Looking after your gut health
You’ve probably heard or even given the advice ‘listen to your heart’. Here are some sage words we think are even more useful: ‘listen to your gut.’ Not just the rumblings and gurgling telling you to help yourself to one more delicious RAW snack ball or delightfully crunchy crispbread dipped in hummus, this kind of signal requires a different kind of listening.
Your gut is a complex system of nerve cells working together to keep your digestive tract healthy and in top working order. Assisting this healthy balance is a microbiome of bacteria.
“There’s a good chance your microbiome is associated with every disease you can think of. And the area where bacteria have a huge impact is your gut.”
A pretty influential ecosystem functions right there in your intestines. But did you know your gut also communicates directly with your brain? So much so in fact, the gut is often referred to as the second brain.
Your gut contributes to the state of your emotions, to the function of your organs and to the future of your health. In short, treat your gut right and you’re on your way to a happier body and soul.
How To Tune In
How do you listen to your gut? Here are some tell-tale signs that yours is trying to tell you something:
- Fatigue/loss of energy
- Mood swings
- IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
- Constipation and other digestive issues
- Skin conditions
Two-way communication is important in any relationship. Listen for unhappiness or even a cry for help and soothe your gut when it needs it with some small changes.
Treat your Gut
Here are some tips for being the host with the most to good bacteria.
Probiotics are ‘friendly’ bacteria. When your gut’s taken a bit of a beating (eg during an illness), the delicate balance is disrupted. ‘Good’ bacteria helps restore the sweet spot.
No, we’re not repeating ourselves! Prebiotics are fermentable dietary fibres found in non-digestible foods like bananas, leeks, oats and garlic. The existing bacteria in your gut loves to feast on this stuff, growing more useful to your system.
Get some: You can’t get much better than this pre and probiotic-packed dish – our Artichoke and Asparagus Spring Salad. Artichoke and asparagus are recommended prebiotic sources, and our RAW ACV in the dressing is gut loving, too.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Research indicates that olive oil is one of the healthiest dietary fats and is especially kind to your gut, with studies showing a positive effect on microorganisms in the digestive tract.
Get some: To get the most from your olive oil, make sure it’s minimally-processed, like our RAW Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Drizzle it over everything, glug it into your dressings or beat those sweet cravings the healthy way, with a slice of Orange and Olive Oil Cake and a cuppa.
Fibre’s another great source of fuel for that good bacteria. Many of us aren’t getting enough, despite its benefits to our digestive system. Helping to ‘move things along’, fibre prevents constipation and is thought to reduce the risk of bowel cancer and diabetes.
Get some: Fibre is easily accessible – in wholemeal carbs, in fruit, peas, legumes, lentils, veg, nuts and beans. Obviously we think raw is more – more nutrients and more goodness! Check out this Good for Your Gut pudding for example.
Mindful eating and being present helps your digestion and gives your second brain a moment of chill. Studies show that stress management helps to heal gastrointestinal issues – what better reason to pause for thought?
Get some: choose from the many mindfulness apps, programs and resources out there. We particularly like Headspace and YouTube for free meditations. Or you can simply take some calming breaths before eating. Focus on the inhale and exhale and notice how each breath is different. After 10 breaths you might feel a little less hectic and your gut will thank you for that!
Tell us how you’re listening to your gut and what you’re doing to treat your mind, body and soul. Join the conversation with #whatsyourgutfeeling and check out our recipe section for more gut-hugging inspiration.