A diet to improve gut health has been developed by the researchers from Perth's Edith Cowan University.
Here are the top things to know about this gut-health-boosting diet:
1. The diet is not suitable for everyone, especially those who suffer from gluten intolerance or those following low FODMAP ("Fermentable, Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols) diet, which are short chain carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine.
2. This diet helps in improving the gut health of those who aren't consuming enough microbiome – the good bacteria which are found in our gut.
"Generally, people know when they have gut problems — they have bouts of diarrhoea or constipation, bloating, pain, distension," stated nutrition researcher Amanda Devine said, as reported by abc.net.
"People can use the [diet] to increase high resistant starch over a couple of weeks, and then you would be able to improve, hopefully, your bowel health, feel better. If you did have problems with diarrhoea or constipation they may be alleviated," Devine added.
3. This diet includes meats and fish in small quantities but the portion remains adequate and provides the required amount of nutrients to the body, Devine explained.
According to the researchers, the microbiome present in our stomach get benefited by food high in resistant starch.
4. "The microbiota in the actual bowel produces metabolites and they improve the cellular functioning of the colon itself — and they also improve the immunity of the person," Professor Devine stated.
"What epidemiology shows us is that the higher the fibre in the diet and resistant starch, we have lower rates of things like colorectal cancer," he stated.
5. Researchers were asked to plan a two-week diet which would portray what most Australians really feed on. The research by Professor Devine and her colleague Claus Christophersen had put their research to test as a part of an episode of ABC called Ask The Doctor.
6. Forty percent of the dietary energy received by Australians came from discretionary foods, which was high in fats, sugar, was processed and had minimal nutritional value.
"Buckets of chips, wine, beer, burgers," Professor Devine said.
7. Blood, urine and stool samples of the participants were taken by researchers for analysis; the tests were repeated two week after the "typical Australian diet" was followed. After this they followed a high resistant starch diet for two weeks, which comprised of plenty of veggies, cereals, grains, beans which contain resistant starch and fairly less quantity of meat.
"Short chain fatty acid levels went up," Professor Devine said.
"We have designed this diet to be similar to the Australian dietary guidelines, based on the five food groups. But it doesn't include those discretionary foods," Professor Devine said.