UNCLE TOBYS has joined Body + Soul to bring you an effective yet simple guide to bettering your gut health.
Bloating, constipation, insomnia, gassiness and halitosis are only a few of the super unpleasant symptoms linked to poor gut health. Gut flora has become a hot topic over the past few years for good reason, the gut is in charge of breaking down the food we eat, absorbing nutrients, producing energy, balancing hormones, and it affects our mental health too.
So what’s inside your gut?
Hundreds of trillions of teeny bacteria and other microorganisms that are fulfilling key functions for our body’s health and well being. We carry up to two kilograms of microbes inside us and the composition of these microbes is unique to every single individual, like a fingerprint. The more diverse our gut bacteria, the better. This can be shaped by many factors like the food we eat to the prescription drugs we take.
While it seems complicated, nutritionist and mum of three, Kathleen Alleume gave us four simple steps to improve overall gut health, and how to fit them into our daily routines.
Start your day the right way
A healthy diet is, naturally, the major factor for gut health. If you’re someone who skips breakfast regularly you’re a) like most busy adults but b) not giving your body the nourishment it deserves. Introduce a simple yet effective breakfast every morning to really kick the day into gear.
Kathleen recommends the new Super Blends oats with Prebiotic Fibre Turmeric and Coconut from UNCLE TOBYS topped with banana and honey, “even try popping yoghurt on oats in the morning, it’s a perfect combination because you’re getting both the probiotics and prebiotics.”
By doing so, you’re feeding the gut an adequate amount of good bacteria, probiotics, found in yoghurt and prebiotics, the dietary fibre, found in oats, banana, apple and raspberry, promoting a much healthier balance of good bacteria. These ingredients, while they may seem straightforward, actually pack a whole lot of goodness for your body. The UNCLE TOBYS Super Blends range is an excellent source of wholegrains and fibre that support a healthy digestive system, and can be served as the perfect breakfast all winter-long.
Medicate with movement
An excellent way to “medicate with movement” says Kathleen is to get moving. Exercise does loads of incredible things for the body, whether its weight-loss related or releasing endorphins to ease stress. Its links to gut health have been studied and show that working out boosts the levels of gut microbes that produce butyrate- a short chain fatty acid that produces hormones that curb hunger.
Exercise also raises a person’s core temperature and reduces blood flow to the intestines helping explain connections with bowel health (IBS), obesity and cancer. Kathleen adds, “exercise is going to help with stress by releasing endorphins which promotes good gut function”.
Fit exercise into a busy routine by scheduling a workout like you would a work meeting. Book it in and don’t question the decision – just like work meetings you may not want to do it but make it a non-negotiable. For only ten, 20 or 30 minutes everyday, run around the block a few times or walk in the park. Keep your workout clothes handy at all times and if you’re stuck at the desk, try an online yoga class. Any exercise is better than nothing after all.
Avoid unnecessary medications
When you’re busy it’s easy to compromise your health for the sake of convenience and time, especially when the sale of over-the-counter medications are an easy relief to a common cold. However, it’s important to note that one of the unfortunate side effects of taking antibiotics is that they’re not selective in choosing which bacteria to kill. Good bacterial colonies in the gut die along with the bad so take antibiotics only when absolutely necessary and make sure to replenish the gut with probiotics after taking a course of antibiotics.
Poor sleep upsets your gut too, so don’t feel bad dedicating your weekends to sleeping in, especially if you’re a busy-body during the week. By allowing yourself to wake up naturally two days a week and by falling asleep earlier you are aligning with your body’s natural circadian rhythm. This day and night rhythm heavily influences the regulation of our body clock which is the movement of our gut microbes. Things like jet-lag and shift work disrupt how well our bacteria communities work and stop producing sleep-inducing hormones. So enjoy some shut-eye.
It’s important to pay close attention to what our gut is telling us because it’s responsible for putting our bodies into proper working order.
To find out how UNCLE TOBYS can help nourish the good bacteria in your gut, click here.