As a Nutritionist, I’m often asked about the best ways to maintain a healthy gut. A healthy gut is vital for overall health, and it can help prevent digestive problems and other health issues. The good news is that there are several simple steps you can take to promote good gut health. In this article, I’ll share my top three nutrition tips for a healthy gut, and explain why they’re so important.
Before we dive in, it’s important to understand the role of the gut in overall health. The gut, or gastrointestinal tract, is responsible for digesting food and absorbing nutrients, as well as supporting the immune system and protecting against harmful pathogens.
A healthy gut is essential for optimal digestion and nutrient absorption, as well as overall health and well-being.
1. Boost Your Fibre Intake
Fibre is a type of carbohydrate that is not digested by the body. Instead, it passes through the digestive system relatively intact, providing many benefits for gut health. Fibre helps to regulate bowel movements, prevent constipation, and promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.
There are two types of fibre: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibre dissolves in water and forms a gel-like substance in the digestive system, which helps to slow down the absorption of sugar and help lower cholesterol. Sources of soluble fibre include oats, barley, beans, peas, lentils, apples, oranges, and carrots.
Insoluble fibre, on the other hand, does not dissolve in water and helps to promote regular bowel movements. Sources of insoluble fibre include whole grains, nuts, seeds, and vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, and kale.
To increase your fibre intake, aim to include a variety of fibre-rich foods in your diet each day. Choose whole grains such as brown rice or quinoa over refined grains like white rice and white bread. Include plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as legumes such as lentils and beans, and snack on nuts and seeds.
2. Embrace Fermented Foods
Fermented foods have been consumed for centuries and are known for their numerous health benefits, particularly for gut health. Fermentation is a process in which bacteria, yeasts, or other microorganisms convert sugars and starches into alcohol or acids. This process can produce a range of unique flavours and textures, as well as beneficial compounds such as probiotics.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that provide a range of health benefits when consumed in adequate amounts. They can help to promote a healthy balance of gut bacteria, improve digestion, and boost the immune system. Fermented foods are a great source of probiotics, and include:
- Yoghurt: Choose plain yoghurt with live and active cultures, and avoid those with added sugars and artificial flavours.
- Kefir: A fermented milk drink that is similar to yoghurt but with a thinner consistency. Kefir can also be made from non-dairy milk such as coconut or almond milk.
- Sauerkraut: A traditional Polish dish made from fermented cabbage. Look for sauerkraut that has not been pasteurized, as pasteurization can destroy the beneficial bacteria.
- Kimchi: A Korean dish made from fermented vegetables, typically cabbage and radishes. Kimchi is spicy and flavourful and also contains a range of beneficial compounds such as vitamins and antioxidants.
- Kombucha: A fermented tea that is often flavoured with fruit or herbs. Kombucha can be found in health food stores.
Incorporating fermented foods into your diet is easy and delicious. Start by trying a small amount of one of the foods listed above and gradually increase your intake. Be sure to choose high-quality, unpasteurized fermented foods to ensure that you are getting the maximum benefits.
3. Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is important for overall health, and can also have a positive impact on gut health. Water is essential for digestion, as it helps to break down food and move it through the digestive system. It also helps to prevent constipation and promote regular bowel movements.
In addition to drinking plenty of water, you can also increase your hydration levels by eating hydrating foods. Fruits and vegetables with high water content, such as cucumber, watermelon, and celery, can help to keep you hydrated throughout the day.
Maintaining good gut health is essential for overall health and well-being. By incorporating these three nutrition tips into your daily routine, you can support a healthy gut and improve your digestion and overall health. Remember to eat a variety of high-fibre foods, embrace fermented foods, and stay hydrated throughout the day. Your gut will thank you!
Working with a Nutritionist
If you’re struggling with digestive issues, working with a Nutritionist can be incredibly helpful. Despite your best efforts, you may find that your symptoms persist, and seeking professional help can be a game-changer. A Nutritionist can assist you in developing a personalised nutrition plan that takes into account your unique needs and goals. A Nutritionist can also help you identify any nutrient deficiencies and address any underlying medical issues that may be impacting your digestive health.
In addition to providing nutritional guidance, a Nutritionist can offer recommendations on supplements and lifestyle choices that can impact your overall health, such as managing stress and getting enough sleep.
Book an appointment today if you feel like you need more assistance or direction to reach your goals. Online consultation with a Nutritionist is available for clients who live outside the London area or who are unable to come to my office in Mayfair, Central London. You can enjoy the online consultation from the comfort of your home or office and you will be given the same level of personal attention and care that you would experience coming to see me in my London office.
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Milena Kaler is a is a qualified London Nutritionist, weight loss, sports nutrition, and digestive health specialist. She is trained in the principles of Functional Medicine and practices from her clinic in Central London, Mayfair, as well as providing online consultations.
Milena has helped thousands of people to lose weight and keep it off. Scientific and holistic in approach Milena looks at all aspects of a client’s health. She embraces a systems-oriented approach aiming to get to the root cause of health and weight issues instead of simply focusing on the symptoms.
Milena’s expertise has been sought by celebrities, and she has been featured as a nutrition expert in reputable magazines including Women’s Health, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, GQ, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Women’s Fitness, Peak Brain Training, and Metro.
As a full member of the British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (BANT), and the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC), the only register for Nutritional Therapy recognised by the government and NHS, Milena is committed to upholding their strict Code of Ethics. Additionally, Milena is a member of the Primary Care Society for Gastroenterology (PCSG).
Milena sees patients with chronic health conditions, as well as clients looking for support to optimise their health. Some of the areas Milena can help with include: weight loss, digestive, hormonal, autoimmune disease, menopause, and skin health.
Milena sees every person as an individual with different problems and different goals. She takes time to listen to her clients’ specific concerns to develop customised nutrition and lifestyle plans, based on laboratory test results. Having overcome her own chronic health and weight loss issues, Milena really understands how it is to feel overwhelmed by poor health and can relate to her clients when they first come to see her.