotics are fermented foods with live cultures. The experts recommend the following as good sources of probiotics:
- Pickles and sauerkraut
- Kimchi, the Korean spicy side
- Miso, the Japanese fermented soybean paste used in soups and other dishes
- Kefir, a fermented milk
- Tempeh, an Indonesian fermented soybean patty
(Capela, 2014) (Irwin, 2018) (Palsdottir, 2018)
What are some common prebiotics?
Prebiotics are high dietary fibre foods such as:
- Wheat bran cereal
- Whole oats
- Fruit like bananas
- Greens like asparagus, artichokes & chicory
- Onions & garlic
- Pearl barley
(Irwin, 2018) (Watson, 2017) (Zeratsky, 2020)
Benefits of improving your gut health
- Reduces your risk of depression
- Improves symptoms of IBS and constipation
- Reduces inflammation
- Boosts immune system
- Reduces infectious and inflammatory diseases
- Reduces type 2 diabetes risk if you eat yoghurt
(Capela, 2014) (Irwin, 2018) (Noone, 2019)
You might already get enough of those fibre-loaded prebiotics in a balanced, healthy diet. If not, the latest research is a timely reminder that old-fashioned grains and other sources of fibre are winners that you can’t ignore for a healthy gut.
Rarer and more obscure probiotics are worth making an effort for to sneak into your regular diet. Eating yoghurt regularly might be the easiest way to treat your gut and earn yourself some handy health benefits.
- Capela, P. a. G.-E. C., 2014. The Conversation. [Online]
Available at: https://theconversation.com/health-check-whats-your-gut-feeling-about-probiotics-22706
- Irwin, C. V. C. a. K. S., 2018. The Conversation. [Online]
Available at: https://theconversation.com/health-check-should-healthy-people-take-probiotic-supplements-95861
- Moon, L., 2020. SBS. [Online]
Available at: https://www.sbs.com.au/food/article/2020/03/13/science-suggests-prebiotic-foods-might-help-you-sleep
- Noone, Y., 2019. SBS. [Online]
Available at: https://www.sbs.com.au/food/article/2019/02/27/dr-michael-mosleys-reset-why-our-bodies-minds-and-guts-are-what-we-eat?cid=inbody:science-suggests-prebiotic-foods-might-help-you-sleep
- Palsdottir, H., 2018. Healthline. [Online]
Available at: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-super-healthy-probiotic-foods
- Watson, K., 2017. Healthline. [Online]
Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/prebiotics-vs-probiotics
- Zeratsky, K., 2020. Mayo Clinic. [Online]
Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/expert-answers/probiotics/faq-20058065#:~:text=Probiotics%20are%20in%20foods%20such,and%20available%20as%20dietary%20supplements.