Our body contains trillions of microbes, including the bacteria and viruses crucial for our overall health. Many of them are found in our large intestine, and are collectively known as the gut microbiome.
The gut microbiome contains both good and not so good gut bacteria. Research has shown that good types of gut bacteria, such as Bifidobacteria, have a variety of functions, including supporting our gut, immunity and brain health, so it’s pretty vital that we take care of it and maintain adequate levels.
To conceptualise a masterplan to achieve better gut health, here are three pillars that will act as a foundation for your gut microbiome to thrive…
Eat a varied diet
Although there is no consensus to what the perfect gut microbiome looks like, it is widely accepted that a diverse microbiome is beneficial for health. A diverse diet contributes to a diverse gut microbiome.
Challenge yourself to eat 30 different plant-based foods a week, made up of fruit, vegetables, wholegrain cereals, nuts and seeds.
In the UK, adults are recommended to get 30g of fibre per day. It can be easily incorporated into the diet by eating fruit as a snack, using whole grain alternatives when possible, and eating high-fibre foods like flaxseed or chia seeds.
Prioritise mental health
The gut is connected to the brain via the gut brain axis. The vagus nerve, linking the gut and brain, acts as a highway, sending signals both ways, so a diverse gut microbiome could help to modulate stress, support cognitive function and sleep.
Prioritising mental health will help the gut to thrive. That can come from exercising regularly, reducing stress and getting enough good-quality sleep.
How often do you get eight hours of restful sleep? Poor sleep can have an impact on the gut, concentration levels and even appetite. Additionally, if you’re getting less than six hours of sleep at night, you’re more likely to consume 200-300 calories extra per day.
Prebiotics and probiotics
Probiotics may dominate the conversation in wellness circles, but prebiotics play an arguably even more important role when it comes to supporting health.
In a nutshell, probiotics are live bacteria, whereas prebiotics are a special kind of fibre which act like fertiliser for the good bacteria in your gut, encouraging them to thrive and drown out the potentially bad bacteria. Probiotics can be affected and even destroyed by digestion, whereas prebiotics can’t.
Prebiotics are also highly stable and are unaffected by temperature changes or long-term storage. Some fermented foods contain probiotics that help balance your gut microbiome. These include kefir, kombucha, kimchi, pickles and sauerkraut.
Prebiotic foods include grains, pulses and legumes. Supplements also offer a convenient way to consume prebiotics and could be considered if you feel your normal diet is not giving an adequate source of these types of fibres.
One supplement that seamlessly fits into your daily routine is Bimuno® DAILY. It works by feeding and stimulating the growth of good bacteria in your gut – specifically bifidobacteria – helping them to thrive. When taken daily, Bimuno works within just seven days*.
Bimuno DAILY is taste-free and can easily be added to hot or cold drinks, or stirred into food. It won’t radically affect your lifestyle and is a very convenient way to add prebiotics into your routine to help your gut. The product has almost 3,500 reviews on Trustpilot, and is rated as excellent.
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