This blog post has been written by Dr Hayley O'Neill, CEO and Co-founder of Plant Science – an Australian company who, like us, are using and seeing the enormous benefits of hemp.
Their first product is the world’s first hemp-based prebiotic gut health powder, Gut-Feeling, which is packed full of fibre, protein and amino acids helping to support the health and function of the gastrointestinal tract and restore beneficial gut bacteria, optimising overall health, immunity, mood and wellbeing.
We hope you enjoy reading about gut health from Dr Hayley O’Neill and don’t forget to love your guts!
Firstly.... some GUT FACTS!
- The gut is home to trillions of bacteria, some good others not so good.
- An imbalance between good and bad bacteria can contribute to poor gut and overall health and wellbeing including affecting our immune system and mood.
- A healthy gut protects against chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer.
- 50% of adults have digestive or gut issues including gas, bloating and constipation.
- Increasing our intake of dietary fibre, prebiotics and probiotics can improve our gut health.
- Probiotics are good gut bacteria.
- Prebiotics provide food for probiotics.
- Dietary fibre includes some prebiotics and is important for digestion, bowel movements, regulation of blood sugar, hormones, appetite, mood and weight management.
- Plant Science’s Gut-Feeling is a natural plant-based hemp protein prebiotic powder packed with fibre to support gut health, mood, immunity and weight loss.
What Is Dietary Fibre?
Dietary fibre provides beneficial effects for both the prevention and control of chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer. Dietary fibre is also important for maintaining good gut health.
Scientific interventional studies show that dietary fibre (and an increase intake of whole grain foods especially those high in prebiotics) increases gut microbial diversity. This means that there is a greater variety of microbes or bugs in your gut. This is a good thing as they protect us against disease. Having higher amounts of good bacteria or “probiotics” in your gut is also protective. In contrast, low fibre intake (common in western cultures) contributes to reduced gut diversity and development of chronic disease.
There are three different types of dietary fibre: soluble, insoluble and prebiotic fibre. These fibres serve different functions in the bowel and eating them in combination may promote different health benefits. A variety of plant foods, wholegrains, fruit, vegetables and legumes is the best way to achieve fibre diversity.
It’s scary to think that 80% of Australian adults do not meet the recommended daily fibre requirements of 25-30g per day. Children require less, ranging from 14 to 28g per day depending on age and sex.
Foods naturally high in fibre include hemp seeds, oats, legumes, fruit and vegetable skins, nuts, seeds and wholegrains. Whole hemp seeds contain high amounts of both soluble and insoluble fibre. Our prebiotic gut health powder, Gut-Feeling, is made with Australian hemp seeds. It has been carefully formulated to provide an excellent source of dietary fibre at 8.4g per serve, providing almost one third of your daily requirements.
More on Prebiotics.....
Science defines prebiotics as “a substrate that is selectively utilised by host microorganisms conferring a health benefit,” with the benefits including defence against pathogens, immunity, bowel function, mineral absorption, metabolism and satiety.
In plain English, this means that when you ("the host" for the microorganisms) include prebiotics in your diet you're making sure that everything from your immune system to your gut is in tip-top shape.
More on Probiotics.......
Probiotics from pro and biota, meaning "for life". Science defines probiotics as “live microorganisms, which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host.”
This means gut bacteria or microbes that have a positive effect on health. This may include improved digestion, immunity and reduced inflammation/disease risk. The use of probiotics to improve gut health is becoming increasingly popular.
Probiotics are taken as a dietary supplement or occur naturally in foods like yoghurt, kombucha, kefir and sauerkraut, which are fermented with beneficial bacteria. Current research does not strongly support the use of probiotics to improve gut health. Reason being that probiotics must be kept alive to be active. Probiotics can be killed by heat, stomach acid or can just die over time. Probiotic use after antibiotics may disturb rather than aid recovery of gut microbiota. And probiotics to treat diarrhoea and vomiting also appears to be ineffective at reducing clinical symptoms and recovery time.
Take Home Messages....
- Dietary fibre exists in three forms – each having differential and beneficial effects of gut and overall health.
- Prebiotic fibres provide food for good gut bacteria (microbes) – also known as probiotics.
- Scientific evidence suggests the use of probiotics is not consistent – feed your gut prebiotics over probiotics.
- Consumption of a variety of foods especially those high in fibre and prebiotics (like Gut-Feeling) is the perfect way to ensure gut microbial diversity and protection against chronic disease.
The Plant Science team and ZONE by Lydia are currently running a giveaway. For your chance to win the ultimate yoga and gut health prize pack, head over to the Plant Science Instagram profile for more details and give them a follow while you’re there!