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25 Jun, 2020

Eve Kalinik on what to eat for a happy healthy gut

The gut is increasingly being recognised as playing a crucial role in maintaining both our physical and mental health. To get a better understanding of what to eat for a well-nourished gut microbiome, we spoke to Nutritional Therapist Eve Kalinik.

Health

Nutritional Therapist Eve Kalinik believes that reconsidering the crucial role of the gut in how we feel both physically and mentally could be a momentous part of helping to support the process of healing the mind. And with her new book Happy Gut, Happy Mind set for release in August, who better to speak to about all things gut-health.

Here, Eve shares with us her top tips for maintaining a well-nourished gut microbiome.

  1. It’s important to feed the gut microbiota to better support the gut brain connection. The most simple way to support our gut health overall is dependent on dietary fibre. Whilst we can’t digest it, dietary fibre provides a hearty meal for the microbes in our gut so they can produce lots of positive substances like butyrate which is one substance used as a signal between the gut and brain. You can find fibre in vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, and whole-grains. Government guidelines are to consume around 30g per day. In real terms that could translate to something like a piece of fruit, six portions of veg, two servings of whole-grains and three portions of nuts and seeds.
  2. Diversity in your dietary fibre. Try to get around 6-7 different types of dietary fibre across the groups mentioned above. People tend to gravitate towards the same foods and might not be getting enough diversity. Current research suggests the more diverse our gut microbiome is, the healthier and stronger our gut is. And the easiest way we can help to achieve that is through a variety of dietary fibre. There are simple ways we can increase diversity in our diet, such as switching up the grains we used to make porridge, so instead of oats you could also try buckwheat or spelt flakes, and then also switch up your toppings of nuts & seeds (and nut butters) and berries.
  3. Prebiotics are types of dietary fibre that have an enhanced feeding effect on beneficial gut microbes. Good sources include garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, almonds and cashews although if you are someone that suffers with IBS you may find that some of these, or too much of them can increase symptoms so go easy.
  4. If you can include fermented foods in your diet, there is (hopefully) more research coming out that supports the largely anecdotal claims that they can help with gut health. Kimchi, sauerkraut and live yogurt are great options. And they taste amazing!
  5. As the cliched saying goes, ‘eat the rainbow’. The colour of plants come from the antioxidants and polyphenols in them. Our microbes don’t just eat fibre, they’re also partial to those antioxidants and polyphenols.
  6. Drink plenty. How many of us actually drink enough water? The gut is a very thirsty organ after all, so if we’re not drinking enough that will slow things down...and that’s not to say you can’t enjoy the odd glass of red wine as well, for the polyphenol benefits obviously!

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In order to maintain a happy gut, and seemingly, a happy mind, we must look at our diet as well as external factors such as stress-management. We’ve designed our Summer Set package to help with just that. Find out more here.

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