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Healthy gut, healthy body


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Bugs and bacteria have a bit of a bad reputation. But gut bugs, the tiny bacteria that live in your gut, are great for your health. They support your digestive system, your mood and your immune system, and they can even help you lose weight.


There are up to 4000 different varieties of gut bugs, and the more variety you have the better.


What you eat has a major impact on your gut bugs, which in turn impact your health in a number of ways:


  • Gut bugs influence your body weight. People who are overweight tend to have less gut bug variety.  Increasing your gut bug variety can help you lose weight.
  • Gut bugs impact your blood glucose. Some gut bugs control the digestion of sugars and influence your body's sensitivity to insulin.
  • Gut bugs affect your mood. The relationship between your gut and your brain is surprisingly important. Gut bugs produce 95% of your body's supply of serotonin, the "happy chemical", which improves well-being and happiness.
  • Gut bugs can disrupt your gut lining. Your gut lining controls what comes into the body. There is a clear link between gut bug variety, gut leakiness and chronic inflammation in your body.
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So, it sounds like your gut health is pretty important!


We also know that the modern, Western diet is really bad for your gut health. This diet includes low-fibre, ultra-processed carbs such as white bread, sugary drinks and ready meals.


The good news is there's lots you can do to help your gut health:


  1. Start eating different kinds of vegetables. The more varieties and colours the better, but aim for 5 different veg of five different colours a day. Try our rainbow food chart.
  2. Reduce stress levels. Long term high stress levels are hard on your body and increase gut leakiness. Try lowering stress through meditation, walking and spending time with friends and family.
  3. Get enough sleep. Not getting enough sleep negatively impacts your gut. Try to prioritise a regular 7-8 hours of sleep per night, as well as following the sleep advice we've given previously.
  4. Eat foods that are good for gut health. These include:
    • high fibre foods such as pulses, beans, peas, berries, asparagus and leeks
    • garlic and onions
    • fermented foods such as live yoghurt, miso, tempeh, kefir and kimchi


An imbalance in gut bugs can contribute to weight gain, high blood sugar and poor mental health. 


What action are you going to take?


Watch this 2.5-minute video from Dr Rangan Chatterjee, a GP in Manchester. It's a great introduction to gut bugs with ideas on how to fill your guts with healthy ones!



“The road to health is paved with good intestines!”

This 5-minute video from gut researcher Shilpa Ravella provides some amazing insights into your gut bugs. Watch it now to get some tips on what you can do to improve your health.

This fascinating animated video explains more about our growing understanding of gut bugs and their impact on your health.

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