07 Mar Top Tips for a Happy & Healthy Gut
When we hear about bacteria we often think; infection. In reality our gut bacteria can influence our health and therefore a more positive & supportive approach towards bacteria can be beneficial
Our gut contains billions of bacteria and also other microbes, which together are called our microbiome. The microbiome plays a major role in our immune system and health. An imbalance in the gut microbiome can lead to poor gut health and has been associated with leaky gut and autoimmune diseases, heart disease, dementia, fertility, cancer, weight issues and more.
Here are my top tips for keeping your microbiome healthy.
- Cut out sugar – this can promote an overgrowth of the less ‘friendly’ bacteria
- Remove vegetable fats, trans fats and hydrogenated fats
- Remove processed foods and processed grains
- Include healthy fats like wild oily fish, avocado, nuts and seeds, olive oil and a little grass-fed butter is also beneficial.
- Organic vegetables – lots of greens, and the colours of the rainbow. Forget 5 a day, aim for 6 portions of veg and 3 fruits! Build up to this amount.
- Organic whole fruits, full of antioxidants. 3 servings a day is great for most people, selecting lower sugar varieties like berries, apple and pears, with higher sugar varieties less often.
- Include high fibre foods – fruits and vegetables mostly, legumes and some whole grain
- Select organic, wild, or grass fed, free-range options when it comes to meat, fish, poultry and eggs.
- Don’t forget to include powerful herbs and spices, particularly anti-inflammatory and protective options like turmeric, ginger, garlic, oregano, thyme
- Drink green tea and organic coffee in moderation. Hydrate with filtered water.
- Fermented foods, which contain beneficial bacteria that support the gut. Try organic live yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir. One portion daily is ideal.
- When it comes to grains make sure they are whole grains (not processed) and try sprouting them, as well as sprouting beans. Try one servings per day like chickpeas, black beans, adzuki beans, black rice, buckwheat or quinoa
- Manage stress – it disrupts the gut function, so try meditation, yoga, essential oils, exercise. Definitely exercise regularly!
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- Mental Health: Thinking from the Gut” in Scientific American 312, 3, 97-100 (March 2015) doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0315-S12
- Davenport ER, Sanders JG, Song SJ, Amato KR, Clark AG, Knight R. The human microbiome in evolution. BMC Biol. 2017;15(1):127. Published 2017 Dec 27. doi:10.1186/s12915-017-0454-7
- Rinninella E, Raoul P, Cintoni M, et al. What is the Healthy Gut Microbiota Composition? A Changing Ecosystem across Age, Environment, Diet, and Diseases. Microorganisms. 2019;7(1):14. Published 2019 Jan 10. doi:10.3390/microorganisms7010014