In this blog, we share our top 5 tips for improving gut health after weight loss surgery.
But before we do, we’re going to explain what gut health is and why it’s important, and reveal numerous signs of poor gut health.
What is Gut Health?
Gut health refers to the functioning of the entire digestive tract – the tube that delivers food from the entry point (mouth) to the exit point (anus).
What is Gut Microbiota?
The gut microbiota refers to the community of microorganisms (mostly bacteria) living within the digestive tract.
Did you know that we have approximately 100 trillion bacteria in our body, most of which is found in the large intestine?
Why is Gut Health Important?
Good gut health is involved in:
- Extracting and absorbing nutrients from the food we eat,
- Strengthening our immune system,
- Improving our mental health and wellbeing,
- Regulating sleep, appetite, metabolism and hormone and energy production.
Poor Gut Health
Poor gut health is a result of dysbiosis – an imbalance of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria.
Some signs of poor gut health include:
- Excessive bloating and gas build up
- Altered bowel movements
- Poor immune function
- Poor mental health
- Sleep disturbances
- Poor absorption of nutrients, resulting in micronutrient deficiencies
Excessive intake of alcohol as well as processed foods high in saturated fat, salt and sugar feed the bad bacteria in your gut.
These foods include butter, lard, fatty meats, most takeaway foods and baked goods such as chocolate, cakes, biscuits etc.
Good Gut Health
Fibre is the key to a happy and healthy gut!
Fibre refers to the part of food that is not digested in the small intestine. It then moves to the large intestine, where it is either partially or fully fermented by the gut bacteria.
Fibre is found in fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, nuts, seeds and legumes.
Fibre also helps:
- Increase satiety and fullness levels
- Stabilise blood sugar levels
- Supports immune function
- Reduces the severity and frequency of reflux
- Adds bulk to your stool and keeps bowel movements regular
- Feeds the good gut bacteria
Improving Gut Health After Weight Loss Surgery: Top 5 Tips
- Aim to have 1 serve of fruit each day – aim for diversity
- Add a variety of non-starchy vegetables to your main meals
- Choose high protein / fibre snacks such as roasted chickpeas, veggies sticks with hummus, fruit (with skin), chia pudding, unsalted mixed nuts or vita wheat crackers with avocado and tomato slices
- Aim to gradually increase your fibre intake after weight loss surgery, to allow your body to acclimate
- As needed, use fibre supplements such as Benefibre, BN Fibre or Feel Good Fibre if you are getting over 1.5L of total fluids each day