This year there’s been plenty of focus on the benefits of a healthy gut and the impact it has on our overall health, but what exactly do you need for a healthy gut?
Well, an unhealthy gut can have a negative impact on the immune system, leaving you feeling lethargic and more prone to colds, new research shows that having a healthy gut could also leave you feeling youthful too.
People of a normal weight tend to have more friendly bacteria in the digestive tract that those who are overweight too.
SuperfoodUK nutritionist, Shona Wilkinson says that to absorb the vitamins and minerals we need for a healthy, functioning body it's vital that we digest our food properly. To increase the levels of energy and vitality we have, it's important that we eat to aid digestion as well as repair the lining of the gut.
Also, by digesting foods more efficiently and particularly supporting the breakdown of fats – one may be better able to maintain a healthy weight or lose excess fat.
These are the foods you need for a healthier and happier gut.
Stimulate stomach acid with Apple Cider Drinking Vinegar
Apple Cider Drinking Vinegar’s main active component is acetic acid, which helps improve digestion by stimulating stomach acid production, and supports blood sugar balance.
Comvita’s Manuka Honey Apple Cider Drinking Vinegar combines the benefits of the apple cider vinegar with honey, for a delicious and uplifting drink that's all-natural.
Perk up your digestion with protein
Try and eat protein with every meal. Eat things like fish, eggs, beans, quinoa, buckwheat and unprocessed meat.
You need to eat protein for a healthy digestive system, because it gives amino acids which act as building blocks for the renewal of the gastrointestinal tract. This allows the body to absorb what we need from the food, things like energy and nutrients, and allows us to remove what we don't need when we use the toilet.
Show your digestion TLC with leeks
Shona explains that you can aid your digestion by eating leeks, garlic and onions because they all contain sulphur, which helps to aid the detoxification process in the liver. And when you have a liver that is working well you'll have your body working at the correct metabolism.
Get your digestion moving with greens
Cassandra advises that you want to pack your diet with dark green leafy vegetables because they're packed with nutrients that ensure your digestive system functions correctly. Try eating more broccoli, spinach and cabbage.
Forgo constipation with ground flaxseeds
“Ground flaxseeds can work as a small laxative. They can be useful for constipation, damage to the intestine wall from laxative use, irritable bowels, and to soothe inflammation. Sprinkle ground flaxseeds on rice, grains, salads or any other meal of your choice,” explains Shona.
Say yes to yoghurt
It's important that you know all bacteria is bad, in fact, it's important that we have an adequate amount of good bacteria in the gut. Cassandra says that we want to consume good live bacteria to help maintain intestinal health. To guarantee you're consuming enough you might want to try a live bacteria supplement and eat more yoghurt, which contains live bacteria.
Try fermented foods
Fermented foods are becoming increasingly popular in the UK and are incredibly rich in beneficial probiotic bacteria, so try to include a few fermented vegetables in your weekly meal plan. Options include sauerkraut (finely cut fermented cabbage, widely available on the high street), kimchi (the Korean spicy version of sauerkraut which is also high in fibre), kefir (a fermented milk drink) and more easily found in the supermarket is live or cultured yoghurt.