This month the team at VIVE share their daily routines for optimising and maintaining gut health.
If you suffer from any kind of gastroinstinal disorder, fixing the microbiome of the gut is a crucial step on the road to recovery. Fixing the root of the problem could also prevent a myriad of other disorders from wreaking havoc in your life at some point down the track.
See below how the staff at Vive give their guts a little bit of daily lovin’
Matt Steinacher (Naturopath)
My staple is pretty much all consumed throughout the morning, either after training, or at breakfast. I wake and drink about 100mls of kombucha – home brewed by “Eleanor” the scoby. That is followed by a yoghurt mix containing natural sheep yoghurt, glutamine, slippery elm, chia, berries and a little paleo ganola. Gut done! Delicious!
Therese Hodgkinson (Naturopath)
Each morning I include psyllium husk in my breakfast smoothie. Psyllium is a good source of soluble fibre, when combined with water it helps keep bowel movements soft & regular. Through this action psyllium helps our body to regularly remove waste, which improves digestive & overall health. Psyllium also assists our body in eliminating excess cholesterol via the bowel, as well as keeping our blood sugar levels more even during the hours after ingestion. Just remember to start with a small dose (e.g. ½ teaspoonful) then gradually increase to avoid bloating. Also take it with plenty of water, which assist it to work properly.
Linda Brown (Naturopath)
1. One thing I do do: make lollies and jelly out of supplements, using gelatine. Partly because gelatine is good for your gut, and contains concentrated protein which has a particularly good profile for connective tissue/post injury/post-surgical healing (and wrinkle prevention, apparently).
Also let’s face it, naturopathic supplements are not known for their culinary excellence! I simmer plain magnesium powder and gelatine in very strong berry tea, sometimes with a dash of cranberry or pomegranate juice. Also, home-made marshmallows hide supplements nicely. Like this: https://wellnessmama.com/6423/
2. One thing I no longer do: drink lemon water.
Contrary to the grass-roots notion that ‘everyone is under-acid’ that we were told at college back in the dark ages before critically analysed research came to the fore, evidence suggests that many people (with normal to high acid secretion) will simply irritate their stomachs with lemon water by putting acid in. And, it dissolves tooth enamel (unless you use a straw). To stimulate the digestive cascade, bitter herbs (like dandelion), as well as simply relaxing and chewing (for free!) appear to improve digestive capacity more gently and consistently.
Bella Walton (Naturopath)
In terms of a strict daily routine for gut health, I don’t have one. I regularly include fermented foods in my diet (particularly sauerkraut and yoghurt), add L-glutamine to my water or smoothie, and tinker with gelatin (making either gummies or jelly); however, I don’t do any of these every day. I am diligent about and enjoy including 7-8 serves of vegetables in my diet daily (an important component of gut health in terms of prebiotics and fibre). Aside from this there are two things I notice which have a big impact on my gut health. The first is drinking enough water – I find that with the inclusion of my exercise regime I need 2-3L/day. The second is mindfulness around food (something I have not yet mastered, as I often find myself ‘distracted’ while eating). Being mindful around meals, I notice significantly improved digestion and satiety, with less bloating. I have tried various supplements but can attest that nothing works as effectively for me as mindfulness. It really can be that simple. And a hot tip: it is so much easier to be mindful around food when you are eating with others, so get in community with friends and family, and share good food.
Megan Crockart (Nutritionist)
Natural therapistits consider gut health to be paramount, therefore in my own personal regime I focus quite strongly on foods and supplements to support good gut health. Plus as a nutritionist, gut health and digestive issues are one of my key areas of interest. I will touch briefly on what I personally do for gut health, but read a more extended version here.
Multi strain probiotic
Each morning when I get up, I take a good quality multi strain probiotic with a large glass of water. I try to have this at least 15 minutes before my breakfast for it to be as effective as possible.
Glutamine and various amino acid powders
Glutamine is a fantastic amino acid for healing the gut mucosa. I take this a few times a week now instead of daily.
Each morning and some nights, I take a digestive enzyme just before I eat to help aid digestion.
Cultured cashew cheese
I am quite a fan of cultured cashew cheese as I am dairy free. I have cashew cheese in my salad and on crackers on most days. A tasty way to get some extra probiotics.
I always have a stash of either beef or chicken bone broth in my freezer and I make a new batch as I am about to run out. I love to use bone broth in place of stock in cooking and I also like to drink a cup a few times a week.
A fermented tea drink which contains a lot of good bacteria, which means it can replace a probiotic supplement. I drink this as my treat drink for the week, and have a couple of glasses once a week.
I have started making my own jellies and snacks using gelatin. I don’t use sugar in the ingredients, so can I eat a few a day and not feel guilty :) Not what most people would think of when they hear jelly!
Fermented vegetables eg sauerkraut/kimchi
This is something I have a few times a week. Great added as a condiment to breakfast when having something like bacon and eggs, or mushrooms and tomatoes etc. I also like to have a tablespoon or so with my salad at lunch.