It is a very trendy topic and more studies are coming out linking it to everything from mental happiness to the glow of your skin – we’re talking about gut health. Basically, it is all about the good and bad bacteria that lives in your digestive tract. We used to think that the sole purpose of this ecosystem was to break down food and absorb the nutrients, but it has now been linked to improving one’s metabolism, risk of cancer, inflammation, skin and mental happiness.
Take a look at 3 easy-to-find foods that you can eat to promote a healthy gut.
While Fibre is not a probiotic, it is good food source that feeds the probiotics (good bacteria). Studies show that most of us eat insufficient amounts of fibre. The recommended daily allowance is 30 grams, and there is no problem with exceeding that.
Fibre also help prevents constipation and illness of the gut such as inflammation of the intestine and colon cancer.
High fibre foods include:
- Grains and legumes: A great way to add more fibre and flavour variety into your food is move to whole wheat pasta, brown rice and to add items like barley or lentils to your rice or stir fries.
- Peas and beans: Add the right flavours and beans can be delicious! Think Mexican flavours like cumin and coriander to spice it up.
- Potatoes with the skin. Baked potatoes or oven-baked wedges.
Fresh vegetables -especially broccoli and cabbage
2. Fermented foods:
Fermented foods introduce good bacteria into your gut leave no space for the bad kinds of bacteria to flourish. We are getting less and less of these live cultures as we now have such easy access to fresh veg, refrigerators and refined foods. In days gone by, people would use fermentation as a means of preserving food. Fermentation actually adds extra nutrients to the ingredients!
Maas and yoghurt are the best examples of foods filled with live cultures. Fermentation lives on in foods such as Sauerkraut, the more widely-known German fermented cabbage and the more recent, and very trendy Kimchi, a Japanese version of Sauerkraut with a spicy kick. Kombucha, a fermented fruity, fizzy tea drink is also an easy and fun way to drink in your probiotics.
The great news is that cabbage is an all year round very affordable vegetable. Find some recipes on our site to make them in your own home, or look out for the Food Lover’s branded Sauerkraut or locally brewed Kombucha on our shelves.
To learn more: Take a look at this article from Monique Piderit – a leading South African dietary expert on Gut Health.