Healthy Food Guide (Australia) - - FEATURES -

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.

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