It’s no longer a secret that what we eat and drink makes a big difference to wellbeing.
Scientific research has identified the gut as the engine room for wellbeing, with 70% of your immune system located here. Just like a car, the quality of the fuel that you put into your body affects how well it runs and how finely tuned your systems will be.
The health of your gut goes way beyond the digestive system itself. If your gut is under pressure, there will be an inflammatory response, commonly associated with the “leaky gut” syndrome. Sustained inflammation in your body can lead to illness, mood disturbances and overall sluggish performance.
You can support good gut health by lowering stress and getting a good night’s sleep. It can also be beneficial to build the natural probiotic microorganisms in your gut. But the best medicine might just be the food that you eat.
What should I eat for good Gut Health?
The less processed, the better! Eat plenty of fresh fruit and veggies. Aim for home cooked meals that include fibre-rich wholefoods like grains and legumes.
Fibre slows down the digestion of food, which helps to keep insulin levels in check, which minimises inflammation.
You can also support your system by cooking with dark leafy greens, brassicas (like cabbage and broccoli), flavoursome garlic, leeks and onions, and also mushrooms. Fermented foods like yoghurt or sauerkraut will support the gut by boosting beneficial bacteria.
How should I eat for good Gut Health?
Eat slowly, calmly and chew your food. This will mean less work for your body to break it all down. You’ll also give your body time to catch up and send back the message that you are full, so you’ll be less likely to overeat.
Make time to sit down and share meals with family, friends or work colleagues. This social interaction can help minimise loneliness, which research has shown to be detrimental to your health.
When you eat matters too. You know what it’s like when you don’t get to finish one task before the next one is thrown at you. It’s stressful. Give your gut a rest so that it can do its job optimally without being overloaded.
Minimise snacks and eat lighter meals in the evenings. If you can fast after 8pm, you’ll give your gut the best chance to regenerate and tick off its daily ‘to do’ list while you sleep. Pretty soon you’ll find that you sleep better and wake more refreshed.
What foods should I avoid for good Gut Health?
Limit highly-processed foods, which are harder to digest. While fast-food is convenient in the short-term it’s not the best choice for optimal health and wellbeing.
Be aware of any reaction you have to a particular food. It might point to an intolerance or be a sign that you need to turbo boost your gut’s good bacteria.
What should I drink for good Gut Health?
It’s important to keep well hydrated. This will be a big support for your digestive system, and help you to avoid uncomfortable blockages.
Aim to drink 6-8 glasses of clean filtered water every day. Fermented drinks like kombucha can support hydration and also boost the good bacteria in your gut.
Try to limit your alcohol intake. It can cause dehydration, plus your systems will have to work harder to clear the toxins from your body in order to keep you well.