Five tips about how to eat
Five tips to help improve gut health
The health of our gut has an impact on not only our digestion but also inflammation, our immune system and could even affect our weight. Here are some tips to help your gut health for the year ahead.
1. Eat more plant-based foods:
A varied gut microbiome is associated with better health. 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:
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:
Polyphenols are compounds found in fruit and vegetables, cocoa and drinks such as red wine and tea. As well as being though tot 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
5. Eat fermented foods
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[iii]. Bacteria are able to swap genes with each other so introducing new bacteria to your gut may help bacteria already living there[iv].
[i] NHS Choices Constipation https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/constipation/
[ii] EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition, and Allergies (NDA) (2010), Scientific opinion on dietary reference values for water. EFSA Journal, 8: Issue 3, 1459-1507
[iii] Fermented kimchi reduces body weight and improves metabolic parameters in overweight and obese patients.
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