Dr Mosley on how cheese and chocolate could boost gut health
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With Strep A roaming through the UK, your mind might class every type of bacteria as bad. However, there are plenty of microorganisms that can boost your gut health. While you might not pay too much attention to the trillions of microbes residing in your tummy, they are hugely important. Interestingly, Dr Michael Mosley has explained how some Christmas classics could compliment your gut.
With party food taking over the supermarket shelves and twinkly lights decorating the streets, the festive season is in full swing.
While certain Christmas staples are a must during this period, they might not seem as the healthiest choice.
However, don’t go ditching favourites like cheese and chocolate too soon.
Dr Mosley penned for Daily Mail: “Over the next few weeks, most of us are going to be consuming lots of chocolate, wine and cheese, which have kindly been made for us by bacteria and fungi.
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“These tiny microbes do the hard work of converting raw ingredients into the foods we enjoy so much.
“As well as providing us with delicious foods, microbes — specifically the vast army of those that live in our guts — are also busy churning out chemicals known as postbiotics that improve our health in all sorts of ways.”
If living microbes found in foods like yoghurt and kimchi sound familiar, you might have heard about probiotics before.
Furthermore, certain cheeses can also offer these goodies that boost your colony of gut microbes, also known as the microbiome.
According to the Harvard Medical School, probiotics are typically found in cheeses that have been aged but not heated afterwards – think Swiss, provolone, Gouda, cheddar, Edam, Gruyère, and cottage cheese.
Furthermore, cocoa found in certain chocolates is prebiotic, which can help promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in your gut.
What’s more, dark chocolate also contains polyphenols which are something like rocket fuel to your gut microbes, according to Zoe.
However, you need to opt for the really dark stuff to reap these potent effects.
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Zoe recommends dark chocolate that is at least 70 percent cocoa to ensure a good amount of polyphenols.
“It’s important to keep in mind, though, that chocolate also contains sugars and saturated fats,” the health portal added.
Fortunately, enjoying these treats as a part of a healthy diet could do the trick and compliment your gut, according to the doctor.
Dr Mosley added: “So this year, as you wolf down your Christmas fare, spare a thought for those hard-working microbes.
“[They] not only helped produce some of that food but will be busy turning what you eat into chemicals to keep you healthy.
“To give them something to chew on, make sure the meal contains plenty of fibre: lots of vegetables (more Brussels sprouts, anyone?), nuts, devils on horseback (prunes!), hearty soups, some dark chocolate (cocoa is 30 percent fibre) and, perhaps, some probiotic-rich aged cheese.”
If you want to boost your gut health all year around, experts recommend eating different plant foods, ranging from vegetables to wholegrains and legumes to seeds.
“Diversity matters, because there are nearly 100 types of fibre and thousands of plant phytochemicals, which are thought to feed different bacteria,” said the British Heart Foundation.
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