We're taking it back to gut basics with some specialist insight from our resident Gastroenterology Dietitian Dr Sammie Gill on the five things you should know about your gut.
The gut microbiome is mouldableIt has a high level of plasticity and will change depending on what you expose it to. It’s never too late to make positive changes. And remember it’s not just what we eat that affects our microbes. Sleep, stress, exercise are just some of the factors that play a role in moulding our gut microbiome, so it’s important to think more broadly than diet alone.
Don’t neglect your pooIt gives you a good indicator of what’s happening inside your gut. What’s normal for you won’t be what’s normal for someone else so don’t compare. If you notice any changes in your pooping habits such as presence of blood, change in colour or consistency that persists longer than a few weeks, pop along to discuss with your GP.
Everyone’s gut microbiome is differentJust because your friend/family member/neighbour have found something that works for them, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be the case for you. It’s about trialling and testing different approaches to find what works best for you. A healthcare professional (registered dietitian, registered nutritionist) can support with this.
It’s all about balanceLooking after your gut health doesn’t mean you can’t eat the things you enjoy. Just eat with your microbes in mind. So, if you want some chocolate, why not melt down and dip in some raspberries? If you want some cheese, have alongside some wholegrain crackers and sliced apple? Or if you want some crisps, why not pair with a bean dip? Find out how to eat with your microbes in mind.
There is a lot of gut health pseudoscience out there
There are no quick fixes and if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Making changes to your current diet and lifestyle can be made manageable if goals are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, timely). It’s often a combination of lots of small changes that can have the biggest impact on our gut health. Be sure to check out our post on 12 small changes that can make a big difference.