The Human Gut
What is Leaky Gut?
What causes Leaky Gut?
5 foods that can help you overcome leaky gut:
- Fermented foods like yoghurt: Yoghourt and other fermented foods are rich in probiotics, including plain yoghurt, raw sauerkraut, Greek yoghurt, and kefir. Live germs called probiotics work to maintain a balanced population of beneficial bacteria. Their intake has been linked to a wide range of health benefits.Hence, such foods are some of the best foods for the gut.
- Leftover potatoes: No, we are not joking. The humble potato deserves a lot more credit than it gets. The process of roasting and cooling potatoes modifies the structure of the carbohydrates in them, converting them into a form that is known as resistant starch. This starch passes through the small intestine into the colon in undigested form, serving as one of the preferred foods for gut bacteria. When the gut bacteria feed on the resistant starch, they produce butyrate. This is not a term that we are familiar with. Butyrate is a fatty acid that can strengthen gut walls and might even be able to slow down the growth of tumours in the colon. Research has proved that resistant starch can be useful for losing weight and reducing the risk of diabetes. Ideally, about one medium sized potato which is roasted and then cooled can provide about 20 g of resistant starch which should be consumed on a daily basis.
- Green bananas: Another food which is high in resistant starch is green bananas. Up to 38 g of resistant starch may be found in a medium-sized green banana. In the event that you prefer yellow bananas, you still will get at least 5 g of resistant starch. Bananas are also an excellent source of soluble fibre.
- Fruits: Fruits which are high in fibre serve as the easiest way to maintain a favourable pH balance in the colon. The colon needs to be slightly acidic to support good bacteria and to prevent harmful bacteria from thriving. For optimal gut health, the colon’s pH should be between 6.7 and 6.9.. Fruits like raspberries, pears, apples, kiwis and blueberries are all rich in fibre. The skin of pears is particularly beneficial as it has three to four times as much phytonutrients as the flesh. Phytonutrients include antioxidants, anti-inflammatory flavonoids and cancer fighting phytonutrients like cinnamic acids. Eating apples not only increases fibre intake but also has an effect on the numbers of two bacteria (clostridiales and bacteroides) in the large intestine. Both these bacteria play a key role in metabolism or the rate at which food is converted into energy. The fibre in kiwi binds with toxins in the colon and removes them thus reducing the risk of colon cancer. Kiwis are low in fat but rich in nutrients making them another good fruit to consume. Prebiotics like bifidobacteria found in large quantities in blueberries help to promote intestinal health.
- Mushrooms: Mushrooms are edible fungi which have a number of prebiotic components like α and beta β-glucans, chitin, mannans, galactans, xylans and hemicellulose. Mushroom polysaccharides act as prebiotics, feeding the beneficial gut microbes. This in turn creates nutrients like vitamin K and SCFA (short chain fatty acids) which can repair the cells of the intestinal walls. Researchers from Hong Kong and China conducted a study in which they found that mushrooms can contribute to our immunity against tumours, atherosclerosis and pneumococcal pneumonia. Even simple white button mushrooms can increase microbial diversity and change the composition of the gut flora while stimulating local inflammatory response. Mushrooms are also known for their anti-cancer, anti-allergy and cholesterol-lowering attributes. The foods mentioned above like mushrooms, fermented foods, green bananas, potatoes and fruits are some of the best foods for the gut. Just like there are foods for gut health, there are a number of foods that we need to avoid or restrict in order to improve our gut health. They include sugar, gluten and processed foods which can contain a high amount of additives and preservatives. Don’t resort to trial and error in figuring out what foods might work best for gut health. A Bione Gut Microbiome test can give you an overview of your gut microbiome and help identify foods that you need to decrease, limit and increase to help improve your gut health. What is effective for one individual may not be effective for another. Getting an idea about your unique gut microbiome is the first step to restoring gut health. If you have been experiencing any symptoms that point to leaky gut like digestive issues, joint pain, migraines, skin breakouts or chronic fatigue, it could be your body’s way of telling you that it is time for a gut check.