Recently, the importance and complexity of gut health has been a topic of increasing research. Scientists are realising just how vital our gut health is in benefiting our daily functions like our mood, mental health, immune system, skin conditions, and avoidance of autoimmune disease, among much more. Keeping our guts happy and healthy in the now can prevent diseases down the line, so it’s time to get our guts in check!
So basically, there’s a load of bacteria in our gut- around 300-500 different species in fact, and trillions upon trillions of them. While some of these are harmful, many of them are great for us and keep things ticking along smoothly. Having a wide range of these bacteria in your gut is what keeps our immune system functioning well and keeps us healthy, so we need to make sure we keep our guts healthy and diverse. Here’s how!
Avoid processed foods
Try your best to avoid processed, high fat, and high refined sugar foods. These foods can suppress your good bacteria and increase your bad bacteria- throwing you all off balance. These foods don’t support your healthy gut bacteria doing their vital processes, which can increase your risk of putting on weight, developing metabolic problems, and contracting diseases.
Eat more plant foods
Your gut loves edible plants, so instead of eating processed, sugary and fatty foods, opt for consuming as many plant foods as you can muster instead. Different plant foods appeal to different gut bacteria, so the wider the variety of plant foods you eat, the happier and more diverse your gut will be. Try to aim to eat 30 different plant foods a week to keep your gut in optimal health. Sure, this may seem tricky, but it’s easier than you think, especially with Balance Box. Here at Balance Box, we supply you with a range of delicious meals where you’ll find a huge variety of plant foods – far more than you could imagine buying in your weekly food shop, so you’ll easily meet 30 plant foods a week. We’ll feed you with all the vitamins and nutrients you need to keep your gut happy and healthy, without you having to cry over a single onion.
Pre and probiotics are best
Pre and Probiotics are fantastic means of improving our gut health and can be found in a load of foods we may already eat! While Prebiotics are fantastic for providing food to your good bacteria and promoting their growth, Probiotics add more live good bacteria to the gut to grow your healthy bacteria troops. Prebiotics can be found in foods such as nectarines, dates, onions, chickpeas, beetroots, and almonds, while probiotics are usually found in fermented foods, such as kefir, sauerkraut, and kombucha, as well as plain yoghurt. But unless you’re a yogurt fanatic, you may not have great access to probiotic-rich foods due to fermented foods often not being a staple in western diets. Therefore, one of the easiest ways to get vital probiotics is through drinking Kombucha.
Kombucha is a fantastic source of probiotics and is incredibly tasty too. Kombucha is basically a fermented drink made from sweetened tea and a ‘SCOBY’ (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast) which contains a load of great benefits for your body- not just limited to your digestive system. The SCOBY is a colony of bacteria and yeast which ferments the tea and gives it it’s signature sour flavour that kombucha lovers, well, love. It is during this fermentation process where a number of probiotic microbes are produced, which, in certain concentrations, can be great for our gut.
Acetic acid is also produced during the fermentation process, which can suppress the growth of the nasty bacteria that we don’t really care for while promoting the growth of the bacteria we love. Kombucha may also supply us with a load of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, could improve cholesterol management, and also reduce our risk of heart disease. All that from a little bottle? Who needs supplements?
Producing the tastiest and highest quality kombucha, MOMO Kombucha is made just down the way from us here at the New Covent Garden market. We spoke to Josh and Lisa, the co-founders of MOMO, who told us all about it.
‘From the start our aim has been to produce the UK’s best tasting and highest quality kombucha. To achieve that we brew the old-fashioned way in small glass jars and unlike other commercial kombuchas ours is completely unfiltered for a much fuller depth of flavour. That means we keep all the live cultures in the liquid, making it a genuine dose of goodness for the gut. Finally, it’s really important to us that our kombucha is organic, meaning it’s better for you and better for the environment.’
MOMO Kombucha also contains healthy organic acids, antioxidants, and vitamins which increase energy, supports joint health, reduces blood sugar levels, and acts as a natural detoxifier so your body’s ecosystem stays balanced. Coming in a range of flavours including Raspberry-Hibiscus, Ginger-Lemon, Turmeric, and Elderflower, there’s plenty of MOMO deliciousness to choose from.
Find out more about MOMO Kombucha here.
Add more fibre
Fibre isn’t broken down by our small intestine and instead heads into the large intestine to be eaten by our gut bacteria- who break it up into short-chain fatty acids (SCFA’s). These SCFA’s do a world of good for our guts, including maintaining and fuelling our gut lining, helping to balance our blood sugar levels, stimulating our immune system, and is great for keeping your toilet habits regular and healthy. Great sources of dietary fibre include beans, lentils, broccoli, avocado, fruits, and whole grains, among many others.
You may have heard of the crazy-sounding rule of making sure you chew at least 32 times before you swallow, and though this may sound heinous, there’s a fair amount of truth to it. Thoroughly chewing your food and eating slowly can seriously help to ease the digestive process and ensure all the great things in your food are being processed and absorbed fully, meaning your gut is much happier and has to do less work.
Easier said than done, we know, but stress, over a short period, can slow your digestion down and initiate some gastrointestinal issues like an upset stomach, diarrhoea, constipation, and indigestion- none of which are going to help your stress. In the long term, stress can cause much more serious issues like IBS and other, more serious gastrointestinal issues. Do what you can to reduce the stress in your life and your gut inflammation should settle, gastrointestinal stress can be relieved and your body will be back on track absorbing all the nutrients you need to stay healthy.
The benefits of drinking water and staying hydrated are, quite literally, endless, and still just as important when it comes to your gut. Water can benefit the mucosal lining of your intestines, keeping them nice and protected, as well as keeping your gut balanced with good bacteria. It’s the easiest way to keep your gut healthy, so get drinking (please).
Take a hike
Why not help your body out with its natural processes? Don’t make it work against gravity all the time by spending the day horizontal. Taking time to exercise daily is great for your gut as it keeps your colon moving, further helping you stay regular.
So basically, what we’re trying to say is that your gut is super important to your overall health, and can be surprisingly sensitive to any unhealthy habits or stressors in your daily life. Make sure you’re eating a varied plant-filled diet, getting your necessary probiotics from things like MOMO kombucha, slow down when you’re eating, and just generally lead a healthy lifestyle- your gut will definitely thank you for it.
Producing the tastiest and highest quality kombucha, MOMO Kombucha is packed full of naturally occurring probiotics that aid digestion and help maintain balance in the body’s internal ecosystem.