Thursday, 5 September 2019

Need more probiotics in your diet? Find out which foods are better for your gut

Image for illustration only

You have heard about probiotics and are keen to include these gut-friendly bacteria in your diet. But which food items will have the most impact on your gut health: The cultured milk drink or yoghurt? Also, is that kimchi or miso soup in your set meal worth having?

Adults need about 1 billion to 10 billion colony-forming units (CFUs) of probiotics a day, said Jaclyn Reutens, a clinical and sports dietitian, and founder of Aptima Nutrition & Sports Consultants.

Growth of probiotics in your gut can be stymied by a low fibre intake, foods high in unhealthy fat, sugar and salt, and foods that are highly processed. Even smoking, alcohol intake, inadequate rest and the lack of exercise can affect how well the probiotics work in your gut.

Finding the right probiotics may take some trial and error, said Professor Gail Cresci, an intestinal microbe specialist with Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. And hitting the jackpot may actually mean bloating, gas and changes in your stool patterns. “If you notice no benefits from one product after a few weeks, try a different one with a different strain of bacteria,” she said.

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FairPrice to charge for plastic bags at selected outlets in month-long trial

From Sep 16, shoppers will be charged for plastic bags at seven NTUC FairPrice-owned outlets in a month-long trial, the retailer said on Wednesday (Sep 4).

The seven stores taking part in the No Plastic Bag trial are:
  • FairPrice Xtra @ Hougang One
  • FairPrice Finest @ Zhongshan Park
  • FairPrice @ Tai Seng
  • Cheers at 1 Create Way
  • Cheers at 1 Anchorvale Street
  • Cheers at 611 Aljunied Road
  • FairPrice Xpress at 384 Lorong Chuan

Plastic bags remain available for use at S$0.10 per transaction at the selected Cheers and FairPrice Xpress stores, and at S$0.20 per transaction at the other participating FairPrice stores.

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My photo - leaves

A public domain photo by me

Children who have an afternoon break at school 'are fitter and perform just as well in exams'

Afternoon breaks could make children fitter and do not take away from learning, research suggests.

Researchers from Swansea University looked at more than 5,000 primary-school students from across Wales.

They found those who had playtime in the afternoon, as well as a morning and lunchtime break, could run further.

This is compared to the youngsters who only had morning and midday breaks.


Heart patients may benefit more from exercise than healthy people

Exercise can do more to lower the risk of premature death for patients with cardiovascular disease than for healthy people, a new study suggests.

Healthy people did have a lower chance of dying during the study when they were more physically active. But the beneficial effect of exercise was more pronounced for people with heart problems, researchers reported in the European Heart Journal and at the annual meeting of the European Society of Cardiology in Paris.

The study team scored participants' exercise levels and intensity based on a measure known as metabolic equivalent of task (MET) minutes per week. For optimal health, adults should get at least 500 MET minutes per week. (Because MET minutes can be difficult to calculate, an easier recommendation to follow is to get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate to vigorous exercise.)

When people had heart disease, every additional 500 MET minutes per week of exercise was associated with a 14 per cent lower risk of dying from all causes during the study. For healthy people, the same increase in activity was tied to only a 7 per cent lower mortality risk.