5 secrets to putting the bounce back in your life…
We all know that the gut (or gastrointestinal tract) is responsible for the digestion and absorption of nutrients from the food we eat – but few of us realise the role it plays in our energy levels and mood. In fact, as much as 90% of serotonin – the ‘happy hormone’ – is made in the digestive tract. So a happy, healthy gut not only makes for a flatter stomach – but it will also boost your mood and energy levels. The fact that skin experts link good gut habits to clearer, problem-free skin means we’re officially on a mission to nurture our insides with these 5 simple tweaks:
1. Protect your microbiome: The human microbiome is 2016’s buzz phrase when it comes to thinking about wellness. Put simply, our microbiome is the colony of bacteria that exists within the human body and plays an essential role in both physical and psychological health. Sugar, processed foods and gluten are all thought to impair the function of this delicate internal ecosystem. Just one more reason to resist junk food for good.
2. Get pre and probiotic savvy: Most of us are aware that probiotics are a means of introducing good bacteria into the gut. Yet it’s easy to forget about prebiotics. These act as a fertiliser for good bacteria already there. Both are essential to maintaining the balance between good and bad bacteria and are available in supplement form.
3. Feast on fermented foods: Fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi have shot to the top of the list of superfoods experts recommend we consume on a daily basis. When foods such as cabbage are soaked in water or their own juices, bacteria forms to ‘eat’ the vegetable sugars and produce lactic acid. This in turn causes pH levels to fall, creating an environment in which bad bacteria are unable to survive.
4. Factor in flax: Ground flaxseeds commonly score highly on nutritional experts’ shopping lists for the numerous benefits they hold for the gut. High in soluble fibre and rich in omega 3 essential fatty acids, they help waste matter move along the intestine. So add them to your morning green juice, sprinkle them into soup or dust them over your lunchtime salad.
5. Go gut healthy for life: Nurturing your gut isn’t just a fad – it requires a dedicated, long-term approach. So if you need some inspiration to see you through the summer, look no further than one of America’s leading nutritional experts, Robyn Youkilis. New for 2016, her book Go with Your Gut is full of tips, tricks, a four-week meal plan and 75 recipes to heal yourself from the inside – and feel happier as a result.