With the influx of trendy foods, drinks and supplements that promise to improve gut health (think fermented foods, kombucha and probiotics), looking after your microbiome is all the rage. But why exactly does gut health matter and what does the science say about how to improve it?
At least half of Australians experience poor gut health, which we know is similar to the rest of the world – especially America and the UK. And, poor gut health is proven to be linked to obesity. A new CSIRO report, Gut Health and Weight Loss, concluded that the overweight and obese population are more likely to suffer from symptoms of poor gut health due to bad diets that can alter the sensitive bacteria in the gut. The unfortunate symptoms include; bloating, heartburn, abdominal pain and excessive fullness.
In good news however, you don’t need to follow the latest (and expensive) food and drink trends to improve your gut health. The CSIRO report highlights the scientific evidence of combining high protein, low GI carbohydrates and good old dietary fibre for a healthier gut, and successful weight loss.
So why is fibre so great? In addition to being great for bowel health, research shows that fibre from healthy sources can also help to lower cholesterol and improve blood sugar levels. And, resistant starch (a type of fibre) is great for stimulating a feeling of fullness, otherwise known as satiety, which encourages a lower food intake.
Despite these benefits, nearly 4 in 5 Australians fail to meet the recommended amount of daily fibre – and most of us are falling short by at least 30%.
Unsure about the health of your gut? The CSIRO has released a gut health calculator for a quick gut health check, as well as a new 12-week diet plan as part of the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet focussing on replenishing the gut. Head here to check it out.