Eve Kalinik is a Nutritional Therapist, and a self-confessed gut enthusiast. She's the author of Be Good To Your Gut, and a columnist for Psychologies Magazine and matchesfasion.com, as well as regularly hosting talks, workshops and retreats on all things food and nutrition. Which means, Eve's perfectly placed to share her five top gut health boosting tips. Over to Eve...
Sounds obvious, but most of us don’t do this (or not enough anyway). Food should ideally be liquid before you swallow it, so roughly that equates to around 20-30 chews per bite. Once you get into the habit you’ll soon get the gist – and just this simple act can alleviate obvious gut symptoms like bloating and excessive gas.
Sitting and eating without distraction or stress means we’re more focused on the task in hand – and that not only serves your gut well, as you’re less likely to inhale your food (see tip above). This also encourages you to eat more mindfully, which helps you to better connect with your food. There is very much a gut-brain connection and that starts with the obvious plate in front of you. So switch off the various devices, and fully appreciate your food and your gut will thank you for it. Rest and digest.
Thought that might get your attention! What I really mean is that gulping huge amounts of water WITH your meals can dilute gastric juice secretions, but ironically, a glass of vino can help digestion for most of us…but that’s a glass not a bottle. However, it’s really important that you hydrate well in between your meals, as the gut is a thirsty organ and it has a lot of work to do.
A diverse intake of foods, particularly those rich in fibre (think veggies, fruits, nuts & seeds, beans, pulses and legumes, as well as certain types of grains) help to support the growth of the trillions of microorganisms in the gut, collectively known as the microbiome. Current research suggests that a more diverse microbiome supports a healthier and indeed happier gut. Prebiotics are certain types of dietary fibre that our microbiome particularly love to feast on and include garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, bananas, oats, apples and sourdough just to name a few. Word of caution though go easy on these as if you are not used to them or are currently experiencing gut symptoms as you may get a bit of a trumpeting circus going on so just add in gently and mindfully.
Whilst research on supplements can often be confusing and misleading getting a daily dose of probiotics can markedly improve gut health. My preferred choice is Symprove, a liquid formulation that has the research and backing of serious science. Also don’t forget about nature’s best beneficial bacteria sources that largely comes from fermented foods such as traditional cheese (ideally unpasteurised), sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, kefir and kombucha.
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