Written by Vanessa Hummel APD, Vanessa Hummel – Gut Health & Nutrition Coaching
Fibre is an important nutrient in improving our overall health. Adequate fibre intakes have been shown to decrease a person’s risk of developing chronic diseases such as bowel cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Fibre can also help with making us for fuller for longer after meals and plays a vital role in making sure our gut is working normally and keeping our gastrointestinal system healthy.
Fibre is the edible parts of plants that are unable to be digested, or broken down, and absorbed in our small intestine. These are then either partly or fully broken down by the bacteria in our large intestine.
For those with irritable bowel syndrome, it can be difficult to eat enough fibre when following a low FODMAP diet because they are eating less of these carbohydrates that contain fibre and are also natural prebiotics. Prebiotics are known for promoting “good bacteria” in our gut which assists with improving our overall gut health. Prebiotics have been scientifically shown to impact the gut microbiome in healthy people.
Did you know that our gut bacteria and gut microbiome can influence our overall health? This includes irritable bowel syndrome, heart disease, our immune system, mental health, body weight and sleep patterns.
Follow My 5 Easy Steps to Keep Your Gut Healthy Like a Pro!
STEP 1: Increase Your Intake of Fruit
Try and eat at least 2 pieces of low FODMAP fruit each day such as strawberries, bananas, blueberries, grapes, rockmelon, pineapple, oranges and kiwifruit. Choose a variety of different types and colours of fresh fruit that are in season and try using fruit for snacks and desserts. They are a good source of vitamins, including vitamin C, and folate and provide potassium, dietary fibre and carbohydrates in the form of natural sugars. Edible skins are particularly high in fibre, but fibre is also in the fruit flesh.
STEP 2: Increase your intake of Vegetables
Try and eat at least 2.5 cups of low FODMAP vegetables each day such as zucchini, spinach, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, red capsicum, eggplant and bok choy. Include a variety of different types and colours including low FODMAP beans and legumes. Try new ways of cooking with vegetables like roasting, baking, barbequing and stir-frying. Including these in your diet can provide a range of nutrients as they are a good source of vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre.
STEP 3: Include a wide variety of wholegrain breads, cereals and pastas in your diet
These provide more dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals than refined or white versions of grain (cereal) foods. Eating wholegrain and/or high fibre cereal foods will not only keep your gut bacteria happy but can help reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, excessive weight gain, and some cancers. Low FODMAP options include gluten, wheat and rye free products.
STEP 4: Limit your Intake of Red Meat
Great substitutes are poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans. It is currently recommended that no more that 455g of cooked lean red meat is eaten per week as eating larger amounts can be linked with a higher risk of developing bowel cancer. Eating large amounts of protein from animal sources has also been shown to alter our gut microbiome. This can decrease the amount and diversity of the gut bacteria found in our gastrointestinal tract.
STEP 5: Make Sure you Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking enough water helps make sure that we do not get dehydrated and can also assist with decreasing our risk of constipation. You may have heard a lot about how much water we should drink, such as 8 cups or 2 litres per day, however as we are all different, there is no one amount that is recommended for everyone. The best way to judge if you are drinking enough water is by looking at the colour of your urine. Dark urine likely means that you may be dehydrated and have not had enough fluid, while clear urine means you may be drinking too much. Aim for a pale-yellow colour as this is likely to indicate you are well hydrated.
Download your very own free 5 Step Guide to Improving Your Gut Health here.
FodShop also have a range of prebiotic supplements available here on this website, including Regular Girl and MS Prebiotic. Please note that these supplements are currently available in the USA only.
Vanessa is a Gut Health Expert, Accredited Practising Dietitian & Nutrition Coach with a special interest in food allergies & intolerance’s, gut health & IBS. Vanessa is passionate about ensuring that her clients receive the one-on-one ongoing support they need, and advice tailored to their individual needs and personal goals.
Would You Like Vanessa’s Personal Help For FREE? To find out if you’re a good fit to work together book your free assessment call here.
Take back control of your IBS and learn the skills you need to improve your symptoms and quality of life!
Vanessa currently has enrolments open for her 12 Week Private Nutrition Coaching Transformation Course, which she has specifically designed for those who have IBS who are experiencing ongoing gut troubles and symptoms such as bloating, stomach pain, wind and changes to bowel habits. Download Vanessa’s Course flyer here.
Did you know that a low FODMAP diet can help improve gut symptoms in up to 75% of people with IBS? Studies show that those with IBS who follow the low FODMAP diet with the assistance of an Accredited Practising Dietitian can get better relief from their symptoms.
Vanessa’s course is a complete package and will give you with the ongoing support you need and guide you through the 3 Phases of the FODMAP Diet and RPAH Elimination diet if required.
By the end of this course:
- You will be able to identify which FODMAPs or natural food chemicals trigger your symptoms.
- You will have determined your individual tolerance level to the dietary triggers of your symptoms.
- Your gut symptoms will no longer be impacting on your quality of life.
- You will have identified your IBS subtype.
- You will have completed the FODMAP diet or RPAH elimination diet.