Top tips to improve your Gut Health
Let’s talk about Gut Health! There has been a growing trend in gut health recently as researchers become more aware of how many actions in our body rely on the health of our gut.
Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine said, “all disease begins in the gut.”
So how does our gut microbiome benefit our health?
Improves Mental Health
Our gut microbes work alongside our human cells to help produce the hormone serotonin. This hormone impacts on our mood and feelings. This can help you feel happier and more relaxed. A healthy brain is linked to a healthy gut suggesting why our gut is known as our ‘second brain’.
Often run down and prone to getting ill? Approximately 80% of our immune system is in the gut. By optimising our gut health we can improve our immunity, protecting us from those unwanted colds.
Aids Weight Management
Because our gut microbes can affect our hormones; what we eat, our stress levels and therefore our weight can be affected by the health of our gut.
Produces Essential Nutrients:
Your gut bacteria have a unique function, producing essential nutrients such as Vitamin K, B12, folate and thiamine.
Ways to look after your gut so that it looks after you
Although what we eat contributes to the type of bacteria that colonise in the gut, exercise, sleep and relaxation are also contributing to the health of our microbiome.
A healthy microbiome requires lots of different types of bacteria. The biggest factor influencing the gut microbiome is your diet, which you can control.
Top tips to increase your gut health
- Up your fibre; humans lack enzymes to break fibre down; it is therefore not digested until it gets to the gut. The gut bacteria are able to break down and use fibre, providing them with a source of energy.
- Prebiotics help increase the absorption of minerals that are beneficial to health. They are the food for bacteria in the gut. Good sources of prebiotics include onions, garlic, legumes, bananas, apples, nuts, berries, leeks, leafy greens, asparagus, artichokes, bananas, cold potatoes and whole grains.
- Probiotics are the good bacteria in the gut. Although these can be picked up from the environment, good food sources include live yogurt, kimchee and sauerkraut. Probiotics help to boost the microbiome by increasing the number of bacteria in the gut.
- When you combine these cultured foods with those rich in prebiotics, this creates a synergistic effect in the gut. This can optimise your health physically and emotionally.
- Bombard your body with colour, fibre and variety (the more you get from different plants, the more forms of different bacteria for the gut)
- Protein with each meal to help with blood sugar levels
- Consume polyohenols-dark coloured veg such as pomegranate, carrot, red onion. These help feed gut bacteria.
- Eat heartily to help trigger and digest stomach acid
- Restrict alcohol and caffeine consumption
- Eat at least 3 meals a day
- Chew your food well to aid digestion