What is Gut Health?
With the growing market for Gut boosting foods such as Kimchi and Sauerkraut, it seems clear that taking care of our guts is becoming more popular than ever but What is Gut Health?
There are trillions of bacteria in our gut, so many that we can almost consider our gut itself to be a mini eco-system. So why is it important and are there easy ways we can improve our general health through our guts?
Prebiotics and Probiotics: What is Gut Health?
Probiotics and prebiotics are both pretty big topics in nutrition these days. Even though they sound similar, the two play different roles for your health. For example, probiotics are good bacteria, while prebiotics are food for these bacteria. Both prebiotics and probiotics are important for human health. But, they play different roles:
- Probiotics: These are live bacteria found in certain foods or supplements. They can provide numerous health benefits.
- Prebiotics: These substances come from types of carbs (mainly fibre) that humans can’t digest. The beneficial bacteria in your gut eat this fiber.
Why is Gut Health so important?
While research is still emerging, it now seems like our gut health may play a vital role in our overall health. In short, our gut bacteria is now linked to conditions such as IBS, mental health issues, obesity and overall mood. We know that bad gut health can be genetic, but a poor diet including alcohol or a fatty junk food diet doesn’t help either. In addition, having food intolerances can also affect gut health, as well as stress and certain medications. However, there are ways to give your gut a boost.
Tips for a Healthy Gut: What is Gut Health?
Ditch Processed Foods:
Processed foods can contain ingredients that suppress the good bacteria in our gut. Therefore, eating a healthy balanced diet filled with fruit and vegetables can result in optimal gut health.
Prebiotics for Gut Health:
Prebiotics act as a food in the gut, promoting the growth of the ‘good’ bacteria. Prebiotics are naturally found in some vegetables such as asparagus, leeks, onions, and cabbage. Eating balanced amounts of both pro- and prebiotics can help ensure that you have the right balance of these bacteria, which should improve your health.
Probiotics for Gut Health:
Rapidly increasing in popularity, natural probiotics such as Kefir, Kombucha, Kimchi, and natural yogurt have a positive effect on gut health. By increasing the good bacteria, they reduce the amount of ‘bad’ bacteria that can cause disease.
Recovering after Antibiotics:
Antibiotics can harm the ‘good’ bacteria in our stomach, so if you must take an antibiotic, be sure to eat a diet filled with gut boosting foods like greek yogurt, after to repair any damage. Taking probiotics during antibiotic treatment can reduce the risk of diarrhea, although the two should be taken a few hours apart. Probiotics can also help restore the gut bacteria after antibiotics.
Avoid Artificial Sweeteners:
Although there is still no major evidence, it has been suggested that artificial sweeteners can have a negative impact on gut health. There is little evidence to say that we should completely avoid them, but it is worthwhile being mindful of our consumption of these sweeteners due to this emerging evidence.
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Business Development Manager
Annie is our Business Development Manager here at GourmetFuel. Annie completed her Bachelor’s degree in Food Innovation at the Technology University of Dublin. Before joining the team at GourmetFuel, she worked for a successful start-up company based in New York City where she gained valuable experience in product development, food safety, and allergen management and control. Her areas of interest are food business sustainability, health promotion, and nutrition research.
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