5 Ways to Look After Your Gut Health
This blog post was created in partnership with BC30™ through Maverick Mindshare to share how you can nurture your digestive health. As always, I only partner with brands I love and use. Thank you for supporting the partners that keep Tris Alexandra Nutrition + Wellness going!
A healthy gut begins with your gut microbiome - the community of trillions of microorganisms, or bacteria, living in your gut. A healthy gut microbiome is all about the balance between good and bad bacteria, and the diversity of different bacteria families and strains. Good bacteria are vital to keeping the gut healthy as they produce compounds called short-chain fatty acids that nourish the protective gut lining and provide a range of health benefits throughout the body. Nurturing our gut health also supports immune function, as the majority of our immune system is located in the gut.
Think of your gut microbiome like a garden that requires nutrients for it to grow and flourish (good bacteria), and without proper care weeds (bad bacteria) become overgrown. When our gut is nurtured, we feel great, and our health is optimal. Diet and lifestyle play a major role in supporting our gut microbiome, so it thrives.
5 WAYS TO LOOK AFTER YOUR GUT HEALTH
1. FOCUS ON WHOLE FOODS
Whole foods include vegetables, fruit, legumes, wholegrains, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices, and moderate amounts of fish, eggs, poultry and meat, which are nutrient rich and packed with fibre to nourish and support a healthy gut.
2. AIM FOR DIVERSITY
When it comes to gut health, diversity is key! The American Gut Project, a major study, demonstrated that individuals who consume 30 unique plant-foods weekly have more diverse gut bacteria and an increase in the number of bacteria which produce health promoting short-chain fatty acids. The result is a healthier gut.
So, choose a wide variety of wholefoods weekly to give you range of nutrients, fibre, polyphenols (and likely other compounds we don’t even know about yet!) that feed our microbiome and promote diversity.
How do we reach that number without feeling overwhelmed? Next grocery shop, aim to include 1-3 vegetables and fruits you wouldn’t normally pick up. Then continue to do this week after week. Some other simple swaps to increase diversity include swapping almonds (or a single nut variety) for mixed raw nuts; swapping white rice for brown, red or wild rice, or quinoa; swapping spinach for a mixed leaf salad; or swapping chickpeas for a 4 bean mix.
3. FILL UP WITH FIBRE
Fibre is vital for feeding our gut microbiome as well as keeping our bowels regular. The adequate intake for daily fibre in Australia is 25g for women and 30g for men. Unfortunately, most people don’t consume enough fibre (95% of Australian adults don’t eat enough vegetables, where a lot of our fibre comes from). You can easily reach your target by eating a healthy balanced diet filled with a variety of vegetables, fruit, legumes, wholegrains, nuts and seeds. Highest fibre foods include broccoli, cauliflower, chia seeds, rolled oats, raspberries, avocado, chickpeas and apples.
4. INCLUDE PREBIOTICS DAILY
Some forms of fibre are known as prebiotics, which pass undigested into the large intestines to feed and encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Prebiotics foods include onion, garlic, leek, banana, apples, asparagus, artichoke, oats, legumes, barley, green banana flour, and cooked and cooled potatoes and rice.
5. INCLUDE PROBIOTICS DAILY
Probiotics are live microorganisms that provide health benefits when consumed in sufficient quantities and nurture the good bacteria you already have in your gut. There are different types of probiotics, and you likely know them from fermented or cultured foods such as yogurt, or in supplement form. These are known as ‘vegetative probiotics’ and they need to be refrigerated as the live bacteria are fragile and vulnerable to environmental conditions such as heat and digestion.
Another form of unique probiotics is ‘spore-forming probiotics’, which have an outer spore that protects the beneficial live bacteria from damage during digestion and during manufacturing and shelf life. BC30™ is a spore-forming probiotic found in a range of food and beverages in Australia, making it easy to include probiotics into your healthy diet. Because BC30 arrives alive in your gut, it can help by nurturing the good bacteria you already have in your gut to restore digestive health. BC30 is also backed by research, with over 25 published studies on the safety and efficacy in a wide range of populations and age groups. For more on how BC30 can support your gut health, click here.
How can we incorporate BC30 into a healthy diet? Many functional foods and beverages such as teas, snacks, oats, breakfast products, kombucha and more that contain BC30 are widely available in supermarkets, making it easy to fuel your entire day with digestive support. Look for the BC30 logo or check the ingredients for the unique strain of probiotic - Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086.
Always discuss the use of probiotics with your healthcare professional if you have any medical conditions or are pregnant.
You can find out more about BC30 probiotic via their website and social media links below:
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