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Gut health: it’s not the most glamorous of topics. But it’s key in almost every way that our body works.
At best, an unhappy gut can leave you feeling sluggish and blocked up. At worst, it may increase your risk of chronic illnesses.
Taking care of the bacteria inside you is crucial - they’re all part of your body.
Luckily, there are some pretty tasty foods that top up your healthy microlife and support your gut.
Your toilet habits are pretty indicative of your overall gut health.
However, everyone has a different gut, so there’s not exactly a “normal”. Some people need to poo 2 or 3 times a day, whereas others go 2 or 3 times a week.
Breakfast can get repetitive…
Sprinkling a seed blend onto your morning meal is a great way to shake things up (quite literally). Cereals, smoothies, and yoghurts are all a perfect base.
Your parents were right! Fibre keeps your digestive system moving and can help us feel fuller for longer.
Our recommended daily allowance (RDA) of fibre is 30g per day, but most adults in the UK only eat about 20g.
So, how can you boost your intake? Your diet should always be your main source of nutrients, but supplements can provide a helping hand.
Inulin is a plant-based prebiotic that’s naturally high in soluble fibre.
It increases your body’s ability to absorb calcium - so it’s a superstar from your bowels to your bones.
You can find inulin in foods like chicory, garlic, and some whole grains. However, even high-inulin foods may not be enough to fulfil your daily fibre requirement alone. Unless you fancy over 100g of garlic per day…
This is where inulin powder can come in. Mixing it into your food or drinks is an easy way to:
A chocolate that contributes to your gut health? You’d be mad to say no. Eating cocoa can increase lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, both of which help to get rid of unhealthy bacteria.1
But, of course, not all chocolate is good for your gut! Some are best in moderation…
The more diverse your gut microbiome, the more functions it can perform and the better it can thrive overall.
So, maybe it’s time to introduce some new cultures into your diet.
Kombucha is rising in popularity with its distinctive tang. Not only does it benefit your microbiome, but it’s a naturally carbonated alternative to other fruity, fizzy drinks.
Umami lovers will be glad to hear that kimchi and miso are also great gut health foods.
Get your protein in with tempeh, an Indonesian food made from fermented soybeans. It’s an excellent meat replacement and contains all your essential amino acids, too.
With a few of these in your diet, you’re well on the way to supporting your gut health.
Not all fermented foods contain live bacteria, so check for “live” on their labels.
Joined Holland & Barrett: Aug 2005
Amy originally started her career with Holland & Barrett in August 2005 with the Labelling Regulatory team for Vitamins, Minerals and Supplements.
Amy moved over to support the Food Regulatory Team in October 2020 and was promoted to her role of Regulatory Affairs Associate (Food) in February 2021.
In her spare time, Amy likes to go to the gym, listen to a variety of podcasts, read and socialise with friends.