2023 is right around the corner, and for many of us, that means new goals and challenges ahead!
Improving your gut health is a simple way to make massive improvements to your wellbeing. Whether your goals involve improving mental health, losing weight, boosting energy or reducing stress, your gut bugs are your best health buddies.
So here are some health-promoting New Year challenges that will leave you feeling your very best next year:
1 Eat more fibre
That’s right, we want you to start the year by eating more carbs! At this time of year, we often see weight-loss diets that are not so gut-friendly. These diets tend to avoid carbs, grains and gluten – and end up restricting the amount of healthy fibre in the diet. The good news is, you can achieve your weight loss goals by creating a calorie deficit without eliminating the fibre-rich carbs your gut bugs love! Aim for 30g of fibre each day and include a diverse range of foods like grains, pulses, green bananas, cooked and cooled potatoes, nuts and seeds, Complete Prebiotic. Find fibre-rich meal plans here.
2 Include more plants
A healthy microbiome is a diverse microbiome. Research shows that people who consume 30+ plant foods a week have higher bacterial diversity and a healthier microbiome overall.1https://www.indi.ie/11-news/1458-the-30-different-plant-based-foods-per-week-challenge.html Eating at least 30 plant foods each week will ensure you consume a wide variety of prebiotics (plant fibres that feed the good bacteria that live in your gut). Prebiotics can benefit immune function, blood sugar regulation, anti-inflammatory support, and protect against vascular diseases, cancer, mental disorders, metabolic disturbances, obesity, and digestive issues.
3 Prioritise “downtime”
Prolonged stress is almost always felt in our digestion thanks to our gut:brain axis. Being under stress reduces the number and diversity of microbiota and can lead to digestive issues. Manage your stress levels by getting sufficient sleep, asking for help when you can, and implementing relaxation techniques. This year, make it non-negotiable to take 10-15 minutes for yourself, every single day! Include practices such as exercise, yoga, meditation, deep breathing, and time in nature, or simply try doing nothing for those 10 minutes.
4 Reduce exposure to environmental toxins
Like any ecosystem, the one inside your gut is fragile and can be damaged. Environmental toxins, like the chemicals we find in pollution, household cleaners or personal care products are not so gut-friendly. The average woman “hosts” over 515 unique chemicals by the time she steps out of the bathroom in the morning! So this year, we encourage you to actively reduce your exposure to environmental toxins. Switch to natural cleaning products like baking soda or vinegar, and look for natural body care options when you next need deodorant, make-up, shampoo, skincare, or moisturiser. Find our tips on reading your beauty product labels here. Aid your detoxification journey with some delicious Gut Cleanse Tea and don’t forget your daily Kefir!
5 Take a microbiome test
Take control of your health this January and get to the bottom of your symptoms once and for all! Whether you’re dealing with constipation, diarrhoea, bloating, eczema, psoriasis, fatigue, anxiety, inflammation, food intolerances, etc., resolving your gut dysbiosis WILL help. Our microbiome test examines how well your gut microbiome is functioning by examining bacterial diversity, probiotics, pathogens, fibre synthesis and butyrate production. The data provided by the test enable our Nutritional Therapists to give you a specific, evidence-based plan to improve your gut health.
Whatever health goals you set yourself this year, we’re here to help. Gut health is a journey, and we are with you, all the way! Contact one of our Nutritional Therapists via live chat 8 am to 8 pm on weekdays for bespoke advice on gut wellness.