With a growing body of research linking gut health with
conditions such as cancer, obesity, and auto-immune diseases,
Australia's national science agency has launched a new diet focused
on improving gut health.
The CSIRO Healthy Gut Diet includes a series of
meal plans based on wholefoods with higher amounts of fibre,
especially resistant starch, for improving gut health.
"After the brain, the gut is really the next most crucial and
complex part of the human body," CSIRO Director of Health and
Biosecurity Dr Rob Grenfell said.
"Maintaining a healthy gut can lead to enormous benefits. Beyond
digesting our food, it is the coal face of the nutrients our body
absorbs, regulates hormones used throughout our body, and is a
frontline of our immune response system."
CSIRO researcher and co-author of the CSIRO Healthy Gut
Diet, Dr Michael Conlon, said having a healthy gut was not as
simple as just increasing fibre intake.
"There are many factors which influence gut health, but diet
appears to have the greatest influence. Dietary fibre in particular
is vital for a healthy gut," Dr Conlon said.
"For years we've thought all fibre was good for was helping to
keep our bowel movements regular, but we now know that fibre offers
more health benefits than this, many of which support our gut
bacteria in a healthy way.
"But not all fibres are equal. Our
research shows resistant starch is real fibre gold and a major
piece of the gut health puzzle that may be missing from many
"The recipes and meal plans have been designed with higher amounts
of fibre and resistant starch to feed the gut bacteria. This
includes a wide variety of whole foods that are as close to their
natural state as possible - wholegrain cereals, fruits, vegetables,
legumes and a few nuts and seeds."
The benefits of healthy gut bacteria include:
- Creating an environment that stops the growth of potentially
- Ensuring the gut barrier stays strong to stop nasty bacteria
from entering the body.
- Promoting appropriate immune responses via the 70-80 per cent
of the body's immune cells found in the gut.
- Keeping our gut cells healthy which help eliminate the DNA
mutations that can contribute to colorectal cancer.
- Promoting hydration from fluid and electrolyte uptake in the
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