For decades, #fibre has been touted as an essential component of a healthy diet. In fact, fibres are not for us. It is the food for your gut #microbiome… to thrive. Gut microbes’ duty is to help ferment those food. And you need microbes that ferment fibre because this in turn will shape your DNA. Meaning that it can change your GENE expression! How cool is that… Hence, habits of eating the RIGHT fibres is very important to everyone of us. Graphic below illustrate the importance of incorporating fibre into your daily meal plans.
One of the quickest and easiest ways to improve your gut health is via your diet, as the microbes in your body consume the same foods you do, habitually. The beneficial gut bacteria tend to feed on foods that are known to benefit your health such as fermented foods and soluble fibre, and vice versa, sugar, on the other hand, is a preferred food source for fungi that produce yeast infections and sinusitis and not for gut bacteria.
Here is what you can eat to re-populate your healthy gut microbiota, highly recommended:
- Fermented foods like homemade kimchi, sauerkraut, pickles, kefir, kombucha, yoghurt, and rich dark chocolate. These foods re-populates your health-promoting gut bacteria, introduce helpful probiotics to our guts, and thereby disallowing potentially pathogenic colonies from taking over. In fact, in most post-agricultural peoples, some form of fermented food is a standardized component of the traditional diet. East and Southeast Asia with natto (fermented soy), kimchi (fermented cabbage), soy sauce, fermented fish sauce, fermented shrimp paste, to name just a few; Central Asia with kumis (fermented mare milk), kefir, and shubat (fermented camel milk); India and the Middle East with fermented pickles, various yogurts, torshi (mixed vegetables); Europe with sauerkraut, kefir, crème fraiche, and rakfisk (salted, fermented trout); the Americas with kombucha, standard pickling, and chocolate.
- Soluble fibre such as greens, fruits, and legumes. But NOT GRAINS. Why? Because grains normally contain of glutens that is the culprit to trigger release of a protein called zonulin that dismantling gut tight junctions and cause leaky gut and cause whole host of problematic inflammatory autoimmune conditions in your body such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, asthma, allergies, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, etc once it been trigger by major traumas, such as surgery, pregnancy or viral infections. Even though grains with gluten-free label, they still contains phytates and lectins which contributes to altered gut flora… that ultimately lead to auto-immune diseases.
- Fermentable insoluble fibres like resistant starches (RS).We can get RS from food. The richest food sources are raw potatoes, green bananas, plantains, cooked-and-cooled potatoes, cooked-and-cooled-rice, parboiled rice, and cooked-and-cooled legumes. Otherwise, best sources are raw potato starch, plantain flour, green banana flour, and cassava/tapioca starch. Raw (not sprouted) mung beans are a good source of RS, so mung bean starch (commonly available in Asian grocers) will probably work, too.
- OBSOLETE INSOLUBLE FIBRE Please! Why? Insoluble fibre is undigested food, it is like only for poop and impressive toilet bowl displays and potentially expensive plumber fees, LOL! And some people “need” to feel like they’ve done something down there to feel like they have their bowel movement and have the distinct sensation of accomplishment. But for digestive health? There’s not much evidence in favour of it! Optimally, stool is made up of mostly water and bacteria – not undigested food. The health claims just don’t add up. Besides, insoluble fibre doesn’t ferment very well. That’s why neither you nor your gut microbes can digest, say, cellulose-rich grass since we don’t have the hardware, and neither do our gut flora have it. No fermentation, means no short chain fatty acid production (for short chain fatty acid’s benefits, please refer to graphic above).
Gut bacteria don’t just float around in there. They cling to intestines surfaces. Although they’re small & tiny, they do take up space.Overall, because the health of our gut community is inextricably tied to the health of our minds and bodies, hence, attaining fermentable fibre through the fruits and vegetables we eat is incredibly important. After all, fibre relieves chronic constipation is a myth.
Even the only food that’s actually expressly “designed” to feed humans – breast milk – contains prebiotic compounds whose main purpose is to feed and cultivate healthy gut flora in infants, which suggests that the need for prebiotics is innate. We even have receptors and transporters built-in to handle and accept the butyrate produced from fermentable fibre. We have evolved to rely on gut flora to help our bodies work best, and that gut flora has evolved to require a steady, varied source of fermentable, prebiotic fibre. That can’t be denied.