National Nutrition Week: Benefits of Pre- and Probiotics on a Gluten Free Diet

National Nutrition Week: Benefits of Pre- and Probiotics on a Gluten Free Diet

What are Pre- and Probiotics?

Probiotics are microorganisms present in foods or supplements that supply our guts with 'good' bacteria that it needs for ideal digestive health. A prebiotic on the other hand, typically found in high fibre foods or supplements, acts as food for the probiotics to grow the number of good bacteria in the gut.

Probiotics are found in your fermented foods like yoghurt and sourdough whilst prebiotics are prevalent in any fruits and vegetables like chickpeas, bananas, cabbage, apples, onions, and garlic. 


What are the Benefits?

Prebiotics and probiotics can provide several benefits for individuals following a gluten-free diet. Here are some key advantages:

1. Improved Digestive Health

Prebiotics are non-digestible fibers that serve as food for beneficial gut bacteria. Probiotics, on the other hand, are live bacteria that can colonize the gut and promote a healthy balance of microorganisms. Together, prebiotics and probiotics can enhance digestion and alleviate digestive issues commonly associated with gluten intolerance or coeliac disease, such as gas, bloating, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, and/or constipation.

2. Enhanced Nutrient Absorption

Gluten-free diets may sometimes lead to nutrient deficiencies due to the elimination of certain grains. Prebiotics and probiotics can help optimize nutrient absorption by supporting a healthy gut microbiome, which plays a crucial role in breaking down and absorbing nutrients from food.

3. Strengthened Immune System

The gut microbiome has a significant impact on immune function. By promoting a diverse and balanced gut microbiota, prebiotics and probiotics can help strengthen the immune system, reducing the risk of infections and autoimmune reactions often associated with gluten-related disorders.

4. Reduced Inflammation

Gluten sensitivity or coeliac disease can trigger inflammation in the gut. Prebiotics and probiotics have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, potentially helping to alleviate gut inflammation and related symptoms.

5. Maintenance of Gut Barrier Function

Gluten-related disorders can compromise the integrity of the gut barrier, leading to increased intestinal permeability ("leaky gut"). Prebiotics and probiotics can support the maintenance of a healthy gut barrier, reducing the risk of harmful substances entering the bloodstream and triggering immune responses.

It's important to note that while prebiotics and probiotics can be beneficial for individuals on a gluten-free diet, they should not be considered as a substitute for proper medical advice or treatment. Consulting with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian is recommended for personalised guidance.


Supplementing Pre- and Probiotics

Following a gluten free diet can be restrictive and omit options that are high in these important microorganisms. If you're struggling to consume enough fibre and pre- and probiotics in your diet, a supplement may help improve gut symptoms you may be experiencing. 

Partially hydrolysed guar gum (PHGG) is a great option for people who are looking to balance their gut microbiome without the symptoms of bloating, gas, diarrhoea, and/or constipation. Often other prebiotic fibres can cause these unwanted gut symptoms and more harm than good.

Below are some of our favourite options for people starting out on PHGG. The added benefit of Regular Girl is the addition of a probiotic, that helps grow the good gut bugs. 




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