Feeding your gut microbiome

Your gut microbes come into contact with what you’re eating and what we eat can affect the composition and diversity of our gut microbiome. Therefore, it’s important to be eating the right things to look after our gut.   

Here are our top tips for looking after your gut through food -   

  • Eat plenty of fibre. Fibre is a type of carbohydrate found in plant-based foods including fruit, vegetables, pulses and grains (e.g., wholemeal bread and cereals). We are unable to digest fibre ourselves and therefore, it reaches the large intestines largely undigested and is fermented (eaten) by our gut microbiome. This helps them grow in our gut as well as producing beneficial compounds including short-chain fatty acids that have beneficial properties way beyond our gut!   

  • Eat a wide variety of foods. Research has suggested that those who eat at least 30 different plant-based foods in a week have a move diverse gut microbiome, a marker for good gut health, compared to those who eat less than 10. Next time you go to the supermarket try something you haven’t tried before. If you’re struggling for inspiration, we recommend checking out Dr Michelles recipes here.   

  • Use herbs and spices whilst cooking! They are great to add flavour and depth to a dish and can also support digestive health. It is important to note that if you suffer from IBS, you might be sensitive to certain spices so it's important to introduce spices into your diet slowly and monitor how your body reacts.  

  • Try fermented foods. During the fermentation process, microorganisms i.e., bacteria, yeast or fungi convert organic compounds (such as sugars and starch) into alcohol or acids. This results in a change of taste (often a sour, tangy flavour) and smell of food and preserves its shelf life. Fermented foods are thought to be beneficial as they can contain live bacteria which are beneficial for health as well as beneficial compounds produced from the fermentation process! Popular fermented foods include yogurt, kefir, miso, tempeh, sauerkraut, sourdough bread and kombucha.  

  • Polyphenols are micronutrients found in certain plant-based foods. They’ve been extensively researched for their potential health benefits including supporting our gut health. Polyphenol rich foods include berries, nuts, olives, dark chocolate, nuts and flaxseeds. Why not try Dr Michelles chocolate hazelnut clusters for a serious polyphenol boost!  

  • We don’t believe in cutting food groups out, it's all about moderation. Therefore, it is important to be mindful about your intake of highly processed foods and foods high in saturated fat and sugar which can feed the bad bacteria in our gut.