Life Health & Wellbeing

Wednesday 20 March 2019

Five top foods for good gut health, according to British dietitian Jo Travers

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The health of our gut affects almost every aspect of our mind and body, from our mood and immune system, to digestive health and comfort, according to dietitian Jo Travers.

She has shared her top five foods for good gut health in honour of Love Your Gut Week which began yesterday.

The health professional advises gut-loving bacteria, fibre and prebiotics to keep the gut health.

“A prebiotic is compound contained in foods, such as galactooligosaccharides (GOS) and inulin, that feeds the bacteria living in our guts. If we feed the bacteria well it will thrive and keep us healthy by managing our immune system, reducing inflammation and helping us absorb vitamins,” she explained.

1. Beans

Beans, legumes and pulses are high in plant compounds called oligosaccharides which feed the Bifidobacteria strains. These bacteria have been associated with a healthy immune system and improvement in symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

2. Live yoghurt

There’s some research indicating that some Lactobacillus strains may reduce the likelihood of getting a cold.

3. Tempeh

Tempeh is made from soy beans that are fermented. As well as containing lots of bacteria, it’s also a great source of fibre. A further bonus is that soy has been shown to have some anti-inflammatory properties so may help reduce inflammation in the gut .

4. Linseeds (flaxseeds)

Linseeds are high in both soluble and insoluble fibre so great for preventing constipation. Insoluble fibre absorbs water making the stool softer and soluble fibre forms a gel with water making everything move more easily through the bowel.

5. Dark chocolate

Bacteria in our gut ferment the fibre and polyphenols in cocoa which creates new compounds that have been found to be good for our heart as well as our gut, and may even improve insulin sensitivity.

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