Unfortunately, there isn’t (and probably never will be) a magic bullet for good gut health, mainly because it’s so personalised. But there are a number of small, sustainable changes to both our lifestyles and diets we can all introduce to look after our gut.
These are the tips that come up time and time again from our expert team of scientists, doctors, dietitians and nutritionists. Which one will you try first?
1. Variety – mix it up!
Get in loads of colours and different foods to stimulate those trillions of good gut microbes and get a nice diverse community in there. Current research shows that we need closer to 30 different types of plant-based foods a week, this includes vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, pulses, legumes, nuts and seeds.
2. Fibre – are you getting enough?
9/10 of us aren’t getting our recommended 30g a day but fibre really is the unsung hero of nutrition. Your gut microbes need a variety of different types of fibre to thrive but luckily nature has packaged lots into plant-based foods.
3. Look after your mind (easier said than done, we know…)
The gut and the brain are intrinsically linked, what goes on in your gut has an affect on your brain and vice versa. Science now shows that learning how to manage stress, or even reduce it where you can, and put in place some proper sleep hygiene will go a long way in supporting your mental health and in turn, your gut.
4. Stay hydrated
We don’t always think about the importance of remaining hydrated for our gut but it’s MEGA important. Dehydration is a common reason (not always, but often) behind constipation. To work out what you need, take your body weight in kg and multiply by 0.033 to give the litres
5. Time to get moving!
Exercise has been shown to increase your microbial diversity and is key in maintaining a healthy gut. What we don’t know is what type of exercise is best. Do what you enjoy. Think goldilocks – not too hard, not too little and with just enough rest. Variety is key!
6. Give ferments a go
Even though ferments have been around for centuries, the research is quite thin on the ground mostly due to their instability and funding. What we do know is that they are likely to help support the diversity of your gut microbes and diversity of your microbes = better health (so we think). A few you may recognise include olives, miso, tempeh, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi and sourdough bread.
Creating good gut habits is what we’re all about here at The Gut Stuff and to make that even easier we’ve introduced a range of tools to help you on your gut journey.
Fibre up with our tasty High Fibre Fruit & Nut Bars, try making your own ferments at home with our handy All-In-One Fermenting Kit plus use our Gut Diary to tune into your gut as well as track any changes or symptoms.
Written by: Alana Macfarlane Kempner & Lisa Macfarlane