As we reach the mid point in our annual calendar we're becoming increasingly aware of how much live cultures and friendly bacteria are taking the stage, front and centre, across all platforms. Even the newly appointed Duchess of Sussex (Meghan Markle) has been known to preach the benefits of friendly bacteria when travelling. Gut health, the microbiome and the gut brain axis are just a few of the buzzwords making the rounds. We're so chuffed to see a surge in interest around live cultures and how they work in the gut. But did you know that you may also be able to improve gut health through some simple changes to your diet too?

Interestingly, of the cells in our body, only 10 percent of these are human! Did you know that the remaining 90 percent of our cells aren't actually human cells, and since our diet influences our whole body, we really are what we eat. Don't fret - you can completely revamp your gut flora in only 24 hours!1

Below, we've listed 5 easy, interesting and outright surprising ways you may be able to improve your gut health:


1. Kefir
Kefir is a fermented food similar in consistency to yogurt but is more of a drink2, it's made by mixing milk with kerfir 'grains'. Over time, the tiny collections of yeast and bacteria in the kefir ferment the milk, producing a slightly sharp tasting drink bursting with live cultures. Kerfir is a nutritious cultured drink which is a great substitute to milk or yoghurt and has been known to relieve intenstinal problems in some. Why not give this a try for breakfast? Kefir is increasingly available in supermarkets nationwide, so keep your eyes peeled the next time you're in the chilled aisle!


2. Green Bananas

Most people would avoid green bananas at all costs, me included. Some people even put their bananas on the radiator in order to ripen them at a quicker pace! But, I'm about to throw a spanner in the works! Did you know that green bananas actually contain more prebiotics than their yellow counterparts3? They're also a great source of fibre, vitamins and minerals and all this together provides a fantastic feeding ground for good bacteria. Next time you're in the supermarket, you might want to give these a second chance - it could do your gut some good.


3. Polenta

If you love Italian food, and let's face it - most of us do, then you've probably tried polenta
4, and if you haven't... you should! It's a delicious corn based dish, similar in consistency and texture to mash potato. I especially love it with meatballs and it's a great winter warmer! Interestingly, polenta also contains insoluble fibre5, which has been known to actively encourage fermentation in the gut allowing food to easily pass through your body. What a yummy way to sustain your gut flora!


4. Green Veg!Green veg is well known for being healthy and with a surge in super green smoothies, smoothie bowls and super powders there's never been a better time to go green. Green veg such as kale, purple sprouting brocolli, spinach and asparagus are thought to be a fresh and tasty way to give your gut a bit of push in the right direction as well as a great source of iron6.

Green veg is thought to help digestion, support your gut against bloating and assist with regularity. Not only this, but green veg is also a great way to detox your body7.




5. Ginger
Did you know ginger is one of the healthiest spices on the planet? It has been used for its healing properties for generations in many different cultures all around the world. Ginger is thought to help relieve symptoms associated with IBS9, constipation, bloating and diarrhoea. This is because the spice actually helps to relax your intestines during flair ups. Not only does it help to alleviate the symptoms but is also lines the inside of your gut wall to protect it from any further mishaps. Pretty cool right? Next time you're feeling like a bit of a pick me up why not try some ginger with some lemon and a bit of honey in a homemade tea?

Why not try mixing up your diet with a few of these delicious meals? And do let us know how you get on - we'd love to hear about it!

Enjoyed this blog, have a read of some of our others below:


References:
  1. http://www.pcrm.org/media/online/sept2014/seven-foods-to-supercharge-your-gut-bacteria
  2. https://www.rd.com/health/wellness/probiotic-foods-gut-bacteria/
  3. https://www.rd.com/health/wellness/probiotic-foods-gut-bacteria/
  4. https://www.activebeat.com/diet-nutrition/8-good-for-your-gut-foods/5/
  5. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319798.php
  6. http://www.onegreenplanet.org/natural-health/green-foods-good-for-the-gut/
  7. https://www.womenshealthmag.com/food/a20052507/16-detoxing-cleanse-foods-0/
  8. https://www.guthealthproject.com/5-ways-ginger-benefits-digestion/

Comments

  • Thank you for sharing this information. This blog is really helpful. Diet is the best way on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

  • Response from OptiBac Probiotics

    Hi Stephanie,

    Thanks for your comment - we really appreciate your feedback.

    Kind regards,

    Naomi


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