Have you often wondered why some people can eat whatever they want and not put on weight while others just have to look at food and put on a kg? Well, it may be due to your Gut Bacteria. Researchers at the University of Sydney have discovered that obese people have a characteristically different Gut microbiota to those who are lean, and faeces are made up largely of gut microbes. If you look at the poo of lean versus obese people, the calories and bacteria present in the poo are different in those who are obese.
Did you know that you have over 1.5kg bacteria living within your gut? The recent Catalyst programs – “Gut Reaction” aired on the ABC has created a lot conversation among my clients over the past 6 months. Most are interested in what foods to eat to increase the good Bacteria within the Gut to prevent and assist with a whole range of disease conditions including: Obesity, IBS, Cancer, Heart Disease, Diabetes, Asthma, Allergies, Intolerances, and Arthritis. So what is resistant starch and what foods contain this superfood fibre for your Gut bacteria?
Typically our modern, highly processed, refined diet is low in fibre even more so if you are also following a high protein/low carbohydrate or high fat/low carbohydrate diet. The recommend daily amount of fibre we should be eating is 25-30g per day however, on average, most Australians only eat approx. 7g per day. Research is now showing that our low fibre diet is responsible for many chronic diseases that are causing Obesity, chronic inflammation, Ill health and poor immune function in the western world.
The food choices that you make can significantly influence the type of bacteria you have. Simply put if you eat good food you end up with good bacteria. Eat bad food = Bad bacteria. So what foods encourage the growth of good bacteria and help to prevent chronic disease and illness? The answer is foods that are not only high in fibre but also contain resistant starch.
These foods include:
Legumes, pulses, grains Eg: lentils, chickpeas, and kidney beans, Rye, Barley.
Cooked and cooled potato and rice: The cooling turns digestible starch into resistant starch
Prebiotic Supplements such as Benifibre – Fibresure
Fermented foods: Sauerkraut, Kefir
These foods improve your gut flora by feeding the healthy gut bacteria and in doing so encouraging their growth. So, if you are not already, start incorporating more of these foods into your diet. A word of warning though start slowly, your digestive system may not cope well with a large increase in fibre quickly and it will let you know!
About the Author
Kelley Bright is a highly credentialed health and fitness expert who holds a Masters degree in Nutrition/Dietetics, Bachelors degree in Exercise Science and a Diploma of Naturopathy.
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