Jo Travers, Love Your Gut Dietician, has put together her top food picks, full of gut-loving bacteria, fibre and prebiotics, so you can enjoy them knowing you are giving your gut the right foods to keep it happy.
Beans, legumes and pulses are high in plant compounds called oligosaccharides, which feed the bifidobacteria strains. These bacteria have been associated with a healthy immune system and improvement in symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Yoghurt contains living lactic acid bacteria that produce enzyme lactase and can help people with lactose intolerance to digest dairy foods. There’s even some research indicating that some lactobacillus strains may reduce the likelihood of getting a cold.
Tempeh is made from fermented soy beans. As well as containing lots of bacteria, it’s also a great source of fibre. A further bonus is that soy has been shown to have some anti-inflammatory properties so may help reduce inflammation in the gut.
Linseeds are high in both soluble and insoluble fibre so great for preventing constipation. Insoluble fibre absorbs water making the stool softer and soluble fibre forms a gel with water making everything move more easily through the bowel.
Bacteria in our gut ferment the fibre and polyphenols in cocoa, which creates new compounds that have been found to be good for our heart as well as our gut and may even improve insulin sensitivity.