Fibre and all its magic powers

Fibre and all its magic powers

Health
  What is Fibre? This term fibre is thrown around in the media, in health blogs, magazines and celebrity diets but what actually is it? I’m so glad you asked… Fibre is the edible portion of any plant-based food. Even though fibre is classified as a nutrient, it resists digestion and absorption in the small intestine, and it ferments either partially or completely in the large intestine. Fibre has a unique role in the maintenance of overall gut health and it also is responsible for other sneaky tricks which many are unaware of. Fibre is protective against colon cancer, high cholesterol, coronary heart disease, type two diabetes, obesity and diverticular disease. Let’s explore fibre’s activities in the body and how it is able to be protective against so many conditions.…
Read More
Stressed Out!

Stressed Out!

Health
I’ve got a confession to make. I’ve been feeling pretty stressed out lately. I’ve come off the back of a 3-month summer break (complete with relaxing beach holiday) and now I’m back into the daily grind of university, work and exercise. If you’re human, you’ve probably felt stress before. In fact, you might be feeling stressed right now. When am I going to get the groceries done? How am I ever going to meet that deadline? When will I get a chance to see Black Panther?! No matter how trivial the source of your stress is, it has serious effects on the body. In fact, stress related illnesses are becoming increasingly prevalent in our society. What are they? How do we deal with them? And who is most at risk?…
Read More
Nature’s Hitchhikers

Nature’s Hitchhikers

Health
You could call them passive freeloaders; hitchhikers even. Roaming the avenues of our gut, residing in the dark alleyways of our intestine, and fuelling off the crumbs left by fellow tourists. And, just like hitchhikers, these little guys get it all for free. ZILTCH. NADA. A big fat ZERO. But, unlike hitchhikers, these little fellas don’t just come along for the ride; they give more than they take. In fact, without them we as a human race would be virtually non-existent. ZILTCH. NADA. A big fat ZERO. Although their names extend far beyond the complexity of a German freeloader or a Swedish couch surfer, the microbes within the microbiome live in a land far beyond what any hitchhiker has the time (or the bodily dimensions) to explore. Yep. The microbiome…
Read More
Prebiotics and Probiotics: what’s the difference?

Prebiotics and Probiotics: what’s the difference?

Health
You have probably heard the terms ‘prebiotics’ and ‘probiotics’ thrown around but what actually are they and what is the difference between the two? What is the difference between the two? Probiotics are live microorganisms found in bacteria, yeast or fungi, and when taken in large doses they can help improve and maintain the health of your gastrointestinal tract, as well as helping to aid digestion. In order for the good bacteria to survive in our bowels, we need to feed them with prebiotics. Prebiotics are non-digestible fibres that allow for good bacteria to stick to the bowel wall, whilst helping to stimulate their growth2. Probiotic = live microorganisms Prebiotic = non-digestible fibres How do they affect our health? Gut health is becoming more and more pivotal in the world…
Read More
The low-down on the Low FODMAPs diet to improve gut symptoms

The low-down on the Low FODMAPs diet to improve gut symptoms

GI Disorders
Most people experiencing excessive gas, bloating, abdominal pain and altered bowel movements (diarrhoea and/or constipation) would have heard of the Low FODMAPs diet by now. Many GPs and health practitioners are regarding it to be one of the best investigative diets for identifying problematic foods. Research shows that people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) can significantly improve symptoms by managing the amount of FODMAPs in their diet. What are FODMAPS? FODMAPs is an acronym for Fermentable Oligo-saccharides, Di-saccharides, Mono-saccharides and Polyols. Essentially, FODMAPs are short-chain carbohydrates (sugars, starches and fibres), which can be poorly digested and absorbed in the small intestine, resulting in movement through to the large intestine. Here, they can be fermented / digested by the millions of bacteria that reside there, producing…
Read More
Probiotics and Prebiotics

Probiotics and Prebiotics

GI Disorders, Health
  Did you know that we have 100 trillion bacteria living in our gut?! While that may leave you feeling a little squeamish, don’t fear! These little guys are on our side, they play important roles in many metabolic, nutritional, physiological and immunological processes which keep us healthy. This includes acting as a barrier to prevent “bad” bacteria from invading and causing illness, and producing nutrients that we can’t make ourselves (vitamin K, B12, folic acid, short chain fatty acids). There is continual evidence which suggests incorporating prebiotics and probiotics into our diet is beneficial for keeping a healthy balance of “good” gut bacteria. So what are probiotics and prebiotics? Probiotics Probiotics are live microorganisms (bacteria or yeast) found in certain foods, which when consumed in adequate amounts are beneficial…
Read More