Prebiotics + natural soy can improve cholesterol levels
Today we are going to cover something a little left a field from our usual straight gut health, or food and mood.
Today we wanted to show you some of the additional benefits that prebiotics can play in your health and wellness, as the extend far and wide!
Given how popular plant based diets are becoming, due to their health benefits, impact on the environmental sustainability of our planet and their cost-effectiveness (just to name a few reasons);
You may have started to notice an increase in the range of plant-based food options at the supermarket or at cafes with one of these undoubtedly being foods made from or containing soy.
Although some soy based foods are highly processed and are not necessarily as beneficial for health as their natural and fermented counterparts; those that are still in their natural state contain compounds called isoflavones, which when fermented (remember, broken down by bacteria in the gut) have the potential to have a positive effect on our heart health as they help to lower cholesterol levels in the blood.
There are different types of cholesterol in our body and fortunately, we have the ability to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol and increase levels of good cholesterol by making some small changes to what we eat;
This is the exact topic some researchers from Canada wanted to explore, specifically investigating whether eating natural soy with a prebiotic mixture of inulin and oligo-fructose, could have a cholesterol lowering effect compared to if you ate soy without the prebiotics.
In the study, 23 participants were randomly allocated into 3 different diet groups: exclusively soy, prebiotics or a combination of the two. Some of the key findings showed that when eating a combination of soy with prebiotics, a reduction in LDL-cholesterol (bad cholesterol), an increase in HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol), reduced ratio of LDL to total cholesterol (which is really the measure for heart health) and, reduced ratio of LDL to HDL cholesterol ratio was seen compared to those taking the prebiotics alone.
So, how can the results from this study to help us choose healthy foods to eat, particularly if you are interested in lowering or managing your cholesterol levels?
The good news is foods containing both natural soy and prebiotics are all foods that can easily be a part of your regular healthy diet.
Foods containing natural soy include tofu or tempeh while great sources of prebiotics can be found in specific nuts such as pistachios and cashews, fruit such as unripe bananas, legumes such as lupini beans, and vegetables including Jerusalem artichoke (which also contains naturally occurring inulin which was used in this study).
Did you recognise that organic Jerusalem artichoke is one of the key ingredients in the Daily Uplifter?!
Seeing the findings from this study shows including the Daily Uplifter in your regular diet and also having a few sources of natural unprocessed soy could have the potential to help with cholesterol lowering whilst also being beneficial for your health in many other ways!
Stay tuned as we translate more topical scientific studies,
In good gut health,