The gut is often referred to as the ‘second brain’ and can communicate to the brain through the nervous system, but also through hormones, and the immune system.
Everything we eat and drink goes through the gut along the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The gut is home to trillions of gut bacteria called microbiota. These good bacteria play a key role in digesting the food you eat, and they help with absorbing and producing nutrients. 70% of the immune system is found in the gut.
Healthy eating and healthy lifestyle habits are important for gut health. How we eat also affects our gut bacteria. Healthy snacks between main meals can prevent overeating and overindulging, which can put strain on your digestive system.
When it comes to what you eat, a balanced diet that is high in fibre, low in refined sugars and low in saturated (animal) fats are vital. Research shows that foods high in prebiotics can increase the number and different types of good bacteria in the gut and therefore contribute to better health.
Prebiotics are found in:
• Nuts and seeds like almonds, cashews, and flaxseeds
• Dried and fresh fruits, especially banana and apple
• Cocoa beans
• Edamame beans
• Oats and whole grains
• Vegetables like asparagus, onions, and beetroot