The Learning Centre


Feed Your Gut

By Genuine Health

This article is part of a series. Check out the other pieces in this series to learn more about:

We never eat alone. The word “commensal,” which refers to the bacteria that live among us, literally translates to “sharing” and “table.” Each time we sit down to eat, we share our meal with our commensal gut bacteria – and they benefit from the nutritional choices that we make.

These days, prebiotics are getting plenty of attention for how they feed our gut bacteria and help us get the most out of our probiotic supplements. But the term ‘prebiotic’ is a blanket term used to describe any and all types of food for gut bacteria. Up until recently, the standard issue prebiotics on the market have been derived from a type of fibre called inulin, which is notorious for causing gas and bloating.
Luckily, research has discovered some pretty cool things recently. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to FEED your gut and get the most out of your probiotics.


Quick digestion lesson: most of the nutrients from the food we eat are absorbed in our small intestine. One of the exceptions is polyphenols, the largest class of phytonutrients that includes flavonoids and anthocyandins. Polyphenols are good for us because they provide benefits throughout the body, like:

  • Neutralizing free radicals
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Supporting heart health
  • Slowing the aging process

For the longest time, researchers couldn’t understand why only 10% of polyphenols consumed were absorbed by the small intestine. This phenomenon was chalked up to low bioavailability. But what really happens is that the remaining 90% of polyphenols travel to the large intestine, where they become food for our gut microbes and provide other benefits:

  • Polyphenols shape bacteria populations: Polyphenols do so much for gut bacteria that they are on the verge of being recognized as prebiotics. There’s plenty of scientific evidence that shows that polyphenols can help to shape gut bacteria populations by enhancing the activity of good bacteria and decreasing the activity of bad bacteria.
  • Polyphenols feed the gut: When our gut microbes eat the polyphenols, they transform them into metabolites – smaller structures that are better absorbed, and make their way to where they’re needed in the body (which is most often the brain – you literally have fermented plants on your brain right now).

This is what inspired Genuine Health to use the latest nutritional research available to develop fermented organic gut superfoods+, the ultimate prebiotic superfood. NEW fermented organic gut superfoods+ is made from 22 fully fermented superfoods and prebiotics to nourish a healthy gut flora.
We start by gathering 21 polyphenol-rich fruits, vegetables and culinary herbs. Within hours of being harvested, we fermented these superfoods using artisanal, small-batch processes. Then we add a fermented, easy-to-tolerate source of prebiotic. The result is a phytonutrient-dense (it takes 10 pounds of fresh fruits and veggies to make one pound of fermented organic gut superfoods+), fully fermented (read: more bioavailable, easy-to-digest and gut friendly) feast for your gut!
Feed the gut… some more
You can take fermented organic gut superfoods+ with greens+ or whole body NUTRITION with greens+, which also contain polyphenols – but provide therapeutic benefits like boosting energy, antioxidant protection and pH, thanks to their standardized botanicals.

Fish Oils

There’s no denying that fish oils provide benefits throughout the entire body, by helping to squelch inflammation and support a healthy mood and brain function. But fish oils can also help to feed and shape gut bacteria populations, too:

  • Fish oils help gut bacteria to thrive: Studies have found that EPA, one fatty acid found in fish oil, not only helps your gut bacteria “stick” to intestinal cells, but also boosts Bifido bacteria levels.
  • Gut bacteria amplify the effects of fish oils: Gut bacteria can increase body-wide tissue levels of omega-3 fatty acids, and can increase the EPA and DHA found in the brain.

Genuine Health helped to pioneer fish oils in Canada and has created 3 different ways to feed your gut with fish oils:

  • omega3+ joy contains an EPA concentrate, an essential Omega-3 fatty acid clinically proven to help improve mood and mental outlook, including the seasonal blues, as well as reduce inflammation in the body.
  • omega3+ think contains a research-proven dosage of DHA concentrate derived from wild, purity tested, sustainable fish oils for healthier brain development and function.
  • omega3 triple strength + D3 contains the EPA/DHA dosage recommended by the American Heart Association for added cardiovascular support – plus the added health benefits of 1000 IU of Vitamin D3.

So the next time you sit down to eat, think of what you’re feeding your commensal gut bacteria – it’s possible to shape your gut bacteria populations with each bite you take.



E Barrett et al. Bifidobacterium breve with α-linolenic acid and linoleic acid alters fatty acid metabolism in the maternal separation model of irritable bowel syndrome. PLoSOne. 2012;7(11):e48159

SE Erdman. Microbes, Oxytocin, and Healthful Longevity. J Prob Health 2: 117 (2014).

YM Ibrahim, et al. Maternal Gut Microbes Control Offspring Sex and Survival. J Prob Health 2:120. (2014).

K Kaliannan et al. A host-microbiome interaction mediates the opposing effects of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids on metabolic endotoxemia. Sci Rep. 2015 Jun 11;5:11276

K Kaliannan et al. Omega-3 fatty acids prevent early-life antibiotic exposure-induced gut microbiota dysbiosis and later-life obesity. Int J Obes (Lond). 2016 Jun;40(6)

F Ounnas et al. Whole Rye Consumption Improves Blood and Liver n-3 Fatty Acid Profile and Gut Microbiota Composition in Rats. PLoS One. 2016 Feb 10;11(2)

Morais CA, et al. Anthocyanins as inflammatory modulators and the role of the gut microbiota. J Nutr Biochem. 2016 Jul;33:1-7

Ozdal T, et al. The Reciprocal Interactions between Polyphenols and Gut Microbiota and Effects on Bioaccessibility. Nutrients. 2016 Feb 6;8(2):78

Varian BJ, et al. Microbial lysate upregulates host oxytocin. Brain Behavior & Immunity. 2016.