Our next ‘Gut Hero’ that we’re shouting about is Eli Brecher! Eli is a healthy recipe developer, food stylist and founder of @brechernutrition, and has been specialising in dairy-free and gluten-free menus for over 5 years. We wanted to get her take on Gut Health and what inspired her love story with nutritious food.
When did your foodie obsession start?
I’ve been a real foodie for as long as I can remember, although the type of “foodie” I am has definitely evolved since my teens. While I was a total sugar monster growing up, I now prefer to satisfy that sweet tooth by indulging in healthier treats like homemade brownies made from dates and cacao, or peanut butter energy balls! I’ve been experimenting with gluten-free, dairy-free recipes since I was diagnosed with a long list of intolerances and Crohn’s Disease (an autoimmune digestive condition) at the age of eight.
What inspired you to make your blog/start your Instagram feed etc?
I started my Instagram account and food blog 5 years ago when I was going through a Crohn’s flare-up while living away from home for the first time and adjusting to a student lifestyle. I’ve always been really passionate about wellness and using my diet as a way to help me feel like the healthiest version of myself, which is why I’m training to become a Registered Nutritionist to help others feel their best too!
What are your top tips for a healthy gut?
There are so many things that we can do to boost our gut health, from increasing our fibre intake to 25 grams per day, to consuming less processed foods and drinking plenty of water. In addition, learn to manage your stress levels with techniques such as yoga, meditation and walking outdoors, as stress can take a serious toll on gut health.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone who is looking to improve their gut health what would it be and why?
I’ve found that eating mindfully can have a really positive impact on my digestion and gut health – this includes removing distractions like technology at mealtimes and engaging your senses by tuning into colours, smells, textures and flavours.
What does good gut health mean to you?
Good gut health goes far beyond optimal digestion, and is closely linked with good mental health. The gut is known as the “second brain” due to its influence on mood and well-being, with 90% of serotonin being produced in the gut. This “happy hormone” is essential for maintaining mood balance, which is why low serotonin levels can even lead to depression.
What is the most interesting fact you have learned about gut health?
I was fascinated when I found out that 70% of the body’s immune system is located in the gut, which means that a healthy gut can aid the rest of your body to thrive and fight off infections.
What is your favourite food of all time?
Peanut butter! And of course my famous Chocolate Peanut Butter Jelly Cups – grab the recipe here: www.elibrecher.co.uk/chocolate-peanut-butter-jelly-cups/
What is your favourite all time sauerkraut flavour?
Kombucha or Kefir?
What is your favourite RAW product?
All the nut butters! Especially hazelnut.