The Science behind Gut Health:
The gut has an important role in maintaining health and wellbeing. It has now been established that there is a brain-gut axis, and a clear relationship between mental health, including stress and depression, and gut symptoms like experienced in irritable bowel syndrome.
We have more bacterial cells in the body than we have human cells, and as part of our microbiome, they are corner-stones for physical and mental health. The gut microbiome is involved in creating immunity, in auto-autoimmune disease and the biggest part of our immune system is located in the gut.
Taking care of your gut health can help improve our weight and metabolic state, it can improve immune function and mental health and prevent the development of anxiety and depression. Supported by nature and backed by science we have curated a selection of the best pro and prebiotics along with a range of other ways to take care of your gut health and your general health and wellbeing.
Our scientific advisor, Dr Julie Moltke shares a few tips:
Foods that promote gut health: There are certain foods that are particularly good for your gut-health. These can benefit the “good bacteria” in your gut and help reduce the number of “bad bacteria”. We have between 300-500 different bacteria in the gut and they are part of our gut-microbiome. Good foods include all kinds of fruits and vegetables, berries, whole grains, chia seeds, nuts and seeds, olive oil, garlic, ginger, yogurts and fermented food like sauerkraut or sourdough bread.
Bad foods for your gut: There are certain foods that you should limit to a minimum or totally stay away from if you can. These include most processed foods, especially processed meat like salami and hams that are linked to an increased risk of developing colon cancer. Alcoholic beverages and sugary drinks are also extremely damaging to your microbiome and general health. Lastly stay away from refined sugar and simple carbs like white bread or pasta.
Take probiotics & prebiotics: Probiotics are beneficial live-bacteria and you can get them either through your diet or as a dietary supplement. Research has shown that taking probiotics might be able to help reduce depression. You can get probiotics through foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, tempeh, certain cheeses or you can get it as a supplement as either tablets or powder.
Prebiotics are food for the good bacteria in the gut microbiome and include asparagus, bananas, oats, honey, maple syrup, legumes and Jerusalem artichokes.
Your fiber and water intakes impact your gut: Getting enough fiber can reduce constipation and help reduce the risk of colon-cancer as it decreases the transit time of the stool in the large intestine. It is recommended to eat between 25-40 mg per day. Many fibers can also act as a prebiotic, a so-called “superfood” feeding the good bacteria in the gut. Make sure to drink plenty of water. Constipation and fatigue are often caused by dehydration.
How exercise can promote gut health: Research has shown that getting regular exercise can help improve your gut-health. 20-30 minutes per day can help combat constipation and improve the gut-microbiome.
There's a link between stress and gut health: If you are feeling stressed there is a good chance that you are also having gut-health issues as stress has a very bad influence on the gut. This is partly explained by the so-called brain-gut connection which has been the focus of much research the last decade. Reduce stress but make sure to make breaks in your day and fill them up with calming activities like walking, reading, getting a massage or meditation. Meditation is one of the most effective ways to reduce stress.
What Gut Health Supplements are there?
With the help of our experts, we went on the hunt for the best products, to become a place with some of best gut health supplements in the UK. Some of our best products are:
- The Nue Co Prebiotic + Probiotic
- Biocol Labs Something for Bloated Tums
- Equi London Original Formula
- Misfits Very Happy Insides
- Invivo Bio Me Barrier
When should I take Gut Health Supplements?
Gut Health supplements are best to take before you have a meal. Your body will have time to digest it and it will be the most effective, as it will break down the food you’re eating. You can also take your Gut Health supplements after you’ve eaten, if you feel bloated and need a little extra help with digestion.
Gut Health supplements don’t have to be taken everyday, but this also depends on your diet. Having a healthy and balanced diet will be easier on your gut than eating processed food. Drinking lots of water also helps with better digestion if you don’t want to take these supplements everyday.
What are Probiotics?
Prebiotics and probiotics are good bacteria that help support your gut health. Probiotics are living bacteria that simply help keep your gut health in check. They can be taken after a heavy meal or simply everyday to prevent any bloating.
Prebiotics are best when taken before a meal. They essentially feed the probiotics, to make sure they keep developing and don't die too quickly in your gut. Many people see prebiotics as a fertilizer to probiotics. They can be taken as a supplement or as food (like kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut). One of the most well-known prebiotic is apple cider vinegar, which can really support your gut health when consumed everyday.
How long before I see results with Gut Health supplements?
If you take gut health supplements, you should see results within the next half hour. They are active supplements, so will notice a difference relatively quickly, whether you take them everyday or spontaneously. If you take gut health supplements everyday, you should start seeing results in your overall health within a few weeks.