What constitutes a healthy gut diet?
The bacteria in our intestines are important for our health. There are foods which can promote the intestinal flora and foods which do not or might even be harmful.
The following nutrients might support your intestinal flora:
Dietary fibre is divided into water-soluble and insoluble forms. The soluble form of dietary fibre is found primarily in legumes such as beans, peas or soya, in fruit such as apricots, blackberries and prunes, vegetables, oat bran and barley. The insoluble form of dietary fibre is found primarily in wholemeal products, vegetables such as carrots and tomatoes, fruits like apples and bananas, nuts and seeds. Insoluble dietary fibre does not dissolve in water.
A healthy mixture of both is recommended, as they serve as “food“ to the intestinal bacteria and thus support them.
Prebiotics are a type of fibre - non-digestible, carbohydrate food components. They serve the intestinal bacteria as food and thus help to maintain healthy intestinal flora. Good prebiotic food sources are for example raw chicory, artichoke, bananas and fibre-rich foods such as rye.
In contrast to prebiotics, probiotics are living microorganisms. They help process the food through your gut. In experimental studies, some probiotics showed potential in regulating the pain sensation of intestinal nerves of IBS patients.
Researchers are still trying to figure out which ones are best for certain health issues, but first results are promising: “Lactobacillus”, which is found in yoghurt and other fermented foods, may help with diarrhoea – and “Bifidobacterium”, found in dairy products, may help ease the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and some other conditions.