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Supermarket Tour - filling your trolley for good gut health

Gastrointestinal (GI) discomfort is an issue faced by many athletes. This may be experienced around exercise only but can occur at any time (particularly for those who suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome). Whether you’re an elite or recreational golfer, it’s important to look after your gut health.

Key focus areas for optimising gut health

Some of the key nutritional considerations for optimising gut health include adequate fibre (especially prebiotic fibre), hydration, prioritising quality fats, and including a variety of plant foods. Research has found that including 30 different plant foods per week is ideal for optimal gut microbiome.

To put this into practice, below are some excellent supermarket options to include that can help promote good gut health.

Legumes and Lentils

Legumes and lentils are great sources of fibre and act as prebiotics, meaning they serve as excellent fuel for gut bacteria. Some supermarket options to boost your legume and lentil intake include:

  • Tinned legumes and lentils – simply rinse under water and add to meals
  • Chickpea snackers – ready-to-eat single serves of flavoured chickpeas
  • Roasted chickpeas and fava beans
  • Hummus – perfect with wholegrain crackers or added to wraps/nourish bowls
  • Pulse and lentil pasta

Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

Extra virgin olive oil has powerful anti-inflammatory benefits due to the natural phenolic compound oleocanthal.  There are a variety of EVOO options at the supermarket, so it can be difficult to know which one to choose. For high quality, EVOO choose one which is made in Australia and is extra virgin (not just olive oil). 


Wholegrains provide a good source of dietary fibre and various antioxidants to promote good gut health. They also act as an excellent source of carbohydrates for athletes and active individuals.  Some great supermarket wholegrain options include:

  • Wholegrain bread
  • Rolled oats
  • Multigrain wheat breakfast cereal
  • Grain porridge sachets
  • Super grains (in microwave cups)
  • Wholewheat crackers
  • Tinned/frozen corn
  • Lightly salted popcorn

Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds provide fibre and poly/monounsaturated fats which can promote good gut health.  Some convenient supermarket nut/seed products include:

  • Nut and seed bars
  • Nut/seed multipacks
  • Nut butter spreads
  • ABC spread
  • Seeded crackers

Fruit and vegetables

It’s no surprise that fruit and vegetables make this list. Whilst your standard fresh fruit and veg are excellent, sometimes convenient options are needed. Below are some great convenient fruit and veg supermarket options:

  • Frozen steam-fresh vegetable bags
  • Baby carrots/baby cucumbers and pre-chopped vegetable sticks
  • Readymade salad bowls/kits
  • Frozen fruit such as mixed berries
  • Pre-chopped fruit salad
  • Tinned vegetables (reduced or no added salt)
  • Tinned fruit in juice (not syrup)
  • Frozen onion (excellent prebiotic source and means no tears chopping)

Carrot Cake Muffins

Courtesy of Christie Johnson

Energise your taste buds with this modern twist on classic carrot cake with these quick and easy muffins – a perfect pre-golf game snack or to take out on the course and enjoy.


  • 2 eggs
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup wholemeal self-raising flour
  • 1 heaped tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/3 cup raw sugar
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup sultanas (optional)
  • 300g carrot (approx. 2-3 carrots), peeled and grated
  • 1 small zucchini, grated (leave the skin on)
  • ½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped


1. Preheat oven to 160°C fan forced

2. Mix eggs, vanilla, oil and milk in a small bowl

3. In a separate medium-size bowl, mix flour, spices, sugar, coconut, and sultanas together

4. Add wet ingredients to the flour mix and stir

5. Gently fold through veggies and walnuts

6. Scoop into a lined or greased muffin tray. Make either 10 x medium muffins or 12 smaller ones.

7. Bake for approximately 25 minutes

Black Bean Burgers

Courtesy of Grains and Legumes Nutrition Council

Support your gut health with these carbohydrate and veggie-rich burgers – they are a great substitute for take-out burgers and can be a fun activity to make in the kitchen!


  • 1/2 cup wholemeal couscous
  • 1 grated zucchini
  • 1 grated carrot
  • 1/2 cup sweetcorn
  • 1 x 400g can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 egg
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 6 wholemeal rolls
  • 1/2 cup baby spinach leaves
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 small red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 cucumber, finely sliced
  • 1/4 cup natural Greek yogurt


1. Cook the couscous according to packet directions. Cover and set aside for 5 minutes

2. In a medium saucepan, cook the zucchini, carrot and sweetcorn until no moisture remains

3. Place black beans and egg in a food processor and process until pureed. Transfer to a bowl. Stir in the couscous, vegetables, spring onions and coriander. Shape into 6 patties and grill or cook in a non-stick frying pan.

4. Make the burgers by layering lettuce, red onion, tomatoes, cucumber and couscous patties and a dollop of yogurt between the rolls

Mexican Pan Frittata

Courtesy of Australian Eggs

Eggs are a powerhouse of nutrients – add some whole grain or sourdough toast to boost the carbohydrate content of this protein-rich recipe!


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, halved, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 yellow or red capsicum, halved, deseeded, sliced
  • 1 cob sweet corn, kernels removed
  • 1/3 cup coriander leaves, chopped
  • 200g mini roma tomatoes, halved lengthways
  • 8 large eggs, at room temperature
  • Store-bought tomato salsa
  • Diced avocado, coriander leaves


1. Preheat grill to medium-high and heat oil over medium heat in a 20cm non-stick ovenproof frying pan

2. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes until soft in the pan then add the capsicum and corn, stirring often, for 4-5 minutes or until the capsicum softens. Stir in chopped coriander

3. Spread the mixture evenly over the base of the pan and scatter the tomatoes over mixture

4. Whisk the eggs in a jug then pour egg mixture over the vegetables. Shake the pan to evenly distribute the egg Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 8-10 minutes or until almost set.

5. Place pan under a hot grill for 3-5 minutes or until the top of the frittata just sets. Stand for 5 minutes then transfer to a board

6. Cut the frittata into wedges and serve with tomato salsa, avocado, coriander and lime wedges

Sports Dietitians Australia

Empowering you to take performance to the next level! SDA is the peak professional body for Accredited Sports Dietitians, working with active Australians to achieve their health and performance goals with credible and expert sports nutrition advice.

To ensure advice is tailored to your specific needs, head to the Sports Dietitians Australia website at and make an appointment with your local Accredited Sports Dietitian.

For more sports nutrition information and resources head to the Sports Dietitians Australia website and don’t forget to subscribe to the SDA ReFuel digital magazine which is a free quarterly publication that showcases the role nutrition plays in exercise performance.


Amanda Smith is an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) at Verde Nutrition Co.  Her special interest areas are gut health/food intolerances, women’s health and nutrition for sports performance