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Foods to improve your gut health

5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Gut Health

Research indicates each of us has a unique mix of gut microbes, implying that there isn't a one-size-fits-all strategy for enhancing gut health. Nevertheless, there are numerous straightforward, actionable steps you can take today that will benefit your gut microbiome. 

Professor Tim Spector, a prominent researcher in the field of gut microbiome and co-founder of the ZOE project, unveiled his top 5 recommendations for improving gut health, which anyone can adopt to embark on a journey toward a healthier gut. 

Tim's 5 Tips for Enhancing Gut Health: 

1. Broaden Your Plant Intake: Aim to incorporate 30 different plant varieties into your weekly diet. The greater the diversity of fibre-rich plants you consume, the more content and varied your gut microbiome becomes. Foods like nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are abundant in nutrients that support gut health. Notably, garlic, onion, leeks, asparagus, and whole grains are rich in prebiotic fibres that are favoured by beneficial gut microbes. Increasing plant diversity in your diet can be achieved easily, especially by expanding your definition of plant-based foods to include spices, herbs, nuts, and seeds.


2. Embrace Colourful Foods: Colourful plant-based foods not only offer fibre but are also packed with polyphenols, which are beloved by beneficial gut microbes. Nuts, berries, seeds, brightly coloured fruits, extra virgin olive oil, vegetables, and dark chocolate are particularly rich in these advantageous antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. 


3. Start Eating Fermented Foods: Introduce a small portion of fermented foods into your daily diet to enhance gut health. Fermented foods like our Superkraut range, live yogurt, artisanal cheeses, kimchi, kombucha and kefir contain live probiotic microbes that can colonise your gut, augmenting the quantity and diversity of bacteria in your microbiome. Starting with the "4 K's" — kefir, kombucha, kimchi, and kraut — is a good approach. Incorporating a small serving of fermented foods daily is more effective than consuming a large quantity occasionally. 


4. Allow Your Gut to Rest: Minimise or avoid snacking and give your gut microbes a break overnight. During sleep, a team of gut microbes works to cleanse your gut lining, promoting gut and immune system health. Allowing your gut bugs time to recuperate ensures they can perform their tasks effectively. 


5. Reduce Ultra-Processed Foods: Limit your consumption of ultra-processed foods, as they are associated with adverse health outcomes such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. These foods lack fibre and other essential nutrients for beneficial gut microbes and are often high in sugar, unhealthy fats, and artificial sweeteners. Research also suggests a correlation between highly processed foods and harmful gut microbes linked to poor health markers. While no food should be completely off-limits, prioritising nutritious unprocessed or minimally processed foods and minimising ultra-processed foods will promote a healthy gut microbiome. 


Remember, dietary changes can influence your microbiome composition, but there's no universal nutritional approach that suits everyone's gut bugs. The microbiome is intricate, and your dietary and lifestyle habits over time shape its composition. Identifying the foods that best support your unique body and gut bacteria community starts with understanding your current gut microbiome and the foods that promote its flourishing. 

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