FODMAPs are a family of food components that are not well absorbed in the small intestine and generally end up being fermented in the colon by our gut bacteria.
Their capacity to be fermented contributes positively to the gut microbiome, but can also cause digestive discomfort in some populations – which is why the strategic use of a low FODMAP diet to determine specific sensitivity to these compounds is a primary management strategy for IBS.
The prolonged or inappropriate use of low FODMAP eating or the need to avoid or minimize several different types of FODMAP containing foods could both negatively impact the gut microbiome.
With that in mind, I’ve teamed up with resistant starch manufacturer MSPrebiotic to share FODMAP friendly strategies that will boost your healthy gut bacteria.
Let’s get to the good stuff.
FODMAPs & The Gut Microbiome
In 2022 the American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of relevant studies looking at the effects of a low FODMAP diet on the human gut microbiome.
The prevalent finding was a decreased presence of healthy bacteria from the Bifidobacteria genus.
Bifidobacteria are among the foremost families of “healthy” gut bacteria serving a number of important roles including being responsible for the production of SCFAs.
SCFAs are anti-inflammatory compounds which carry out multiple functions in the human body including:
- Regulating the acidity of the gut
- Protecting the intestinal lining
- Improving insulin resistance
- Communicating with the brain
- Regulating appetite, food intake
- Supporting the immune system
- And much, much more.
It’s perhaps no surprise than that studies have demonstrated that individuals living with prediabetes who consume more FODMAPs tended to have larger amounts of SCFA producing bacteria and less insulin resistance.
So if we have to limit FODMAPs but still want to tap into the benefits of these incredible bacteria and the compounds they create, what can we do?
You’re about to find out!
FODMAP Friendly Microbiome Strategies
Although it is true that many of the foods associated with microbiome boosting benefits are generally higher in FODMAPs, that’s not true for all of them.
There are several FODMAP friendly strategies one could utilize to maintain their levels of healthy gut bacteria.
#1 Focusing On Fatty Fish or DHA/EPA Supplements
A connection exists between the intake of omega-3 fatty acids EPA/DHA and the state of human gut microbiome.
EPA/DHA are only found in fatty fish like salmon, sardines, trout and mackerel or via supplements, with studies demonstrating that they may boost the levels of various types of healthy bacteria including Bifidobacteria.
If you do not consume multiple servings of fatty fish on a weekly basis it will be quite hard to optimize your omega-3 levels without supplementation.
#2 Eating More Low FODMAP Polyphenols
Polyphenols are a family of antioxidant compounds that scientists increasingly believe influence our microbiome, particularly by boosting Bifiobacteria.
They are generally found in foods that are otherwise extremely healthy, so you can’t go wrong here.
The best examples include dark chocolate, flaxseed, black olives, pecans, strawberry, raspberry, tempeh, spinach, green tea and broccoli.
#3 Resistant Starch Supplementation
Resistant starch, as the name suggests, is resistant to digestion until it is fermented by our gut bacteria.
As a result, not all resistant starch types are considered FODMAP friendly.
Foods with FODMAP friendly resistant starch include oats, green bananas and rice/potatoes that have been cooked and cooled.
The type of resistant starch provided by MSPrebiotic , at recommended serving sizes, is also FODMAP friendly.
And why does this matter?
MSPrebiotic has been demonstrated in human studies to increase the levels of Bifidobacteria, the same family of gut bacteria that could decrease on a low FODMAP diet.
Let’s take a closer look at this fascinating product.
An Intro To MSPrebiotic
MSPrebiotic is an easy to use and FODMAP friendly prebiotic fibre supplement that has real potential to contribute to improvements in multiple areas of your health including bolstering your gut microbiome as well fighting back against insulin resistance and related concerns.
The product comes in the form of a flavourless powder which can be added to smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt and any other cool drinks or foods.
I’m working with MSPrebiotic because I view it as an evidence-based complimentary tool which can play a meaningful role in improving your health.
This is especially true for the simple reason that many people do not access much resistant starch in their diet and thus would enjoy significant benefits via its use.
Does today’s post resonate with you?
MSPrebiotic has been kind enough to offer my readers a discount code, which you can find below:
ANDYRD for 15% off until December 31st and NEW2MSP for Free Shipping on your first order (use together!).
Andy De Santis RD MPH