The gut microbiome (or the universe of bugs living inside your gut) has become a hot topic in nutrition. Recently, dietitian Joanna MacMillan hosted the Gut Revolution, a 2 part series on ABC's Catalyst program, about this very same topic. Gut bacteria have been linked to a variety of health problems including depression, diabetes, heart disease, gut health and weight loss. So its no small wonder that this topic is creating a lot of interest. Having a healthy colony of bacteria living inside our gut will have benefits for our overall health and wellbeing.
So the milllion dollar question is what foods can help us to maintain a healthy gut microbiome?
The first step is to aim for a high fibre diet. the problem with the typical Australian diet is that it is far too low in fibre. The average Aussie is eating only 1/3 of the daily RDI. The good news is increasing fibre is not hard and the RDI of 30g per day can easily be reached. Hee are my tips to boost your fibre intake:
- Start the day with a high fibre breakfast cereal. My favourites are rolled oats, natural muesli, All Bran, Guardian,
- Pack a lunh based on a good quality wholegrain bread such as Burgen, Tip Top 9 Grain, Baker's Delight Cape Seed
- Snack on 2 serves of fruit over the day
- Add a handful of nuts & seeds
- Include 1-2 serves of vegetables at lunch and another 3 serves at dinner
- Don't forget to incorporate legumes into your meals 3 times a week. Some simple ideas:
- Add a tin of lentils into a mince dish such as shepherd's pie, spaghetti or lasagne
- Include a serve of 4 beans in your lunch time salad
- Warm a tin of baked beans and serve with toast to enjoy a easy midweek dinner or weekend cooked breakfast
- Mash a tin of rinsed butter beans and serve as an alternative to mashed potato
- Puree a tin of chickpeas, add lemon juice, garlic and a dollop of tahini for a homemade hummus