Meet Dr Michelle

Medical Doctor (MBBS, UCL), Nutritionist (BSc), Founder of The Food Effect Our Brand Ambassador Dr Michelle Braude has partnered with Probio7 to lend her expert knowledge in gut health from education to product innovation.

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Dr Michelle answers some common questions on gut health

What led you to start The Food Effect?

I started The Food Effect nutrition practice, after graduating from medical school in 2012. It frustrated me that no emphasis was put on diet or lifestyle in a medical setting, so I wanted to combine my medical and nutrition knowledge to help people improve all aspects of their health and well-being through dietary change. At the time, it was merely a deviation in my career path, whilst I decided to take a year out from hospital medicine, to see people for nutrition “just for the year”. Back then my only plan was utilising the knowledge I had from studying medicine to be a good nutritionist for a finite time. I never dreamt that I would start a blog and revolutionary approach to food and eating (and also write two books!) that would help so many people and also become my full-time career (now over 8 years later).

What are the most common issues people come to you with?

It varies so much (which I love!), but I’d say weight loss and digestive issues (e.g. Irritable Bowel Syndrome) are the most common.

How important do you think gut health is for overall health?

It is one of the most important aspects, and the foundation of overall good health. Someone can exercise, make good food choices and have healthy habits (such as meditation and getting sufficient sleep), but if their gut health is out of whack they won’t be able to reap the benefits of any of those things! The gut is essential for maintaining a strong immune system, regulating hormones (that control everything from sleep to mood to appetite), maintaining a healthy digestive system and eliminating toxins from the body, just to name a few! So you can see how essential it is for overall health, and thankfully the research is coming out to prove this more and more.

What's your number one tip for optimum health?

Firstly – change your mindset! Don’t think of healthy eating and weight-loss as a “diet”– something you ‘go on’ and eventually ‘go off’. Reframe it as a new way of life. That way, when, or if, you do ‘slip up’ or have a few days of overindulging, you’ll be less likely to give up and get disappointment because you’ll realise that one or two meals (or even days!), of not-too-perfect eating, won’t undo your overall commitment to a healthy lifestyle. You’ll just get straight back on to your normal healthy routine afterward. Secondly, make it enjoyable! Make any new healthy eating or lifestyle changes fun and enjoyable. Try new healthy recipes, share them with friends or cook for others. Get ideas online or via social media. I share loads of easy delicious gut-healthy recipes on my Instagram page and The Food Effect blog, and also on Probio7’s website.

When did you start taking friendly bacteria supplements?

I started about 5 years ago (in 2016), after suffering with IBS for years. I saw so many doctors and gastroenterologists and it’s crazy to think that no one suggested taking probiotics! Finally, a specialist gastroenterologist suggested I take friendly bacteria supplements, and I did a lot of my own research in treating my IBS with the right nutrition and dietary changes. This combination really got me back on track to healing my digestive system and feeling like a different person!

Why did you choose Probio7?

I came across Probio7 on Instagram and went on to read about it from the website. I loved that each capsule contained such amazing doses of live friendly bacteria from researched strains, and also that these were paired with natural fibres (such as chicory root inulin) which act as a prebiotic, feeding the friendly bacteria present in the gut so that they can thrive. I had actually been taking inulin as a prebiotic supplement, along with a friendly bacteria supplements, before discovering Probio7, so I loved the fact that Probio7 contained both! And I could simplify what I was taking by getting everything I need for my gut in just one perfectly designed capsule.

What's the biggest misconception around gut health?

That it’s only linked to our digestive system, and that if you don’t have digestive issues you don’t have to worry about it! Both these things couldn’t be further from the truth. As mentioned, our gut health influences everything from digestion to inflammation to immunity to mood! So even if you have no digestive issues, it’s still essential to do everything to optimise your gut health (through consuming a healthy diet and good quality probiotic like Probio7) for the sake of all aspects of health.

If someone is suffering with digestive problems, what do you suggest?

First and foremost, they should see a gastroenterologist to rule out any potential serious causes (e.g. Crohn’s, Coeliac Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, etc.) Once that has been ruled out and perhaps a diagnosis of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) is given, I’d recommend a consultation with a qualified nutritionist to advise on the best dietary changes to treat the symptoms and also prevent them coming back in the long term. I’d also advice to take a good quality friendly bacteria supplements such as Probio7, which is the perfect compliment to a healthy diet in treating digestive problems and ensuring they don’t return.

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Dr Michelle's Recipes