There are trillions of microbes in our guts responsible for keeping our bodies healthy, and according to TV doctor Michael Mosley, there are four things we should be doing to help it along
“Your gut is astonishingly clever,” according to TV doctor Michael Mosley – and is the home to trillions of microbes that influence our mood, weight and immune system.
The gut microbiome is heavily influenced by what we eat – which in turn can affect our health. Dr Mosley, who is the creator of the Fast 800 diet and often appears on The One Show, says there’s a range of bacteria inside our stomachs which he calls the “rainforest of our body”.
These trillions of microbes are responsible for helping keep our hearts, immune system, digestion, and our brains in tip-top shape. Having a healthy gut can help boost our immune system, support the central nervous system, control blood sugars and even regulate mood.
On the flipside, if you have an unhealthy gut you are more likely to suffer from health problems like bloating and heartburn. But luckily there are several things you can do to improve your gut. According to Dr Mosley, there are four things in particular we should be doing to get a healthier gut, Wales Online reports.
Eat a Mediterranean-style diet
Dr Mosley is a huge advocate for eating a Mediterranean-style diet, which has been shown to not only promote weight loss, but lower the risk of chronic conditions like cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. It has also been shown to support a healthy gut by modulating gut microbiota.
This is because Mediterranean diets are typically higher in fibre, which increases the amount of beneficial species living in your gut. The diet involves eating lots of fresh vegetables, fruits, beans, quality protein and healthy fats such as olive oil.
Eat more fibre
Even if you don’t adopt en entirely Mediterranean diet, it’s beneficial to eat more fibre. Dr Mosley recommends consuming 30g of fibre a day.
This will not only help you stay full and satisfied, but stabilise your blood sugars and keep your gut happy. This is because certain gut bacteria digest fibre, which increases gut microbiota.
Focus on diversity
Having a wide array of microbes in our gut, or microbial diversity, is increasingly important for our overall health. This helps you maximise the potential benefits from your gut bacteria.
According to Dr Mosley, a good way of doing this is introducing non-starchy veggies, healthy fats, meats and legumes into your diet. Even if you don’t adopt a complete Mediterranean diet, it’s important to include plants, healthy fats and protein sources in your diet.
Add pre and probiotics to your diet
Prebiotics are non-digestible fibres that act as food for microorganisms, which promote their growth and activity, while probiotics are living microorganisms that can proffer health benefits when consumed. The European Food Information Council said to “think of your gut as a garden” and that “probiotics are the seeds you plant, while prebiotics are the fertiliser that helps them grow”. Both can be found in foods like onion, garlic, leeks and asparagus, or by taking supplements like our fibre blends.
Do you have a story to share? You can email [email protected]