Susie Burrell

‘your food, your body, your life’

Why your daily bread is so important?

This is a sponsored post, brought to you by Helga’s.

Gut health and its impact on our overall health and wellbeing has received plenty of attention in recent years. Linked to a range of health outcomes including mood regulation, immune function and even weight control, it appears that our gut health warrants a lot more of our attention. While there are plenty of supplements and formulated foods designed to target gut health, it appears that it is not one-off foods or supplements that our guts are craving. Rather it is nurturing our guts each day with key foods that are packed full of the nutrients specifically known to help support optimal gut balance that appears to be the simplest thing we can all do to help optimise our own gut health.

Of all the research that is available on diet and gut health, some of the most powerful findings suggest that it is the variety of foods we eat on a daily basis that supports a healthy gut balance. A research study conducted by the American Gut Project took a closer look at the gut bacteria of more than 10000 study participants and identified that individuals who included more than 30 different types of plant based foods in their diets each week had the most varied gut bacteria compared to those who consumed small variety of plant foods (1).

These findings suggest that it is potentially a range of nutrients including different types of dietary fibre, antioxidants, good fats as well as a range of vitamins and minerals found in plant foods including wholegrains, veges, fruits, legumes, seeds and nuts that work synergistically to support the overall health of the gut.

When we take a step back and consider this, the daily food choices we make heavily impact how many plant foods we are able to consume each day. For example, if every day you reach for a plain white wrap or sandwich, as opposed to a grain and seed packed loaf, you are literally missing out on a variety of different plant foods that would be working to support gut health.

This is just one of the reasons that as a dietitian I am always very specific about the type of bread I want my clients to choose. Not only am I after a bread that contains a range of wholegrains, to boost their fibre, protein and mineral intake, but with a range of breads with specialty fibre mixes such as the Helga’s Digestive Wellbeing range made using BARLEYmax Barley I can ensure my clients are getting a significant dose of their daily dietary fibre requirements as they enjoy a sandwich or toast in the morning.

Supplements and specialty products have their place, but ultimately the research is showing that you cannot go past a varied diet that is packed full of nutrient rich plant foods on a daily basis when it comes to supporting digestive health. Nutrient rich, wholegrain breads like the Helga’s Digestive Wellbeing range, that are packed full of nourishing fibres and enjoyed on a daily basis is a simple, tasty way to give your body a boost of the gut nourishment it needs. Here you can enjoy your favourite toast, wrap or sandwich and know you are only doing right by supporting your gut.

Reference

Daniel McDonald et al. American Gut: an Open Platform for Citizen Science Microbiome Research. mSystems, 2018; 3 (3): e00031-18 DOI: 10.1128/mSystems.00031-18