GRO your gut!
Last week all our members have been given free access to Global Rehab Online- an amazing platform full of great exercises for all levels of fitness and rehab. (Yes, we make sure our clients get only the best!) I have had a little browse on it too and there are definitely many fantastic online exercises videos there that I have already added to my schedule: Tai Chi and Yoga included.
However, there is more than just exercise on there. There is also a series of videos about gut health which I found really interesting. Since the topic of diet, nutrition and gut health impact on the rest of the body is something that comes up in conversations with our clients quite often, I will share this week the clear actionable tips and tricks that the nutritional therapist, Kirstina Carman, has put together in the gut health masterclass.
There is a lot of different advice out there and it seems like new nutritional advice is popping up and taking the world by storm just to fade away some months later. So it can be confusing. One of the main things to remember is that you don’t have to make the changes all at once. Start little. Pick one that really resonates with you, try it and then add another one. You will soon notice that you are integrating many positive changes into your life.
The microbiome, the bacteria that live in the gut is very diverse and plays a crucial role in our immunity. It is easy to imagine then that if it is out of balance, it will inhibit our immune system leading to various health problems: from skin problems such as eczema to hormonal problems, fibroids, chronic inflammation, depression, anxiety and so on.
The microbiome loves diversity- ‘ think eating a rainbow’ - a lot of various, natural foods. Unfortunately, the Western diet is quite limited when it comes to variety. On top of that, it is packed with processed foods. We also use a lot of medication - even over the counter medication such as ibuprofen and paracetamol can be harmful to gut flora, not to mention antibiotics and many prescription drugs. There are many other factors affecting gut flora, with stress being one of the main ones.
However, the expert says that there are a few simple things that anyone can do to improve their gut health. There are some of them.
Sit down and eat your food mindfully, paying attention to the taste, the texture, the nutrients that you are providing your body with. Enjoy the taste and the smell of the food.
Make vegetables and other whole foods the base of your diet. There should be some prebiotic foods in the diet such as asparagus, banana, onions, garlic cabbage, chicory root, lentils, artichokes, all those root vegetables. Also, add to your diet some antioxidant rich foods like your berries and maybe superfoods such as spirulina.
Starve the bad bacteria! That’s a big one. The unhealthy bacteria loves sugar, processed food, caffeine and alcohol. The more you consume that, the more growth of unhealthy bacteria you encouraged.
Eat fermented food such as kefir (ideally the non-dairy options), sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, tofu.
Write down your meals so you can see how many different foods you have had in a week. If it is around 20 (which is average in the western diet), then add more variety.
Fast for gut health. It does not mean intermittent fasting, but eat in a 10-12 hours window and then give yourself a break of 12-14hours.
And lastly, drink plenty of water.
These are only some basic tips and may need to be modified for individual needs. Nevertheless, these seem like sensible and clear tips to have better gut health. If you would like to learn more the whole Gut health masterclass is available on Global Rehab Online, which is now free for our members.