What signs might you see which indicate a change in your gut?
Look out for a change in your bowel movements and whether you feel more sluggish than usual. A simple test such as indi’s #bluepoopchallenge is an evidence-based way to tell how well your gut is performing, thanks to the scientists at ZOE.
How and why might the changing seasons affect your gut?
There are several factors to think about; a change in temperature and change in daylight hours can impact our likelihood of getting outside. Reduced exercise outdoors greatly impacts our mental health and our digestive health. A key thing to remember is that changing seasons impact our overall sense of happiness and mental wellbeing, and this directly impacts our gut health. The gut-brain axis is incredibly powerful and in constant communication – if we are feeling unhappy, our gut knows and several mechanisms change. Similarly, what we eat and our overall gut health directly impacts our mental health so we need to think about the two as being intimately connected; hence why eating and food are so emotionally powerful.
What would be your top tips on how to get your gut set for the new season to stave off problems?
1. Eat more fibre
Fibre is a key component of our diet, but the more research is conducted, the more important this
message becomes. It is crucial for gut health and getting enough of it during our lifetime is linked to lowering the risk of premature death, cancer, type 2 diabetes and anxiety disorders to name but a few. Unfortunately, the majority of us struggle to get to even half of the recommended daily portion of 25g-38g per day. Enhancing our regular dietary fibre intake with a good quality food enhancing and fibre rich supplement powder, like Indi Body, can help us achieve this. Mix with your favourite plant-based milk or water for a delicious drink, which delivers a variety of fibre sources along with adequate fluid intake for a smooth higher fibre intake transition.
2. Use whole plants for mental health
We all know that food is made up of complex chemical structures. These interact with one another as well as with our gut microbes and our cells. What’s exciting to see in recent research is how plants can act to help improve our health and wellbeing in clinically measurable ways. Polyphenols in dark plants and fruits such as cavolo nero and haskap berries counteract oxidative stress, and inulin from chicory root is proven to support lipid metabolism and a healthy microbiome profile. Eating a combination of these foods every day helps support our gut’s ability to produce feel-good serotonin, for a better overall mood. Indi’s Supplements contain carefully selected active plant powders that are minimally processed to maintain their beneficial effects and can help to improve our overall wellbeing.
3. Go for brisk walks outside after lunch
As days get shorter, making sure you go outside for some natural light and a brisk walk becomes even more important. Plan to take a walk in a green space after lunch, which will not only help your mood, it will also help your body’s ability to metabolise your food in the best way possible, minimising blood glucose spikes and avoiding a 3 pm slump.