“The gut has now been found to do a lot more than just digest the food we eat. We now know that there is a direct connection between the gut and our brain and with a little looking after it will definitely look after you.”
Eat a varied diet
Your gut is home to a range of helpful bacteria that help train our immune system, digest food and even affect our genes. To keep them thriving, you need to feed them well. Fibre-based foods are perfect for this so eat plenty of vegetables, beans and whole grains.
For food to move through the digestive system and bowels it needs to be properly lubricated. This simply means drinking enough water. Aim for around two litres of fluid every day.
Eat fermented foods
Traditional fermentation of foods like yogurt and kimchi, causes lactic acid bacteria to grow. When eaten, the bacteria colonise the gut and may have a positive effect on metabolism. Introducing bacteria to your gut through fermented foods can also support the bacteria that are already living there.
Get into nature
Just coming into contact with the outdoors is enough to influence your gut bacteria. Microscopic airborne particles are colonised by a variety of bacteria that make their way into us via the air we breathe. Getting into different environments – like taking a trip to the countryside – will also increase the diversity of environmental bacteria we are exposed to and may also improve our microbiota.
Get enough sleep
We all know that good night’s sleep can make us feel better, but it has also been shown to have a direct effect on our microbiota. Even two nights of disrupted sleep has been shown to disrupt the ratio of two strains of bacteria thought to be involved in obesity.
Getting enough exercise can increase populations of some bacteria that can reduce inflammation. It also aids peristalsis – the movement of food through the gut – and may help to improve symptoms of constipation.