The wonderful Lee Holmes recently joined us at The Beatt to teach us about the importance of gut health and how to heal our guts. In case you missed out on the event, we’ve put together some top tips to keep your gut healthy below.
Why is gut health important?
Looking after your gut is a vital part of looking after your health. Approximately 70% of our immune system is located there, so by keeping your gut healthy, you’re boosting your immunity which is especially important during winter and during the transition between seasons. Our gut helps us absorb nutrients and digest our food ensuring we’re getting the most from the vitamins and minerals we’re consuming. It also helps our body rid itself of waste and toxins contributing to our sense of wellbeing. It’s a key player in your health and in feeling great.
The process of healing your gut involves re-balancing the bacteria in your stomach so that you’re able to absorb and digest your food more effectively. Lee Holmes is all about S.O.L.E food which stands for sustainable, organic, local and ethical. Through her program and books, she helps people cleanse and reset their gut by rethinking the way they approach food and lifestyle. She focuses on nourishing the body in order to boost energy levels and feel great.
How do you know if you need to cleanse your gut?
Some tell-tale symptoms of poor gut health are a general lack of energy and overall sense of not feeling your best. Other symptoms could include bloating and stomach pain, wind, diarrhoea or constipation and a poor immune system that causes you to fall ill often.
Top five tips for gut health
So, with those benefits in mind, here are out top tips to help you look after your gut health.
- Remove processed food, refined carbohydrates and sugar
Processed foods and refined carbohydrates such as white bread and rice can slow down your digestion and cause you to feel tired and bloated. Sugar will send your energy levels on a rollercoaster ride and wreak havoc in your gut. Try cutting out these options for a few weeks and see how you feel. Switch refined carbohydrates for wholegrains such as brown rice or oats and try other substitutes such as quinoa.
- Eat more fibre
Eat more fibre. A diet high in fibre, with lots of vegetables and fruit, legumes, oats and chia seeds will help maintain your gut health and aid with digestion. Eating food that is rich in probiotics, such as kombucha, sauerkraut or yoghurt, and prebiotics, such as Jerusalem artichokes, dandelion greens, chicory root, garlic and onions, can also help your gut function at its best. If you really need to increase your fibre intake, you could also include a spoonful of psyllium husk in your morning smoothie, just ensure you’re drinking plenty of water too.
- Stress less
High levels of stress negatively impact our physical and mental health. Take a close look at your lifestyle. How often do you take time out to relax and get offline and away from your phone or computer? It’s important to be aware of your stress levels and the effect they’re having on your body. High levels of stress can lead to poor gut health and poor sleep, which can both contribute to ensuring you feel less than your best. Manage stress by taking time out, exercising, spending time with friends and family and getting enough sleep. Meditation is another great way to help you manage your stress levels and clear your mind.
- Cleanse your gut by eating soothing foods
Start your journey towards better gut health by cleansing your gut first. Begin your day with warm water and lemon juice and focus on consuming soothing and easily digested options such as vegetable juices, smoothies and soups to give your gut a rest. Then, introduce food that’s high in fibre and full of nutrients. Think vegetables, fruit, wholegrains and eventually reintroduce heavier foods such as lean meats and fish. Always remember to keep your fluids up and help flush out toxins by drinking plenty of water. Lee shares delicious and healthy soothing and anti-inflammatory recipes to help you heal your gut. Find a selection of Lee’s recipes online here.
- Reduce your use of antibiotics
Try to stay away from treating common colds with antibiotics. General antibiotics are designed to kill bacteria, which includes both good and bad bacteria. If you absolutely must use antibiotics to treat an illness, compliment this by taking a probiotic such as Inner Health Plus during the course of the antibiotics to ensure you’re replacing the good bacteria in your body.