We're only 10% human!
Did you know that 90% of the cells in our body are not ours? Yes, we are only 10% human! What makes up the 90%? Bacteria, on our skin, in our mouths, but mostly in our gut.
Increasingly, scientific research is uncovering just how important these bacteria are. The surface area of the digestive tract – comprising tiny folds of the gut wall, just one cell thick – is the same surface area as a tennis court! Quite incredible isn’t it?
70% of our immune system is located in the gut. Numerous inflammatory health conditions are linked to an imbalance in gut bacteria.
Gut health can help mental health
The gut has a very high concentration of nerve endings, second only to the brain. Consequently, good gut health is linked to improved mood, with an estimated 90% of the body’s serotonin (happiness hormone) located there.
So, this weeks’ tweak: look after those little guys and they will look after you. Below I’ve listed 5 of the best foods for improving gut health. Incorporate one of these foods into your diet, every day this week.
5 foods to boost your gut
Bananas – these powerhouses of nutrition are high in two types of fibre, inulin and fructo-oligosaccharides. In your gut these fibres feed a species of bacteria (bifido-bacteria) that are great for balancing gut health and for crowding out the bad guys. In fact, bananas have been my “go to” food as I have recovered (naturally- no meds) from Ulcerative Colitis – a nasty inflammatory bowel disease (more about that here).
Blueberries – have been shown to be a great immune system booster and to destroy harmful gut bacteria
Cruciferous veg – So, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale. Boost beneficial gut bacteria and highly anti-inflammatory
Fermented foods – kefir, sauerkraut, kimchee, yoghurt. Kefir in particular has benefitted me in my recovery from UC. A fermented dairy based probiotic, far more potent than yoghurt and easy to make at home once you have a starter culture. See “sharing starter cultures Ireland” Facebook page if interested.
Beans and lentils – again, contain fibres that feed the good guys in your gut – in particular enabling gut bacteria to produce butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid that dampens inflammation and keeps the gut wall intact.
Note – just as important as including these foods is to exclude processed foods. The human body is not designed for any processed foods and they have a profound adverse affect on our gut health.
Take a look at our new healthy recipe box service - Now delivering to Ratoath, Dunboyne, Ashbourne, Clonee and Dunshaughlin.