Have you ever experienced the feeling of butterflies in your stomach? Studies indicate that your brain and belly are closely connected and that the health of one affects the other. Doctors and health experts alike have said that the gut is like the body’s second brain.
So, if the old saying is true that ‘we are what we eat’, let’s figure out how to eat ourselves happy!
Do you get enough fibre?
The gut is such a complex organ and there are many ways that we can look after it. One of the first things we recommend is boosting your fibre intake because having a diet high in fibre is crucial for digestive health. It supports regular bowel movements, normal blood sugar levels and can even help with weight management.
Are you ready for the science-y bit?
Soluble fibre helps to slow down the emptying of food from our stomachs into the small intestine. This helps to keep us feeling fuller for longer, as well as helping to regulate the absorption of carbs and sugar into the bloodstream. This keeps blood sugar levels more stable.
Soluble fibre also creates the perfect environment for friendly bacteria to thrive, which helps to maintain a healthy ‘gut flora’. Gut flora is the technical term for all the different bacteria that call our guts home. Researchers in Belgium recently published a study identifying two strains of bacteria that were more common in patients who reported a good level of mental wellbeing.
Insoluble fibre absorbs water, which helps to soften stools. This supports regular bowel movements and helps to prevent constipation. When the amount of insoluble fibre in food is low, too much water ends up being absorbed from food in the gut, leading to hard stools and constipation.
Here are some of our favourite ingredients that are rich in fibre:
- Apples (with skin)
- Dried prunes
- Flax seeds
- Kidney beans
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sweet potato
Choose three of the foods from the list above that you don’t eat often or have never eaten before. Use them in recipes or eat them raw every week for a month… Let us know how you get on and if you notice any difference to your gut or mental wellbeing.
What’s great about this list? They are all pretty typical foods, certainly found in supermarkets and most importantly easily incorporated into your day. Why not whizz up your choice of ingredients from the above list and enjoy a gut-boosting smoothie or soup?
A super speedy way to boost your gut health is to enrich your usual smoothie or soup with sense* for Gut Health superfood powder. Nutrients such as calcium and chloride help to support the normal function of digestive enzymes and stomach acids. Botanicals and superfood powders such as garlic, oregano and rosemary add an extra nutritional boost.
We use fibre-rich inulin derived from chicory, which functions as a prebiotic and food source for the friendly bacteria that live in our guts. As well as this, prunes and psyllium husk help to maintain regular bowel movements.
Whichever way you choose to eat yourself happy, we reckon that enjoying a fibre-rich diet is a great place to start!