Gut health is now at the forefront of medical science and the evidence is fully substantiated. Many things in modern life can disturb your gut microbiome. High stress levels, too much sugar and over processed foods, antibiotics and not enough sleep to name but a few. Your Microbiome consists of trillions of bacteria living within your colon when these become imbalanced and there are not enough good bacteria it can affect you in so many ways.
The Immune system is compromised, more prone to colds and flu. Skin can develop eczema and breakouts. Good bacteria can help you lose weight and help the metabolism function more adequately. Hormones can be affected as they are made in the gut, every hormone in the body can be affected by an unhealthy gut. IBS as the microbes produce a lot of gas and bloating. Good gut microbiome can even benefit brain health, serotonin is an anti depressant chemical thats mostly made in the gut and requires a good balance of healthy bacteria. The gut is also physically connected to the brain through millions of nerves so it is vital that the best physical environment exists in order for this to thrive.
The huge benefits from having a healthy gut so it is vital we are proactive in probiotics. The best way to do this is to incorporate some healthy gut foods into your diet so lets start now so we are well protected before the onslaught of the festive period.
I have studied gut health for as long as I remember as a past sufferer of IBS and follow a largely probiotic diet for the past 7 years.. I do not suffer from ANY of the aforementioned issues now, today . I have not had a cold or flu for 7 years and my hormones have just been measured and are all at optimum levels. So I am going to share with you 7 foods that you can incorporate easily into your diet on a daily basis at this time of year to give you perfect gut health and fill you with energy.
- KEFIR – every day! My body really notices when I don,t have it. My personal favourite is Nourish. You only need half a small bottle daily. Must be unflavoured, flavouring is full of sugar which defeats the object.
- SAUERKRAUT/KIMCHI fermented vegetables full of fibre. Can be enjoyed with any meal on the side. I love the Biona brand. Daily.
- MISO fermented paste made from soya beans packed with beneficial bacteria and makes a wonderful warming soup easy to fit this in at this time of year. Make it in a mug and substitute your afternoon coffee. Once a day.
- JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES a cross between parsnip/turnip/potato. Very rich in iron but also a probiotic, full of fibre known as inulin that stimulates the growth of friendly gut bacteria and fends off any bad bacteria. Makes a great soup or risotto.
- GARLIC great roasted with JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES ! Easy to add to most dishes. Garlic is so potent in gut health especially if you have had antibiotics recently. It can kill off overgrowth of a fungus in the gut called Candida Albicans. It is full of a natural chemical called allicin that can kill harmful bacteria and infections in the blood.
- RED CABBAGE in abundance during the festive season twice the amount of Vitamin C as green cabbage and far more tasty. Brilliant for inflammation in the gut making it excellent for skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
- BRUSSELS SPROUTS also a festive season food but don’t just save these highly nutritious vegetable for the Christmas table. Full of probiotics, provides crucial ingredient for a chemical to protect the intestine from inflammation which can lead to other conditions , like arthiritis and heart disease. All cruciferous vegetables as they are full of fibre help the microbiome ecology to a great extent.
A healthy gut not only promotes good mental and physical health but also can promote a more positive mood. All this just making a few additions to your diet. Remember though to cut down on the sugar and artificial sweeteners.
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