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Eat your way to better gut health

by Marion Piper on Thursday 16 August 2018

 

Healthy eating has entered a renaissance over the past decade. With an endless array of buzzwords making the rounds – kale, anyone? – it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and unsure of what’s healthy and what’s just a fad. And while fads come and go, good gut health will never go out of style.  

If you want to feel more energetic, clear headed and focused, try these tips on how to make your gut bacteria happy and healthy. 

Start by getting more variety  

‘Variety is the spice of life’, as the saying goes, and the same is true for what you eat. Choose a wide variety of wholefoods – the less processed or tampered with, the better – and from every food group, as you’re more likely to get the most nutrients your body needs to perform at its best. 

Break up with the bad stuff 

This might be a sore point for some of us, but it’s time we talked about foods to avoid. You might be shocked, nay STUNNED, to learn that some foods you thought were crucial to your body’s health, might actually be hurting it. 

Dairy 

This is a tricky one. While some people can tolerate and benefit from dairy, some can’t. The two main proteins in milk, whey and casein, can be hard to digest for many people, sometimes causing bloating, gas and an upset stomach. 

Dairy has been linked to gut inflammation, which causes damage to intestinal tracts, so if that cheese platter gives you a stomach ache, you might want to think twice before cracking it out. 



Gluten 

Gluten has been the ‘big, bad wolf’ of healthy eating for the past few years, and many people are sensitive to gluten and they don’t even know it. A gluten free diet may lead to decreases in beneficial gut bacteria, while an overload might be wreaking havoc in your guts.

While pastries and bread are truly delicious, try cutting back to see if you notice any changes in how you feel.  

Junk food 

It’s okay to eat fast food from time to time, but it pays to do some research to find healthier alternatives. Instead of grabbing some fries with your burger, you might try opting for a salad, or, no side at all. And, just remember to top up on some nutrient dense foods later. 

Sugar 

You might have seen That Sugar Film and cringed in horror at what it uncovered. The rumours are true folks, any excess sugar – processed or not – is risky for your gut health. In larger amounts, it can cause yeast overgrowths like Candida and also affect your energy levels.

3pm afternoon slump , are we right? 

Sugar hides in so many foods so be on the lookout and try to reduce your intake where you can. 



SPOILER ALERT: It’s more than just your diet… 

Food can be medicine, so it’s possible to use nutrient-rich foods to help heal your gut. However, it’s the combination of everything in your life that contributes to better gut health.

Try taking a holistic, birds-eye view of your life – small changes to what you eat, how you spend your time, what exercise you do and who you hang out with can all produce big results down the track.  

*Everybody is different so we always recommend a balanced diet designed specifically for your body type, size, shape and lifestyle. To get maximum benefit with less experimentation, it’s best to consult a dietician to understand your individual needs.


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