Numerous studies, especially in recent years, are demonstrating the crucial role that the gut microbiome plays in our health.1 A healthy gut microbiome facilitates digestive processes and strengthens our immune responses, while also supporting many other aspects of our health. When the population of organisms that inhabit our large intestine are imbalanced or depleted, this may contribute to weight gain, hyperglycaemia, hypercholesterolaemia and other disorders.2 The list of conditions that can be traced back to the microbiome, and that respond to an improvement in the gut microflora is ever growing, so it is worth considering improving the microbiome together with other treatment modalities for conditions where the association is known.

Here is a gut health yoghurt that is rich in probiotics, fibre and antioxidants to keep a balanced microbiome and the bowel movements regular. It can be made in under 5 minutes and eaten as a quick breakfast or as a snack.

One cup (240ml) of 0% fat plain yoghurt
Five pitted prunes
15g Walnuts
5g Pumpkin seeds
5g Coconut flakes


Nutrition Facts


Calories                         298Kcals
Total Fat                       16g
   Saturated Fat               5g
Total Carbohydrates     24g
   Dietary Fibre               2g
   Total Sugars              20g
Proteins                        18g

The population of healthy microbes in our microbiome can be increased by including food containing probiotics such as natural yoghurt or fermented foods in our diet on a regular basis. This is especially important after events like antibiotic treatment, acute illness and stress as these deplete our microbiome populations, making us more prone to infections and disease.3

We can also nourish our microbiome by feeding it prebiotics found in foods like apples and bananas. Prebiotics are a type of dietary fibre that, once digested by the gut bacteria,  produces nutrients that are absorbed by the large intestine, leading to a healthier digestive system. These nutrients include the short-chain fatty acids butyrate, acetate, and propionate.4

Roughage found in fruit such as prunes, nuts and seeds provides a pediment upon which our microbiome can grow and flourish. 5

Prunes are a source of vitamin K, vitamin A and some B vitamins, and they help bowel movements, mainly due to the insoluble fibre they contain.

Nuts and seeds are also rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E. These are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.


  1. Ursell LK, Metcalf JL, Parfrey LW, et al. Defining the human microbiome. Nutr Rev 2012;70 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S38-S44.
  2. Jandhyala SM, Talukdar R, Subramanyam C, et al. Role of the normal gut microbiota. World J Gastroenterol 2015;21(29):8787-803.
  3. Brown AC, Valiere A. Probiotics and medical nutrition therapy. Nutr Clin Care 2004;7(2):56-68.
  4. den Besten G, van Eunen K, Groen AK, et al. The role of short-chain fatty acids in the interplay between diet, gut microbiota, and host energy metabolism. J Lipid Res 2013;54(9):2325-40.
  5. Myhrstad MCW, Tunsjø H, Charnock C, et al. Dietary Fiber, Gut Microbiota, and Metabolic Regulation-Current Status in Human Randomized Trials. Nutrients 2020;12(3):859.