Summer is an ideal time to give your microbiome a boost with plenty of things to do that don’t require too much time or effort. Registered Dietitian Imogen Wolsey shares her ideas to help give you and your kids a thriving ‘biome come September.
No beating around the bush, it pretty much all comes down to making the most of time outside. Starting your day with a few minutes soaking up the morning rays whilst sipping your cuppa is a great way to help regulate our internal clocks, which our gut microbes rely on to function. And to boost your vitamin D. Once you’ve begun like this, it basically comes down to doing as many outdoorsy activities as you can during the day - without getting burnt!
Being outdoors is known to have a positive influence on our mental and immune health, a lot of which can be put down to being exposed to a huge diversity of microorganisms present in nature. Local bugs from the wildlife around us will help to boost our own gut balance, which can significantly reduce stress and anxiety and has also been shown to improve sleep and boost memory.
7 Ideas for making the most of being outdoors
- Find a new scenic dog walk to test out.
- Take a dip in a wild swimming pond if you’re feeling brave.
- Or opt for some calming nature watching instead.
- As for the kids, how about getting their hands dirty by planting some windowsill herbs to watch grow.
- Or send them on a mission to collect some sticks, leaves, and stones to create a fairy den. Or a bug hotel.
- And of course, if there is a particularly patient parent on hand, building a tree house is a fail-safe way of ensuring time outside and will be forever treasured.
- More simply, a picnic in the park will also do!
Feed your microbes
When it comes to food the same idea applies, outside is the preference. You can cook on a campfire or barbeque in the garden to maximise on lighter evenings and spend extra time amongst our natural ecosystems. We have a whole load of recipes ready for you to dig into.
Taking the kids to a Pick Your Own farm is another great way to spend a day in Summer, as not only does hand picking encourage mixing with the local microbes, but it also results in a gut-boosting plate for later! Seasonal, local fruits and vegetables contain vast numbers of polyphenols and prebiotics that help to keep our gut bugs happy.
Saying this, sometimes raw fibres can be harder to digest… so, if you do happen to be putting on a BBQ spread but are worried about slightly dodgy digestion, try cooking your vegetables and letting them cool before adding them to the salad and see if things go down more smoothly!
Hope you all have a great month outside, making happy memories whilst building a happy gut.
Looking for more ways to support your gut on holiday? Head to our holiday hub for more expert tips and tricks.