We're delighted to introduce a guest blog by one of our favourite brands Boundless Activated Snacking, they're talking you through their 5 steps to a healthier gut!
Gut Health: the hot topic at the moment, with over 40% of us Brits adding gut healthy products into our diet in the hopes to better our digestion. And let’s be real- it would hardly be a blog post by Boundless Activated Snacking without mentioning the gut, would it?!
Today, we’re here to give you 5 simple tips to give you an A+ in looking after that microbiome. Without further ado, here are the changes you didn’t know you needed:
Find Your High-Fibre Friend
Don’t panic, we’re not gonna make you live off AllBran for the rest of your lives, but the chances are you’re underestimating the importance of fibre & what it can do for you. In fact, over half of us are eating less than our recommended daily fibre intake of 30g.
It’s super simple to get in to your diet too – by diversifying your fruit & veg intake,
adding in wholegrains, nuts & seeds, you’ll easily meet your daily goals.
Some great high-fibre and budget-friendly fruits & veggies include:
- Brussel Sprouts
By upping your intake of dietary fibre, you’ll keep your gut bacteria and immune system happy. Insoluble fibre is fibre which is harder to digest. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, but actually it’s the type of fibre our bacteria uses for energy. You can find this in foods such as wholegrains, vegetable skins, nuts and seeds.
It’s Time To De-stress…
It doesn’t take a genius to work out that the effects of stress on the body aren’t positive ones, but links between the brain and the gut are often overlooked.
Studies have shown that psychological stressors can disrupt microorganisms in our intestines, even if those levels of stress are short-lived.
There are different types of stress to think about too: environmental influences, psychological stress, sleep deprivation. Managing this is really important in order to optimise gut health. If there was something visibly wrong with your body, you’d find a treatment for it, so treat brain health the exact same way!
Taking 5 minutes to meditate in the day, releasing endorphins with exercise, or journaling are all great ways to relieve stress. Laughter is also the best medicine – so you now have an excuse for watching your fave RomCom on Netflix, it’s medicinal.
Without trying to sound like preachy vegans, the science really is there to show significant differences between the gut microbiomes of meat eaters and vegetarians. Not only are Vegan & Vegetarian diets naturally rich in dietary fibre, many of the macronutrients in plant based foods have anti-inflammatory properties. Foods such as legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds are among the healthiest we can eat, and the general consensus is they’re also the best for our microbiomes.
For those not ready to flick that switch entirely, taking simple steps such as one meat free day a week, or removing dairy from you diet, are all transitions that your gut will thank you for.
Familiar with fermented?
You should be! Fermented foods are a good way of introducing healthy bacteria to your gut, known as probiotics. Don’t freak out at the word bacteria – this is the good stuff, and is essential for things like absorbing nutrients and managing our immune system. The good bacteria in fermented foods helps to balance your gut, and can even help things like improving digestion.
Some of our faves include:
Contrary to common belief (and certain supermarkets’ prices…), not all fermented food costs the earth. If your budget stretches to it, you can find large jars of all the pickled goodness at most international stores, and at a very reasonable price. Or, have a go at making your own! There are a million and one recipes out there / some pretty intense Facebook groups for the hardcore lot of you.
Activation is centuries old and, just like fermented foods, is a way to promote good gut health.
Here’s the sciencey bit: high fibre foods like nuts & seeds contain a substance called phytic acid. This binds to minerals, such as iron, magnesium, calcium and zinc, and can reduce their absorption rate. So how do we fix it? If we can reduce the levels of phytic acid, we can increase bioavailability of nutrients and the nutritional value of these foods. That’s what activation does – we can draw out phytic acid by soaking foods in saltwater, leaving us something that’s easier to digest & full of nutritional benefits. It might seem a bit of a faff, but we promise the results are worth it!
You can find the full range of Boundless at Indigo Herbs here!