Every one of us is brimming with billions, actually trillions, of bacteria. These bacteria (and viruses and fungi) make up our microbiome.
Known as micro-organisms, some are associated with disease, while others are actually great for our immune systems and health. A study in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology found that our immune system function could be enhanced by having a variety of good bacteria in the gut. Good gut bacteria could also improve symptoms of depression and help prevent obesity.
We should think of the gut as an important ecosystem and a delicate balance that can be disrupted if not cared for. Studies show that the number of bacteria within the gut is about 10 times that of all of the cells in the human body.
The majority of the microbes in your intestines can be found in a small pouch of your large intestine called the cecum. The cells in the lining of our intestine form a strong barrier – a secure wall of sorts – that prevents some bacteria from entering the bloodstream. Unfortunately for many of us, this lining isn’t strong so toxins and bacteria can seep into our body and cause inflammation, (known as leaky gut) which can result in a myriad of problems such as gas, cramps, bloating, fatigue, headaches and can lead to autoimmune disease.
So what is the best way to overcome this gut inflammation and restore our health? The truth is simple – a healthy, diverse, plant-based diet that is low in sugary and processed foods.
As a society we have become far too reliant on fast and highly-processed foods such as biscuits, cakes and fast foods on a daily or regular basis and this can trigger or exacerbate inflammation.
EAT THE RAINBOW and aim for 30 plants per week
I can encourage clients to think of your food as a rainbow – incorporate as many colours as possible, but also ensure that they’re natural, wholesome foods. Eating a range of foods that contain healthy fats and are low in salt and sugar are beneficial to our gut and body overall.
A diet high in fibre has also been shown to help a healthy gut microbiome. Oats, green leafy vegetables, chickpeas, chia seeds, nuts, wholegrain bread and fruit are all great sources of fibre, which will help keep your digestive system healthy and bowels regular.
A healthy diet can improve all aspects of your life, from our brain function to gut microbiome and energy levels. So what are you waiting for? Join our Feel Fabulous By Friday program!