Why should I look after my gut?
Evidence suggests that having a poor micro-biome can increase the chances of suffering from…
- Weight gain & obesity
- Type-2 diabetes
- Low mood, anxiety & depression
- Auto-immune conditions such as eczema and psoriasis
- Poor sleep
- Poor skin
- Even conditions such a parkinson’s are starting to be linked to a poor gut flora, however more evidence is needed in this area before conclusions can be drawn
What is meant by poor gut flora?
Bacteria, fungi & viruses make up the microbiome. Some of these are good and some are bad. Having a poor gut flora can generally be described as having too many of the bad bacteria and not enough of the good.
Modern busy lives and daily stress paired with diets which can be high in processed foods are often the biggest influencer of a poor good to bad ratio.
So how can I improve my gut flora?
Making changes to your diet is one of the most effective solution to improving your ratio of good to bad gut bacteria.
Food to limit:
- Heavily processed foods such as pastries, biscuits, crisps and sausage rolls
- High sugar foods such as sweets, chocolates & fast food
- Carbonated drinks including those containing artificial sweeteners
One of the most positive changes that can be made is increasing the amount of both pre biotic and probiotic foods. Inlcuding these foods in your diet can lead to improvements in gut flora in as little as 24 hours! Sauerkraut for brekafast anyone?
Whats the difference between Pro-biotic and Pre-biotic foods?
Pre-biotic foods can be described as foods which contain non-digestible fibre. This fibre acts as an additional energy/food source for all the microbes in your gut allowing them to multiply and thrive.
These foods include: Bananas, Artichokes, Oats, wheatbran, quinoa, onions & garlic & chicory root.
Probiotic foods are foods which already contain live bacteria due to underging a fermentation process. These actively increase the number of bacteria within the gut as soon as they are consumed.
Pro-biotic foods include: Sauerkraut, Kimchi, natural live yoghurt, kefir & tempeh.
However not all fermented food has this effect, so bad news if you were planning grabbing a beer in the name of gut health!
Should I take a pro-biotic supplement?
There is no clear answer to this question as everyone is unique. However for most people following a healthy diet probiotics are a safe and effective way of increasing the number of good bacteria in the gut.
Probiotic supplements are participially important after a course of antibiotics. Antibiotics are not able to differentiate between the good bacteria in your gut and the harmful bacteria that they are treating. This can leave you with significantly lower numbers of gut bacteria after the course has finished. This leaves you more vulnerable to diarrhoea, and other infections.
Want to know more about gut heath and join a program which can get you back on track with diet, exercise and digestive health then check out our upcoming course : KICK18.
FITISM Wilmslow : 10am or 6:30pm, 18th September
FITISM Bakewell : 6:30pm, 3rd October
Head to our website or find us on social media @fitismuk to find out more.