Your gut microbiome; has a huge, not to mention diverse, community in it. I’m talking trillions. You have bacteria & fungi (yup everyone does, don’t sweat it) that are everywhere, seriously EVERY nook & cranny. This microbiome really drives how your body works – metabolism, immune, mental health, even your appetite. Even more interesting is the fact that we are all individual, which means so are our gut microbiomes. Yup when your Mum told you that you were special & unique, she actually wasn’t kidding!
Healthy gut bacteria are a fantastic thing but with any huge community sometimes opportunists sneak in & don’t work in your best interest. It is a very fine balance in keeping your gut happy & healthy, as well as diversely populated with the good guys. Need some tips?
Fibre has heaps of benefits including reducing the risk of heart disease & some cancers, plus it keeps you feeling fuller for longer which assists with weight loss.
Have a variety of fruit & vege
Different fruits & vege have different vitamins & minerals in them, so by choosing to eat a variety you are more likely to get a big cross section of vitamins & minerals. Makes sense right! Plus, if you choose high fibre vege such as artichokes, broccoli, peas, or sweet corn you are getting you fibre hit as well. Easy peasy.
Add in polyphenols
Choosing foods rich in polyphenols can help with your digestion, plus they are great for brain & heart health. Add in red onion, cherries or strawberries, spinach, nuts & seeds, olive oil, any of the brassica family, & green tea.
Include fermented foods
Basically, fermented foods contain live microbiomes. A lot of traditional cultures have included these in their diets for a long time, & they are still a popular option today. Add a spoonful of sauerkraut, a dollop of kimchi, try a mug of miso rather than your morning coffee, or even a spoonful of yoghurt on your breakfast. There are a lot of options, just ensure they do have live cultures & are not too processed.
Ditch the processed foods
It is fair to say, the more processing the less benefit you will be getting from the food, so where possible choose whole foods.
Whether it be gardening in your back yard, a walk at the beach or a hike in the hills – just getting outside puts you in a different environment which strengthens your microbiome. Pets also introduce more microbial diversity, so whether you are visiting a friend, or have your own furry friend – pat them, stroke them, or walk them. It’s all good.
OK, these totally have their place in today’s world. However, sometimes they are overprescribed (I don’t think this is news to anyone). They do tend to indiscriminately destroy microbes, both good & bad, which can take a while to recover from & regain that precious gut balance. Even paracetamol & antacids interfere with your but microbiome. Just choose wisely & if you do take something, know you need to put work in to rebalance your gut.
These are some key points, which can work in with any lifestyle. They are key to happy tummies, which makes a happy you.
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