Better gut health: 5 top tips
Better gut health has an impact on our overall health, not only our digestion but also inflammation, our immune system, brain function and could even affect our weight. Here are some tips to help your gut health.
1. Eat more plant-based foods for better gut health
A varied gut microbiome is not only associated with better gut health and better digestion, but with better health overall. To keep a the bacteria thriving, you need to feed them well. A recent study found that people who ate 30 or more different plant foods each week had a much more varied gut microbiome than those who eat 10 or fewer.
2. Eat prebiotics for better gut health
Prebiotics are fibres found in plant foods that we can’t digest but the bacteria in our gut can. In fact, gut bacteria feed on prebiotics and digests them for us. Our gut health has been shown to benefit from this in several ways such as reducing inflammation in the gut; having a protective anti-cancer effect and influencing the absorption of nutrients.
3. Eat polyphenols for gut bacteria growth
Polyphenols are compounds found in fruit and vegetables, cocoa and drinks such as red wine and tea. As well as being thought to have general antioxidant function they may also help gut health by encouraging the growth of “good” bacteria like Bifidobacterium strains, and inhibiting the growth of “bad” bacteria such as C. difficile.
4. Keep hydrated for movement of food through the gut
For food to move through the digestive system and bowels it needs to be properly lubricated and this simply means drinking enough water. Aim for around 2 litres of fluid every day.
5. Eat fermented foods for better gut health generally
Traditional fermentation of foods like yogurt and kimchi, grows lactic acid bacteria which colonise the gut when eaten and may have a positive effect on metabolism. Bacteria are able to swap genes with each other so introducing new bacteria to your gut may help bacteria already living there.
Better gut health means less digestive symptoms like bloating, wind, constipation and diarrhoea, but can also lead to better mood, sleep, weight and less inflammation. The gut is connected to so many of our organ systems that gut issues can have consequences beyond digestion. If you have any concerns about your gut health, make an appointment to see your GP. To book an appointment with me to have better gut health email email@example.com or call 07540305699.