Lifestyle

OPINION: Snack on whole foods to boost good gut bacteria

OPINION: By now, we have all heard about gut bacteria and their loose classification into the "good" and the "bad".

But what if these little guys could have a colossal impact on a multitude of areas in health and disease?

We spoke to Professor Matt Cooper, from The Institute of Molecular Science at The University of Queensland, who appeared on ABC's Catalyst program a few months ago, to discuss some of his findings in this new field.

"When we eat a high-fibre diet, rich in soluble fibre that the body can use, such as apples, blueberries, lentils, legumes, raw celery, raw carrot, for example, this feeds our good gut bacteria," he said.

The more food provided for good gut bacteria to eat (also known as prebiotics), the more they proliferate and outweigh the number of bad bacteria present.

They then manufacture short chain fatty acids, such as acetate, which dampens down inflammation.

Inflammation is now recognised as underlying every main health disorder.

"Interestingly, during the 1970s when processed foods, for example breads, biscuits, fast food, confectionary and junk food, were introduced to the Western world, so too was the acceleration of many inflammatory diseases," Prof Cooper said.

What changed? Our diet, fibre and acetate content, and then our gut bacteria, Prof Cooper says.

He adds that countries consuming a higher fibre and acetate diet have far less inflammatory conditions and disease in general.

So instead of snacking on biscuits that are low in fibre and acetate, snack on a whole food such as a carrot, celery or an apple to boost your good gut bacteria.

Find Honor on Facebook and Twitter.

High-fibre feta and lentil salad

Serves 4-6

Prep time: 10-20 minutes.

Ingredients: 1 large cup of iceberg lettuce, 1 celery stick sliced, 1 carrot sliced, 1/2 avocado sliced, 1/4 red apple, sliced, 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Salad dressing: 1 part extra virgin olive oil, 4 parts apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup of cooked lentils, 1 tbs whole egg mayonnaise, salt to taste

Method: Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl and serve with dressing.

Topics:  bacteria, editors picks, fibre, fruit, opinion, vegetables




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Forget house and land, this is house and hangar

AIR FORCE VETERAN: The RAAF retired its last 13 DHC-4 Caribou transport aircraft in December 2009 after celebrating 45 years of dedicated service to the nation. The air force took delivery of its first Canadian-built de Havilland Caribou in April 1964. Defence Department

It is the first "totally green" development of its kind in Australia

Cool change headed for the Fraser Coast

After a hotter than average May on the Fraser Coast, cooler temperatures are finally on their way.

We can expect to feel a cool change over the weekend.

West Ham United to return to the Fraser Coast

WORKING HARD: West Ham United's 2015 participants are put through the paces at Federation Park, Maryborough.

West Ham United's ID Camp will return to Maryborough on July 7-8.

Latest deals and offers

Sale nears on last large block of land in Coolum

The 43.37ha property on South Coolum Rd has sold.

South Coolum Rd property to be land banked

Caloundra’s former Centrepoint Buffet site up for sale

FOR SALE: The home of the old Centrepoint Buffet

Restaurant fined for unhygienic practices closed months ago