7 good gut habits

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Eat more live pro­bi­otic foods: ke­fir, sauer­kraut, kom­bucha, full-fat nat­u­ral yo­ghurt (or­ganic if you can), kim­chi, miso, tem­peh. Also, un­pas­teurised cheese, “one of na­ture’s best pro­bi­otics”. NB in­clude th­ese foods in small amounts at first. Pre­bi­otic foods con­tain the fi­bre that ben­e­fi­cial bac­te­ria feed on. You’ll find re­sis­tant starch in cold, cooked pota­toes, pulses, sour­dough bread, un­cooked oats, un­ripe bananas. Other pre­bi­otics are: onions, raw gar­lic, and raw as­para­gus. Nat­u­ral ‘anti-mi­cro­bial' foods: co­conut oil, raw gar­lic, oregano, thyme and rose­mary, chilli, turmeric.

Diver­sity. In­clude veg­eta­bles, fruits, beans and pulses, nuts and seeds. Mix­ing it up will mix up the diver­sity of your mi­cro­biome, which is ex­actly what you want. Foods high in polyphe­nols, plant chem­i­cals, which help to sup­port the growth of ben­e­fi­cial bac­te­ria. This in­cludes wine, cof­fee, choco­late, in mod­er­a­tion, of course. Switch to sour­dough over a pro­cessed loaf. The nat­u­ral fer­men­ta­tion process means it is gen­er­ally bet­ter di­gested by most peo­ple. It also, cru­cially, pro­vides fi­bre that feeds the mi­cro­biome. Take steps to re­duce stress. “A stressed mind leads to a stressed gut!”

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