GUT HEALTH QUIZ
Whole grains are a favourite food for our gut bacteria
Q AFermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha and yoghurt contain vast amounts of bacteria. Some are also been known to have healing properties. The bacteria in fermented foods can help good bacteria in our gut grow.
Q AIs eating whole grains bad for my gut (and my health)? Whole grains contain fibre and carbs — the favourite food of good gut bacteria. Studies show that eating whole grains and other fibre helps us grow the best mix of gut bacteria. However, if you have a bad mix of gut bacteria and a lot of tummy problems such as bloating, try a low-FODMAP diet which temporarily restricts some grains such as wheat and bran. But before cutting out entire food groups, talk to a dietitian who specialises in IBS.
Q AHow can fermented foods help me (and my gut) feel better? Are windy foods like beans and lentils bad for my gut? No — quite the opposite. Beans and lentils contain important fibres that are a great food source for healthy bacteria. But be careful. It’s best to introduce any new food for bacteria slowly. If you don’t normally include beans and lentils in your diet, start with 1–2 tablespoons every 2–3 days, and build up slowly from there. Got tummy problems already? Some beans and lentils may actually be the cause of your problems if you have an intolerance to certain FODMAP foods. But there are alternatives, such as canned or cooked lentils. Most of the offending FODMAPs leach from the lentils when cooked, so just drain and rinse off the liquid.