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We've gut you! Gut Health Month Feb 2024

February is gut health awareness month! Good gut health is associated with improved immune function, longevity, skin, digestive health, mood and protection against certain cancers. Below are some tips for cultivating good-gut-health habits. 

Challenge yourself - how many of those can you do throughout February? Which ones can you carry through to the rest of the year?

Gut Health

1. Increase your fibre intake 

  • Choose wholegrain bread over white bread

  • Opt for wholemeal, high fibre or pulse pasta over regular pasta 

  • Choose high-fibre breakfast cereal (e.g. over high-sugar, low fibre cereals) 

  • Up your vegetable and fruit intake. Some high fibre options include dark leafy greens, broccoli, green beans, Brussel sprouts, peas, avocados, pears and bananas. 

  • Don’t forget to drink enough water to avoid constipation! 


2. Add lentils and beans to your meals 

  • Pulses are a great source of fibre, protein, minerals and vitamins. They’re cheap and easy to use. You can buy dried beans and soak them overnight, or for convenience, buy organic, unsalted canned beans from Woolies or Coles. Just be sure to rinse them thoroughly before hand!

  • If you don’t regularly eat pulses, make sure to increase your intake slowly (to avoid gas!) 

  • Add lentils to spaghetti bolognese, kidney beans to burrito bowls, black beans to nachos, chickpeas and lentils to salads.


3. Eat prebiotics & probiotics daily 

(a)   Prebiotics are foods which are beneficial to our gut microbiome (aka. the bacteria in our gut). This includes: 

  • Garlic & onion

  • Artichokes

  • Asparagus

  • Leeks

  • Bananas 

  • Oates, barley, wheat bran and wholegrains 

  • Lentils & beans 

  • Flax seeds 

(b)   Probiotics are foods which contain live microorganisms, supporting diversity of your gut microbiome. Examples include:

  • Yoghurt

  • Kefir

  • Sauerkraut 

  • Kimchi

  • Miso 

  • Kombucha

  • Tempeh

  • Non-pasteurised cheese 


probiotic foods

4. Manage stress

  • Stress can break havoc on our digestion and overall gut health. Exercise regularly, prioritise sleep and eat mindfully (chew well, take your time, eat sitting down, avoid distractions). If you feel particularly tense, try box breathing before your meal to calm your nervous system. 


5. Increase diversity in your diet 

  • Our gut microbiome thrives on diversity - but when it comes to shopping and cooking, we tend to stick to our habits. Shake things up by eating in season, trying a new recipe per week or picking up an unusual fruit or vegetable at the shops. 

  • Aim for 30 different plant types per week (this includes fruits, vegetables, pulses, seeds, grains, nuts and herbs). 

  • Opt for mixed leaves over lettuce, for mixed nuts/seeds or mixed berries over a single type. 




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