Slippers, pajamas, chocolates and flowers are the go-to gifts for most on Mother’s Day. And while a good quality dark chocolate can provide some health benefits compared to other types of chocolates, there are alternative delicacies that mum’s gut bacteria will love.
Your gut bacteria – also known as the gut microbiome – love to consume foods called prebiotics. These are parts of our food that cannot be broken down by our digestive enzymes. The beneficial bacteria that we want to keep well fueled thrive on these prebiotics, which are commonly found in different wholegrains, legumes, fruits and vegetables!
Similar to the different types of chocolate available, there are different types of prebiotics. Our gut bacteria like a variety of these to help them thrive – think a box of mixed chocolates compared to a box with just one flavour!
Show mum some love – and take care of her gut bugs – with these three sweet swaps:
- Lose the chocolate fix and pull together a fruit platter for a special Mother’s Day breakfast. Fruit is nature’s dessert and is filled with fibre (to help you feel fuller for longer) and plant nutrients, that can support beneficial bacteria. Fruit is rich in nutrients and per calorie is more nutritious when compared to chocolate which is typically an energy-dense nutrient-poor food. If you consume seasonal fruits, you’ll be eating fruit when it has the highest nutrient content. If mum loves her chocolate, consider dipping some fruit in dark chocolate for added prebiotics as well as a sweet kick!
- Wholemeal pancakes topped with fruit such as berries for a sweet and wholesome treat. Wholemeal flour contains more fibre than its heavily refined counterpart, white flour. When white flour is being produced, food manufacturers remove the fibre-rich bran from the grain which significantly reduces the fibre content.
- Think of adding some passionfruit to mum’s breakfast such as topping her muesli with Greek yoghurt and a few scoops of passionfruit. Despite being smaller in size than other tropical fruits, these little gems have been found to be high in fibre and polyphenols, something your gut will be passionate about.
There you have it, some easy ways you can show your mum (and her gut bacteria) some love this Mother’s Day! However, if you do choose to indulge with mum on the day, enjoy mindfully and then plan to scatter healthy choices throughout the rest of the day to keep your gut bugs happy.
Christine Stewart, Nutritionist, Clinical Application Specialist with Microba Insight, mum of two.