A healthier gut, truly means a healthier you. Did you know that your digestive tract is home to trillions of bacteria, collectively called your gut microbiota, that helps keep you well?
CDHF’s executive Director Kelsey Cheyne and Angie Campanelli discuss on CTV Ottawa:
Your gut bacteria contributes to your overall health. When you have a healthy gut, digestion works smoothly. A healthy gut may also contribute to your overall health and wellbeing by strengthening immunity, protecting you from harmful organisms, and influencing hormones, energy level, and mood! What we eat is one of the fastest and easiest ways to influence the gut microbiota.
While there is still more research to do, there are a few things we can confidently recommend to promote digestive health. Enjoy an overall healthy diet with a variety of gut-friendly foods such as:
- Probiotics may come in pill or powder form, but can also be found in certain foods. When taken in the right amounts, they improve certain aspects of our health. They can help us digest fibre, maintain health, and help manage certain digestive conditions.
- High-Fibre foods
- Many of us do not get enough of fibre in our diet (25-38 grams a day). Prebiotic fibres are found in plant-based foods such as plant-based protein, legumes, nuts and seeds, whole grains and vegetables. Fill up half your plate with vegetables at lunch and dinner each day, and choose whole grains rather than white grains!
- Fermented Foods
- Fermentation is the process that turns milk into cheese and yogurt. Naturally occurring microbes found in kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt, and kefir can increase the diversity of healthy bacteria in your gut, lower body weight, and improve blood pressure.
- Whole foods
- Vegetables and fruits provide fibre to feed your gut microbiota. Focusing more on whole foods provides your gut microbiota what it needs, and keeps your body healthy too.
Some healthy snack ideas that are family friendly include:
- Fibring up with oatmeal, honey, and fruit (add some flax seed for extra fibre!)
- Black Diamond® Cheestrings® Probiotic – a CDHF certified product, and the only Canadian cheese with 1 billion active probiotics per 21g serving.
- Roasted chickpeas
- Air popped popcorn
- Peanut butter & a banana or peanut butter and an apple
- Pre-portioned nuts or make your own trail mix!
- Fruit like berries, or grab and go like oranges and apples
- Veggies like broccoli, carrots and hummus
- Whole grain pita and guacamole
- Angie Campanelli’s Overnight Oats
Get creative with overnight oats to support your gut health!
- Combine nuts, seeds, fresh fruit and dried, unsweetened fruits in a jar with large flaked oats.
- Add in cinnamon to stabilize blood sugar, chia seeds to boost fibre and a dash of honey for a natural sweetener.
- Then, mix with your choice of non-dairy milk (usually the same quantity of milk to oats but you can adjust depending on how wet you like your oats) and soak for a minimum of 4 hours.
They make an excellent snack and can last stored in the fridge for up to three days. You can make smaller portions for snacks and larger portions for a delicious breakfast. Mix up various combinations of nuts, seeds and fruits to vary your vitamins and nutrients each day.