Want a healthy gut?

There are certain foods that you need to be reaching including coffee and dark chocolate would you believe!

We are no only finally starting to release just how much the trillions of microorganisms that live in our gut contribute to our mental and physical health.

Although stress, sleep and our environment impact on gut health, food is one factor that we have control over and it is so influential on the health of our gut.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) are two very common problems related to gut health that many people struggle with.

So what foods are beneficial to the gut?

Confusion about what to eat when suffering from gut issues can arise because those who are suffering are often unsure about what is triggering their symptoms.

A low FODMAP diet is often recommended as this eliminates certain foods that the gut may not be able to tolerate when it is flared up. This means a reduction in a lot of foods that are considered ‘prebiotics’ (food for bacteria in the gut), such as wholegrains, which are actually healthy for the gut.

Due to the benefits of prebiotics for gut health, a low FODMAP diet should generally only be followed for a short duration e.g 4-6 weeks (depending on your individual requirements).

Many studies suggest the benefits of both altering the mind and altering diet to help alleviate the symptoms associated with IBS. Due to the connection between the brain and the gut, there is no confusion as to how food enhances mood.

As mentioned, prebiotics feed the good bacteria in the gut, this includes plant based foods and whole grains. Foods known a probiotics are the good bacteria in our gut. These can be found in foods such as live yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi. Although it is important that we consume fruit and veg, the diversity is important as different types contain different fibres to feed the different bacteria in the gut.

A lot of attention has been given to foods rich in essential fatty acids for heart health. This is related to their high polyphenol content. Although beneficial to heart health and the skin, polyphenols are beneficial to the bacteria in the gut. Nuts and seeds are high in fibre that bulks out the faeces and aids regular bowel movements.

Berries are also a really good food source for the gut. Although they contain glucose, they also have a naturally high fibre content to help stabilise blood sugar levels in the body.

It is important that when your are making changes to your diet that they are introduced slowly to prevent any discomfort. Every individuals body is different therefore there is not one specific diet to benefit all unfortunately but finding what works for you will help to better your gut microbiome.