The term ‘gut health’ is everywhere at the moment – we can’t seem to escape it (which might not be a bad thing, with new evidence constantly surfacing on how our gut health affects pretty much every part of our body).

A word that’s thrown around a lot is ‘prebiotics’. Firstly – what are prebiotics?

You’ve probably heard of PRObiotics – the “good bacteria” in our gut that keep everything running smoothly. These good little guys need food or fuel to keep doing their job – this is where PREbiotics come into the picture. Prebiotics are fibres that travel the length of our gastrointestinal system without being absorbed and eventually reach our large intestine – here they are fermented and used as energy by the bacteria present.

Sounds pretty straight forward – to keep our gut healthy we want to be providing the bacteria with plenty of food. This can be a bit tricky on the Low FODMAP Diet as a lot of prebiotics also happen to be high FODMAP, which is one reason why it’s important to reintroduce FODMAPs instead of staying in the elimination phase.

But – for those who are interested in their gut health and are currently eliminating, I’ve developed a bit of a list to help you identify some prebiotic foods that shouldn’t result in symptoms…

  • Unripe banana (1)
  • Kiwi fruit (2)
  • Beetroot (½ cup)
  • Butternut pumpkin (½ cup)
  • Oats (½ cup)
  • Buckwheat flour (2 tbsp)
  • Cooked and cooled gluten free pasta (1 cup)
  • Canned lentils (½ cup)
  • Almonds (10 nuts)

To keep a healthy gut, my number one recommendation is to include a variety of plant foods – vegetables, fruit, wholegrains, seeds and nuts (in safe quantities for you if you have IBS or another medical condition) as this will naturally increase your prebiotic intake (as well as a whole lot of beneficial nutrients). Aim for 30+ types of plant foods each week! If this seems crazy, challenge yourself to buy one plant food you haven’t cooked with before next time you’re shopping and include it in your meals or snacks.

Prebiotics and the Low FODMAP Diet
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