There has been lots of discussion around the role of gut bacteria (aka the microbiome) in weight management along with immunity and the development of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and even certain cancers. So how do you nourish your gut to grow good gut bugs?
Include pre-biotic foods daily – pre-biotic foods include those with loads of dietary fibre and specifically onion, garlic, leeks, asparagus, oats, barley, apples, cocoa, flax seeds and bananas. Pre-biotic foods encourage the growth of a healthy gut microbiome.
Avoid antibiotics unless essential (under the guidance of your GP) – in the past, antibiotics were used more freely in the treatment/management of many infections given their risk was presumed to be low but unfortunately now it is believed that antibiotic treatment in childhood and adolescence can result in permanent damage to the gut microbiome.
Variety is key – choosing a diet with a wide variety of plant-based foods is the most important thing you can do to increase the diversity of the gut microbiome. These good gut bacteria are essential for the production of vitamin K and also short-chain fatty acids which nourish our colon cells and can reduce the risk of certain cancers.
At Be Fit Food, we will never compromise on the ingredients in our food and we believe it is essential to have as many plant-based foods in your diet as possible each day. We include a minimum of four to 12 vegetables in every meal to ensure your gut bacteria is well nourished and flourishes to increase the chance of successful, long-term weight management. Use the code ‘microbiome20’ in-store or online for $20 off your next order (expires May 1).
Kate Save is an accredited practising dietitian, exercise physiologist and co-director of Be Fit Food in Mornington. For more info go to befitfood.com.au or phone 1300 2 MEALS (1300 263 257)