Yes, not two words you would usually hear together in the same sentence but let me tell you why.
The inner layer of your intestines has a layer of mucus which must be kept thick and healthy. Why? Because it protects you and keeps your gut healthy. How do you keep this mucus layer healthy?
I’ve talked before about the amazing Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA) that are produced by your gut bugs through the fermentation of prebiotic foods (food for your gut bugs). One of the SCFAs is butyrate. Butyrate is a fuel source for the cells of your intestine and increases mucin production. Mucin is excreted by cells in your intestine and form a mucus skeleton all over the intestine forming a protective barrier for your gut.
This process is linked to improved tight junction integrity, which means, it keeps your gut from becoming a LEAKY GUT. What foods are good to prevent leaky gut?
Some of the bacteria that will product butyrate include Agathobacter, Faecalibacterium and some Roseburia species. These guys like to eat fructooligosaccharides or FOSs (e.g. asparagus, cashews, lentils, onions rye), Inulin (asparagus, leeks, onion, garlic, bran) and Arabinoxylans like brown rice, flaxseeds, almonds and bamboo shoots.
There are more foods than this so that’s why it’s important to always have a variety of foods in your diet that are wholefoods with, of course, plenty of fibre.