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Reset your gut health.

The efficiency of your gut is more important than you think to good health and research has begun to show that this may go way beyond just digestion.

Like a sorting office, your gut is responsible for breaking down food, absorbing nutrients for delivery around the body and then managing waste. In a perfect world this should be a pretty flawless operation, but the reality is that many people experience the side effects of poor digestion which include bloating, excess wind and more.
 
The microbiome

 ‘Microbiome’ is like the ecosystem of microorganisms that live in and around the body, most of these can be found in your gut. These microbes are like a protective barrier against foreign invaders which can potentially harm our health. We all have a unique microbiome, which is defined by the environment both within and around us.

The bacteria found in our gut are essential for efficient digestion and also help to digest antioxidant polyphenols (shown to help reduce the risk of disease) and synthesise vitamins such as B12, D, folic acid and thiamine.

Some new and different research begins to suggest that the diversity of bacteria in your gut might even influence our mental health.
 
The importance of fibre

Foods high in fibre include wholegrains, pulses, beans, lentils, vegetables, nuts, seeds and dried fruit. This nutrient helps the transit of food through the digestive system and has also been shown to reduce the risk of a number of diseases. But, according to the National Diet and Nutrition Survey it seems that most of us do not get enough fibre in our diet as only 10% of adults eat the recommended 30g per day. Can you add more fibre to your diet?
 
Feel Fit’s tips to reset your gut

Whilst many of these tips are very simple as that is how we like to keep things at Feel Fit, the fact is that many people are still not doing what it takes to keep their gut healthy. Whilst we would recommend you try doing all of the below we also suggest trying them several at a time – introducing new habits over time to make them subconscious habits is the best way, so we don’t slip back into our old ways..
 
  1. Goodbye whites

Choose wholegrain varieties of bread, pasta and rice over white varieties this is one the simplest steps to help improve the health of your gut. Wholegrains are staple foods and have much more fibre assisting with the transit of food through the gut and helping to reduce the risk of constipation.
 
  1. Be whole with your grains

These include oats, brown rice, barley and rye. Unlike processed or refined grains the bran and germ remain intact so they are higher in fibre and other key nutrients. Quinoa, buckwheat and amaranth are also high in fibre and can make great alternatives to traditional grains.
 
  1. Get your pulses racing…

These foods are not a common choice but are one of the richest sources of fibre. They may be used as a base for vegetarian meals but added to salads, soups, curry and make them into dips. If you’re new to these foods, then go steady as they can cause a little bloating at first.
 
  1. Veg for the win!

It doesn’t matter how many times we are told to eat more vegetables, a lot of us actually struggle to eat five-a-day. Vegetables are rich in fibre and some can act as a probiotic which promotes growth of bacteria in the gut (see below). If bloating is an issue then you may want to go a little lighter on some of the typically ‘windy’ vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and sprouts.
 
  1. PRO -biotics

Probiotics are bacteria that have a beneficial effect supporting a healthy microbiome. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are found in live yoghurt and probiotic shot drinks. Fermented foods such as kefir, kimchi and sauerkraut are also great for gut health and contain different strains of bacteria. You may also want to take a probiotic supplement, how long does it take for this is to kick in if you are taking them, that depends! If you stop taking them and symptoms return then keep taking them! Everyone’s bodies are different!
 
  1. What prebiotic too?

Prebiotics are types of dietary fibre that feed the friendly bacteria in your gut. This helps the gut bacteria produce nutrients for your colon cells and leads to a healthier digestive system
Foods rich in prebiotics include onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, bananas, oats and barley. Starchy foods such as pasta, rice and potatoes, which have been cooked and left to cool form resistant starches that also act as prebiotics in the gut.
 
7.Mindfulness, eating and stress

Pay attention to the way you eat as this can have a positive impact on your digestive system.
Mindful eating - things like chewing your food slowly, sitting down to eat and putting your knife and fork down between mouthfuls and taking your time over your food. Have smaller portions of food and make sure you are eating every 2 – 3 hours. Sometimes eating too close to bedtime as this can encourage reflux and heartburn, so allow yourself time after each meal for it to digest. Eating regularly, as skipping meals or going long periods without eating can encourage bloating.
Try to manage stress levels as this can affect movement and contraction of the GI tract and can also trigger IBS symptoms, plus when we are stressed we generally turn to the foods that are quick, easy and comforting, 9/10 are processed right…
 
 
If you want to know more or would like to working with us you can now sign up for our FREE Heathy Habit Training here.

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