Picture this—you sit down to eat fancy steak dinner complete with shrimp and scallops (this clearly wouldn’t be the case for all you vegans out there!). Your gut bacteria begin feasting on the choline and carnitine found in this meal and produce a byproduct called TMA (trimethylamine). Your liver takes that TMA and converts it into TMAO (trimethylamineN- oxide).
Choline is found in foods such as meat, eggs, poultry, fish, shellfish, dairy foods, and to a lesser extent in plant foods such as cruciferous vegetables and beans.
Carnitine is found in foods such as meat, eggs, poultry, fish, shellfish, and dairy. In general, the redder the meat, the more carnitine it contains.
*Animal products are the best sources of both choline and carnitine*
Dietary fiber is a complex group of substances that can be categorized according to their source, solubility, fermentability (how effectively bacteria metabolize them), and physiological effects.
Different forms of dietary fiber include:
- Non-starch polysaccharides (hemicellulose): Found in cereal grains; present in both soluble and insoluble forms
- Pectin: water-soluble polysaccharide; Highest amounts found in fruit and to a lesser degree in vegetables, legumes, and nuts
- B-glucans: non-starch polysaccharide, generally soluble; Highest amounts found in barley and oats
- Cellulose: major component of plant cell walls; found in grains, fruits, and to a lesser degree in vegetables and nuts
- Lignin: Found in foods with a woody component aka celery and the outer layer of cereal grains (The outer layer is the bran, which is the part that is removed during processing, but remains intact in whole grains)
I think most people could agree that we should be getting more plants into our diets, but does anyone really know why? Yes, eating more whole plant foods, like fruit, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains can help reduce our risk of chronic disease—thank you phytochemicals! But what really is the deal with plants? Why is it so important that we eat them on a regular basis? One word. FIBER.
Just as you are a unique soul, your gut microbiome is unique to you. In fact, no one on this planet has the very same microbiome as you! The gut microbiome varies widely across healthy individuals, so how can we tell if ours is healthy or not?
Author: Emily Wood, RD Nutrients That Support A Healthy Immune System Hello my fellow Foodnerd followers! As a quick aside, I am so happy to be mak...