Gut Feeling Nutritional therapist Angela Heaps explains why you always need to listen to your gut.
ut health is of the utmost importance when we start our journey into health. Why? Because a healthy gut equals a healthy body! We automatically think of it as just digesting our food, but did you know it is vital in terms of helping us to ‘ detoxify’ harmful waste and chemicals; as well of getting rid of excess hormones? It is also vital for mental wellbeing, energy, and also immune function. How To Keep Your Gut Happy Like the rest of your body, your gut needs a workout and can get lazy if you don’t help it to work. Overprocessed food causes it to slow down. The best way to support your gut and digestion is to eat a diet rich in fibre. The best sources of fibre are vegetables and whole grains. A recent UK recommendation is to up your vegetables to 10 servings of fruit and veggies daily. The Mediterranean diet is deemed the best in the world as it adheres to these principles and in some areas of the Mediterranean, they have more people over the age of 100 than anywhere else on the planet! If you want to eat like a Mediterranean, add some oats, fibrous veggies and whole grains to your daily diet, as well as flax and chia seed. Aim to have around 20 grams of fibre to help foster a happy gut!
Inspired Health / Spring/Summer 2017
Dustbins Or Elimination Machines? Fibre can really help the gut to remove chemicals and waste products more quickly, while food that has high amounts of pectin work with fibre to soothe the gut: pectin is found in things like apples, plums and pears. Also a chemical component in food from the brassica family – calcium D glucorade– is a super hormone blaster, which helps the body rid itself of free circulating excess hormones like oestrogen when it has been used. Help keep your gut happy by eating lots of cabbage, cauliflower and kale. The bonus is these veggies are also high in magnesium which is really needed to move or slow gut transit. Microbiome: A New Gut Frontier! It was suggested early in the 20th century by Dr Elie Metchnikoff, a colleague of Louis Pasteur, that ‘all disease begins in the gut’ and the way the gut bacteria interact is critical to disease. Dr Metchnikoff was given a noble prize for his work on gut flora in 1908, and it’s only taken this long for us to catch up! Microbiotics help us to balance our immune system, support more balanced bodily functions, and reduce inflammation. The good bacteria also protect us from all sorts of attacks; they are a bit like the MI5 of our bodies, thwarting attacks without us even knowing it!
You can get good bacteria from specific food, such as yoghurt and fermented yoghurt called kefir (something that has been used in Europe for thousands of years). Also food like fermented cabbage, pickles and veggies help us to balance our gut microbiome. Or you could consider taking a supplement such as Udo’s Choice Super 8 Microbiotics which contains 42 billion bacteria at manufacture and 31 billion at expiry.
WHOLE GRAINS: OATS, WHOLE GRAIN RICE, BUCKWHEAT FRUIT: PEARS, APPLES, PLUMS, RHUBARB VEGETABLES: SQUASH, LEAFY GREENS, ASPARAGUS, PURPLE SPROUTING BROCCOLI, OILY FISH: MACKEREL, SARDINES DAIRY: YOGHURT AND KEFIR MEAT: CHICKEN