Eating well to support your gut health doesn’t have to be expensive and full of “superfoods” you’ve got no idea what to do with. In fact, lots of beneficial foods for our gut health can be cheap and familiar. The key to supporting our gut health and feeding the microbiome (our gut bacteria) is including a variety of different fibre from fruits, veggies and grains.
Here are our top 5 pantry (and fridge) staples that won’t break the bank.
Not only are they versatile, cheap and easy to cook, but they are also packed with fibre. In fact, oats have 3 different kinds of fibre:
– Insoluble fibre which adds bulk to the stool, keeping us regular
– Soluble fibre which helps to keep you fuller for longer and
– Resistant starch which makes it’s way through to your large intestine, feeding your healthy gut bacteria.
If you prepare your oats with milk or a calcium-fortified milk alternative, top with fruits and seeds you get a nutrient-filled breakfast! Try this overnight oat recipe for a quick easy breakfast or these ANZAC biscuits for a fibre filled snack.
The humble baked bean is packed with fibre! We all know the jokes about what eating too many beans can do in terms of excess gas/wind! And there is truth behind those jokes, all thanks to their fibre content. When choosing baked beans, pick low salt and no added sugar varieties. Other legumes to include are lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, split peas, and soya beans. They’re all a source of low GI carbohydrates and protein making them a great addition to any curry stew or even bolognese. Try out this Thai green lentil curry recipe for a low FODMAP legume dish.
Just as beneficial as kale at a fraction of the price. Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage are a great source of fibre and low calorie meaning they can be beneficial for managing your weight. Aside from its fibre content, cabbage has other benefits. With a wide variety of types of cabbage available there is a cabbage for all recipes. All varieties are a source of folate, green varieties offer vitamin K whilst red varieties offer antioxidants. Red cabbage is great in salads, on top of your taco filling or as a side for roasted meats; green cabbage is the base for any good coleslaw recipe; savoy is perfect for stews or enjoyed steamed and wombok is great in a stir fry. Try this spiced roast pork with blueberries and cabbage recipe.
Yoghurt contains probiotics. This means it contains healthy bacteria that live in your intestine and support your gut health. When choosing a yoghurt it’s important to pick one that has live cultures listed in the ingredient list. This means that the yoghurt contains these healthy bacteria. If choosing a dairy alternative yoghurt, ensure it has been fortified with calcium as well as containing those live bacteria cultures. Yoghurt is super versatile, try using it as a mayonnaise replacement in salad dressings or try it in this mixed berry, yoghurt and basil toast recipe.
Spuds get a bad wrap in the media with the hype of low carb diets. Yep, they sure do contain carbohydrates and that is not a bad thing at all! Carbs are essential for good brain function and energy. In regards to gut health, potatoes can offer resistance starch. This form of fibre is great food for the gut microbiome as it isn’t digested in the small intestine. Instead, it makes it’s way to the large intestine feeding the good guys there. The trick is to cook and cool the potatoes, just as you would in a potato salad recipe. This process converts the starch into resistant starch giving you more bang for your buck. Next time you’re cooking with potatoes let them cool down then heat them up again start with an easy veggie-filled baked potato with veggie sauce.
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