Everyone is talking about the gut, but why and how do I nourish my gut?
Hippocrates already knew that every disease begins in the gut and that food is our medicine.
There are trillions of small bacteria in our intestines – more precisely in the large intestine – most of which are friendly and essential for our well-being.
You can think of them as friendly roommates that make medicine out of your food and keep you healthy and happy (80% of your immune system is in the gut & 90% of your happiness hormone serotonin is also produced in the gut).
However, not everything you eat is automatically food for your little roommates. Pizza, pasta, ice cream and co. are absorbed directly in your small intestine and never reach the very bottom of the large intestine, where your roommates sit and starve.
However, what does get past all the digestive enzymes and make it to your housemates are all foods that contain fibre. Fibre is a long-chain carbohydrate found only in plant foods. The 5 best known fibre-rich food groups are vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, seeds and nuts.
Does this mean you have to go vegan? No. What is more important is a plant-based diet – this means that the basis of your meals should consist of the 5 food groups – whether you garnish the whole thing with animal foods is up to you.
According to current science, a dietary fibre content of at least 30 g/day is optimal https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7589116/.
This way you can ensure that your intestinal bacteria are also satisfied at every meal.
The second thing that is important in order to feed as many of the different inhabitants as possible is variety. Why? Because each of your fellow inhabitants prefers a different food source in return for doing its specific job of keeping you healthy.
According to current science, a goal of 30 different plant-based foods per week is optimal – have you counted yours? Herbs and spices count for half a point each!
And that’s the whole secret.
Simple tips to increase variety include toppings such as herbs, sprouts, microgreens, seeds and nuts, and all spices.
In addition, fermented foods can also contribute to a strong and healthy gut flora and should be part of a gut-healthy diet from time to time.
My tip is bowls because you can easily combine the 5 food groups without thinking twice and with a tasty dressing or even herbs, spices and olive oil, you can conjure up a wholesome and filling meal for you and your housemates in no time.
Feel free to check out my Instagram page if you’re looking for meal inspiration.