The more the merrier: how to improve gut health

Lifestyle Editor Catherine Entwistle shares how to have a happy tummy

Catherine Entwistle
26th February 2020
Image: Flickr NIH Image Gallery
Hippocrates once said, “all disease begins in the gut” and it would appear that his words couldn’t be more pertinent today. Microbes start populating our guts the day we’re born but many people’s microbiome in 2020 are lacking diversity thanks to our overuse of antibiotics and poor diet.

The trillions of bacteria and other microbes that occupy every single human gut have a vital role to play when it comes to metabolism, immune system and mood. It therefore comes as no surprise that doctors and gut health experts are trying to educate people on how to improve the number and variety of microbes in your gut. Here are some simple ways to give your gut the boost it needs:

Eat fermented foods

Fermented food such as kimchi and tempeh are a great way to improve your gut health and as exotic as they may sound, they are fairly easy to get hold of. You should also give Kombucha a try, a fermented tea that originated in East Asia. It is now homebrewed worldwide and also widely available on supermarket shelves. The drink is produced by fermenting sugared tea using a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY) and is full of good bacteria that will improve your microbiome.

Eat a huge variety of fruit and vegetables

The more colourful the better when it comes to fruit and veg, as different types of bacteria like different types of food and it is important to feed them all the right things. This is also beneficial for increasing fibre levels, something that is also needed to feed healthy bacteria.

Eat cheese and live yogurt

You should incorporate yogurts such as kefir and Greek yogurt into your diet, as they contain high levels of probiotics, which are great for improving gut microbiome.

Avoid excessive amounts of sugar

Eating excess sugar tends to feed the bacteria that we want less of in our gut and can therefore lead to gut dysbiosis, which is an imbalance of gut microbes.

Intermittent fasting

Fasting is often seen as a great way to loose unwanted weight but it is also another way of improving gut health. Intermittent fasting allows your digestive system to rest properly and helps to replenish gut bacteria.

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