Understanding the balance of bacteria in your body’s gut microbiome can be the key to unlocking good health far beyond the gut itself. The good news is, you can achieve a healthy gut through food and exercise. Naturopathic doctor Sally Horrobin explains how…
Eat a rainbow
‘The different colours and flavours found within the plant kingdom are known as phytonutrients and contain powerful healing properties. You also encourage a more diverse gut microbiome by including many different plant compounds.’
Enjoy prebiotic foods daily
‘Prebiotics are indigestible carbohydrate molecules that nourish and stimulate the growth of good bacteria while promoting a reduction in disease-causing bacteria. Foods that have high amounts of prebiotics include asparagus, avocados, bananas, aubergine, garlic, legumes, beetroot, onions, peas, leeks, oats, dairy (if tolerated) and sweet potatoes.’
Try fermented foods
‘Kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, yoghurt, kombucha, miso and fermented vegetables are “pre-digested”, and contain live beneficial bacterial strains that enhance our gut microbiota.’
Add foods high in resistant starch
‘Beans, cooked and cooled grains, green bananas, cooked and cooled potatoes, nuts and seeds are all good sources. They increase healthy gut bacteria by resisting digestion in the small intestine and acting as a food source for bacteria which mainly colonise the large intestine.’
Ground flaxseeds and chia seeds will keep you regular
‘At breakfast, add a heaped tablespoon of each to yoghurt, porridge or smoothies. They are rich in prebiotic fibre to support your gut bacteria, and they contain all-important omega-3 to help support heart and brain health.’
‘We think of doing exercise to strengthen our muscles, bones and heart, but keeping fit also benefits our gut microbiome. Exercise improves the blood flow to the abdominal cavity and intestines, and movement stimulates and tones the digestive tract, promoting healthy digestion.’
Read more: Why healing your gut could make you happier
How to boost your healthy gut bacteria
Did you know that you can achieve a healthy gut through food and exercise? Naturopathic doctor Sally Horrobin explains how…
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