Gut Health for Beginners: How to have a healthy belly

By author photo Jessica Humphries

health

Gut health is gaining popularity as we begin to cotton on to its vital role in overall health, well being and even weight loss. We’re discovering the potent power of probiotics and how enjoying foods rich in healthy bacteria can help us to thrive not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally.

 

The latest research illustrates the connection between the gut and the brain, with studies showing that there is, indeed, a link between gut bacteria and behaviour/mood. The delicate and complex eco system inside your gut must be kept in balance in order to thrive. Armed with this knowledge, it’s more important than ever to take care of your gut health. Here’s how.

 

Embrace the power of probiotics

Probiotics are live microorganisms, or good bacteria, that live inside your gut. They are essential in maintaining good gut health by preventing the invasion of bad bacteria. Foods rich in probiotics include fermented goods like yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha, miso and tempeh. They’re also delicious!

 

Don’t forget the prebiotics

Prebiotics are foods that act as a kind of fertiliser that feeds the good bacteria and encourages a healthy gut environment. Common foods that can give you a good dose of prebiotics include garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus and bananas. For a real prebiotic boost, source some chicory root from your health food store.

 

Whole = wholesome

Include plenty of whole foods in your diet like whole fruits and vegetables. Try to also get these foods as close to their natural form as possible, for example swapping the fruit juice for the whole fruit. Not only will they help with your prebiotics, but they are full of gut friendly fibre.

 

Become friends with fibre

There is research showing how fibre can support weight loss. Fibre is essential for both a healthy weight and a healthy gut, and most Australians aren’t getting nearly enough. A proper fibre diet feeds and makes your healthy bacteria thrive. Stock up on whole (unprocessed) fibres like fruits and vegetables, legumes like beans, peas and lentils, and whole grains like oats, whole-wheat products, quinoa and brown rice.

 

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