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Sowing the seeds of health

Have you ever tried one of ‘those diets’ and never really seen the results that you thought you should have been getting? Having that feeling that you are restricted to the have’s and have not’s. Well there might be more to it that just what you eat.

Until recently there has only been a theory that the bugs that live in your tummy have an effect not only on your health but also on your weight. There has been an explosion of interest in regards to how these bacteria effect our overall health.

Tim Spector – professor in genetic epidemiology and is a collaborator of the British Gut Project, is on the cutting edge of this discussion.

Since the advent of antibiotics we have looked more closely at the bacteria that will cause us illness and disease if they are present in high numbers. The attention has only more recently shifted to focus on bacteria that may have the potential to benefit our health.

There is now more consideration than ever as to how to look after and support your tummy and this is constantly on the change, ‘levels of good and bad bugs are prone to ebb and flow depending on what you eat and drink [your day to day] stress.’

With all of this there have been numerous insights as to what will improve our tummy balance. Tim Spector sings the praises of how regular exercise promotes the growth of beneficial gut microbes. Movement seems to be an important aspect of health and although we all know this deep down the science is starting to catch up.

Even with all of that the single thing that makes the most amount of difference to you tummy and whether you grow good or bad bugs is eating a broad diversity of vegetables and fruits, as well as reducing the overall meat intake. ‘More than anything lack of variation in the food we eat is proving our microbial downfall’.

It seems that the probiotic drinks such as Yakult overall don’t seem to have all that much of an effect however eating foods that promote the growth of good bacteria (prebiotic foods) seem to be very beneficial. A variety of fiber rich vegetables such as leeks, garlic, artichoke, asparagus, celeriac all have been shown to have positive growth responses.

The conclusion is that we need to get back to eating real food with more diversity, your bugs and your waistline will thank you for it.

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