The nutrition supplement industry is estimated to be worth around $24 billion in 2014, and based on figures from 2015, the growth is set to rise to approx. $28 billion between the periods of 2015-2020 based on the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.3%.
So from a sports nutrition company’s perspective, that’s great news, it’s clear that people are investing in themselves to improve their health, increase energy or build and develop muscle. Of course nutrition supplements (as the name suggests) are designed to support a healthy balanced diet and NEVER should they replace it, but many people are losing some of the benefit of their supplement regime through poor digestive health.
Optimise digestion and absorption
Malabsorption is when the food and drink we consume isn’t digested and absorbed as efficiently as it should be, the consequence is that we lose some of the nutritional value through excretion (going to the toilet). This is where healthy balanced diets help. Take porridge oats as the prime example, we know that oats are a wholegrain meaning they have all of the goodness left in them (not removed through over-processing), plus they are a source of starchy carbohydrates, soluble fibre (the type that thickens your poop) and vitamins and minerals. Not only this, porridge oats are now considered a prebiotic…but what does this mean for your HEALTH & GAINS!
What are Probiotics?
Well, one of the main areas of focus for digestive health at the moment is bacteria, healthy bacteria, or more specifically probiotics. Probiotics are live bacteria or yeasts which are commercially called ‘friendly’ bacteria. These friendly bacteria are thought to restore balance between the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria in the digestive tract (intestine).
Then what on earth are Prebiotics?
Probiotics are living microorganisms which like humans need food to live. Well Prebiotics happen to be that food! The theory is that we eat the prebiotic food which is digested in the stomach, and then further digested in the intestine by bacteria. The prebiotic food keeps the ‘good’ bacteria fed and happy so that digestion is improved, more efficient and reduces waste products of digestion i.e. gas, wind and bloating. Some of the main prebiotic foods are carbohydrate based and include tomatoes, asparagus, onions, garlic, artichoke, chicory and bananas. A consistent supply of these foods can positively affect your digestive health, but also improve nutrient absorption, but how many people consume these foods regularly? If you enjoy all of the above then great, but a food that has been a staple in many people’s diets since prehistoric times is porridge, and now this is being championed as a prebiotic food too.
Oats are ideal because they are consumed on a consistent basis every morning, they deliver a multitude of benefits including sustained energy, fibre, protein, vitamin E, B vitamins, zinc, antioxidants and phytochemicals…oh, and they also feed the good bacteria that are key to the absorption of every single one of those nutrients! Not bad hey!
If you haven’t already, get porridge oats into your life!