Short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) are produced in the gut by the fermentation of carbs. These SCFAs are essential for the proper functioning and health of the cells of the colon. They also reduce growth of abnormal cells, play a role in the control of fats and carbs and provide energy to muscles, kidneys, heart & brain.
A poor diet leads to a decrease in SCFAs. SCFAs are also reduced if there are digestive problems, constipation, diverticular disease and colonic polyps/cancer. Therefore increasing SCFAs is critical for maintaining bowel health.
How do we increase them? Just by eating more of the following foods: Legumes (peas, lentils, soybeans, other beans), oats, rye, psyllium, carrots, broccoli, Jerusalem artichokes, skins of root veggies – sweet potato, potato and onion. Easy!