Healthy Eating & Our Gut Microbiome
Similar to the way yoga nourishes us from the inside out, so does healthy eating.
Something I’ve always had a passion for, my favourite snacks when I was a child being olives and tuna with cucumber, and generally a topic I spend a lot of time researching and reading about. Having done a Diploma and an Advanced Diploma in Personal Nutrition 8 years ago, just for fun, it’s safe to say this is something I feel very strongly about.
When we eat well, we feel well. Eating a well-balanced diet with a variety of different nutritious foods is one of the best ways we can look after ourselves. 70% of our immune system is based inside our digestive tract, and by keeping our gut healthy, and nourishing our microbiome with a variety of different foods, we help keep ourselves strong and healthy from the inside out.
Our gut microbiome is made up of trillions of different bacteria’s living inside us, which help control our digestion, keep us safe from diseases and strengthen our immune system. Each different group of bacterias thrive from different types of food, which is why it’s so key to eat a large variety of fresh, vibrant, wholesome and healthy food.
Listening to a Podcast the other day with Dr Megan Rossi (author of Eat Yourself Healthy - a must read for anyone who wants to know a bit more about the impact of healthy eating and good gut health), she suggest we think of our microbiome as a pet who we need to look after, in order for it to look after us.
We can eat healthy food, but if our gut isn’t happy we won’t absorb the nutrients properly, another reason why looking after our gut microbiome is so important.
There's lots of different ways we can do this, here are a few of the things I try to do in order to maintain a balanced, interesting and varied diet.
Try to eat around 30 different varieties of fruit/vegetables/legumes each week
Filling up our plates with lots of different coloured vegetables
Making a big batch of soup with all of the leftover veg in the fridge
Fruit smoothies in the morning
Adding pulses and legumes to our meals
Stocking up our fridges with freshly made dips and crudités
Swapping white carbs with wholegrain and wholemeal - providing our bodies with plenty of slow release, high fibre foods, which help keep us fuller for longer and provide us with plenty of important nutrients
Seasoning your food with fresh herbs and spices, which not only provides a huge amount of flavour, but are also filled with plenty of vitamins, nutrients, as well as some amazing medicinal properties
Making sure we are eating enough protein, and healthy fats
Eating when we’re hungry and trying not to overindulge (something I am 100% guilty of doing)
Avoiding processed foods and sugars