Recipe for a healthy gut: 5-step plan to keeping your flora in check

By MIA DE GRAAF FOR DAILYMAIL.COM

The gut is often referred to as ‘the gateway to the body’.

As such, it is extremely important to ensure it is well looked after.

An unbalanced gut flora can leave you feeling bloated, low in energy and can even cause depression, which signals how your gut can not only influence your physical health, but also have a major impact on your mental health.

With Western diets becoming increasingly rich in processed foods and sugars, it is vital to maintain optimum gut health.

Naturopathic nutritionist, Julie Haigh shares her exclusive tips and recipes for a healthy gut.

An unbalanced gut flora can leave you bloated, low in energy and cause depression. Western diets rich in processed foods and sugars are making this worse. So here are tips to beat it

Method: 

1. STAY HYDRATED

Start every day off with a large glass of pure filtered water before you have anything else to eat or drink.

This should be followed by a cup of herbal tea or warm lemon water with a dash of apple cider vinegar which can help restore the fluids lost overnight.

Keep drinking water throughout the day to ensure your gut remains hydrated, but remember not to drink water with meals, or less than half an hour before as they will dilute digestive juices.

Keep drinking water throughout the day to ensure your gut remains hydrated, but remember not to drink water with meals

2. GET MOVING 

Research has shown that exercise can help to balance the bacteria in your intestines and help promote the diversity of gut bacteria.

Athletes and exercise enthusiasts tend to have a higher diversity of gut micro-organisms, which in turn can have immune boosting effects.

Exercise can also increase the mobility of the bowel, so can help ease pain associated with digestive problems and constipation.

Experts suggest that for consistency, morning may be your best time to exercise to develop a regular exercise habit.

So, if you’re tempted to skip your early morning spin class think about what it could do not only for your form, but for your gut flora.

Exercise can increase the mobility of the bowel, so can help ease pain of digestive problems

3. EAT CORRECTLY

Diet is the most important factor when it comes to our gut.

Try to avoid sugary cereals at breakfast and opt for a green juice or smoothie with a side of eggs for protein to keep you fueled for a busy day ahead.

At lunchtime, opt for a healthy salad or steamed vegetables with a small amount of meat or fish and a dollop of sauerkraut to encourage healthy bacteria.

If you’re unsure about what else to eat to maintain a balanced gut flora check out Candida Diet Foods, a brand new one-stop shop which provides recipes, nutritional advice, and a range of products to purchase containing gut friendly ingredients.

4. ABDOMINAL MASSAGES

Massaging the abdomen offers a dual action approach to supporting digestion by relieving stress and stimulating the muscles and organs required to produce bowel movements.

Massages have also been found to relieve constipation, speed up your digestion, beat bloating and ease abdominal pain.

Try a 20-minute abdominal massage before going to bed to ensure you’ve allowed sufficient time to digest your meals.

Massages have also been found to relieve constipation and speed up your digestion

Massages have also been found to relieve constipation and speed up your digestion

5. SLEEP TIGHT

A good night’s sleep is crucial to maintaining a healthy gut.

If you are sleep deprived you are more likely to choose high energy and sugary foods to give you a quick pick me up.

Yet, harmful bacteria will tend to feed on these foods and cause your gut flora balance to go eschew.

Why not try a drink of slippery elm powder in warm water or a mug of peppermint tea before bedtime to settle your stomach and ensure a sound night’s sleep.

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