Ever get a terrible stomachache after eating? That might be your gut telling you that it is not happy with the lack of care it is getting. April is IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome Awareness Month, so let’s celebrate by giving our gut health a little extra attention. In addition, our gut health is tied to our overall health, so by focusing on our gut health we are actually helping care for our whole body.
Not everyone suffers from IBS, but it is still important to be in-tune with your digestive health. One way to start doing this is to increase your knowledge about the digestive system. Your Hy-Vee dietitians are here to help by answering some of the most frequently asked gut health questions.
What is the gut microbiome? The gut microbiome is the combination of microorganisms, including healthy bacteria that reside in our digestive tract. This population of microorganisms plays a role in the function of our digestive system, contributes to our metabolic functions and supports our immune system. Keeping a healthy and flourishing gut microbiota can not only help support your gut health, but also your overall health and wellness.
What is the difference between probiotics and prebiotics? Probiotics are what we call the live microorganisms that can be consumed to help boost the population of healthy bacteria in the digestive system. These can come in the form of shelf-stable or refrigerated capsules, as well as in yogurt, kefir or other fermented foods. Prebiotics are what we call the food that we feed the microorganisms in our digestive tract. Prebiotics are a form of fiber and we can get them from our whole foods and in a variety of supplement forms.
Should I be following a low-FODMAP diet? FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols, which are all types of short-chain carbohydrates that can cause digestive distress in some people when they eat them. A low-FODMAP diet is a type of elimination and reintroduction diet that can be used to identify certain food intolerances. It is not a diet that is meant to be followed long-term; it is a diagnostic tool that should be done under the guidance of a physician or dietitian.
Now that we have a better understanding of the gut, lets fuel it with a tasty and easy-to-make-sauce! Check back later this week for a tasty Roasted Garlic Everything Sauce Recipe!
The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.