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  • Writer's pictureHelen

Gut Health

Did you know that the gut is home to over 50 trillion beneficial microbes weighing over 1500g?

As well as extracting energy from our food, the gut accounts for approximately 80% of our immune system and produces over two dozen hormones. Bacteria make up more than 90% of the population of the gut.

The food that we eat can make a real difference to our gut health, and by eating foods that help your microbiome thrive, you can not only feel better but stave off certain health issues.

In his book 'The clever guts diet' Dr Micheal Mosley writes, "I'm convinced that many common gut conditions are better treated by a change in diet than by drugs or antidepressants".

Foods that nourish the gut:

Oily fish - full of good fats which are anti-inflammatory. Examples are: salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines and trout.

Olive oil- rich in antioxidants and polyphenols (extra virgin olive oil is best).

Cocoa - Good source of flavonoids and polyphenols. Try high cocoa content dark chocolate.

Fruit and vegetables - try eating a wide variety of different colour fruit and vegetables as it is good for your gut bacteria (differing bioactive compounds or phytonutrients).

Prebiotics - A prebiotic is plant fibre which your body can't digest but which encourages the growth of "good' bacteria in your gut. Examples are onions, leeks, garlic, asparagus and artichoke.

Probiotics - Probiotics are the live bacteria or yeast that you introduce into your body and hope they reach your colon alive. One of the best probiotic foods is homemade yoghurt. Other sources are cheese, sauerkraut, kefir and kimchi (all better if home made as shop bought may have been pasteurised).


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