Most of us have symptoms of poor gut health but not all of us know it! Poor gut health can show up in a myriad different ways but is particularly prevalent in common digestive issues such as chronic diarrhoea, constipation, loose stools, general tummy ache, acid reflux, Crohn's Disease, ulcerative colitis or stomach ulcers. It may also show up as something you never realised was related to the gut but might include food allergies, gluten intolerance, depression, low mood, OCD, behavioural disorders, ear infections, chronic tiredness, glandular fever, auto-immune diseases, insomnia, bed-wetting, brain fog, eczema, acne, candida, weight gain, weight loss, asthma and cardiac issues. As a first step, always seek professional treatment for any of the above.
That said, we believe that diet has an intrinsic part to play in recovery. To address and help any of these conditions to recover, we would encourage efforts to heal the lining of the gut and to rebuild healthy gut flora. Diet is a great place to start. There are other important ideas to take on board too - things like reducing stress, avoiding environmental toxins, having good quality sleep (and enough of it), stepping out into nature, breathing fresh air, bathing in sunshine and grounding too.
Clean Up Your Diet
The single most effective step is to ditch processed food and sugar. Find out more about this step in this article that addresses the whole food, paleo and gluten free way of life and why it matters. And you have come to the right place! There is lots of inspiration, ideas and healthy recipes to help keep you on track (see and the best news - we don't use refined white sugar or grains in any of our food.
Reduce starchy foods
As you continue to make changes to your diet to start to heal your gut, you will need to avoid grains (including rice and pseudo grains like quinoa and buckwheat) and albeit temporarily, starchy veg such as potatoes, tapioca starch cornflour, arrowroot, potato flour, carob, cacao, chickpea flour, beans and legumes. This type of food is made up of complex food molecules that are difficult to digest and are hard for an imbalanced gut to break down. Once the gut is brought into balance then these can be re-introduced - there are "GAPS" products available in our online shop to help you stay on track.
Make Bone Broth a Staple
Bone broth is a classic component of the paleo diet. It is a foundational part of healing and sealing a leaky gut, full of nutrition and taste. Drink a cup before each meal, as a snack between meals or use it to add flavour to soups, stews and casseroles. Read more about bone broth's healing in "Nourishing Broth" and keep a look out for our delicious paleo pork bone broth in our online shop!
Eat Fermented Food
Make your own is always best and fun too! Fermented foods contain a higher percentage and wider range of good bacteria than the commercially produced products (there's a surprise)! Having a tablespoon of kimchi or sauerkraut in your diet will make a big different to your gut health.
Eat Saturated Fats
Our ancestors thrived on large amounts of animal fats, oily fish, nuts and seeds without issue. Today fat has taken the blame for almost every degenerative condition known to man - thanks in no small part to the fat free revolution where a fat free alternative exists for pretty much everything - even those things that are inherently fat such as mayonnaise, butter and yoghurt! Nuts isn't it - when you start to really think about it! Grass fed animals that have been allowed to free range and enjoy the sunshine produce healthy fats that are easily absorbed into our digestive system - and all that goodness is ready to eat and heal. Coconut Oil is another amazing saturated fat that is rich in medium chain fatty acids (MCT-Oil) that improve brain function too. Its like rocket fuel! Healthy fats supply long lasting energy and keep you fuller for longer - that word satiety again - look it up!
Drink More Water
The water quality in the UK is pretty good but can be improved by the use of a filter. However the key point is simple, to keep hydrated and use water to improve your general health and wellbeing. It s a simple change but watch out for the improvements you will start to feel!
Elevated stress levels are a bugger! Stress level is directly related to poor gut health so if you wish to improve your gut health, manage your stress levels and that means making time for you! Figure out what is causing you stress and deal with it - talk about it, change it, leave it, laugh at it, get out into Nature, move your body, have a massage do what it takes to manage the stress better, take the power back and watch your digestive issues settle!
Improve your sleep
Deep restful sleep is one of the cornerstones of healing. The body undergoes repair and growth during this period of downtime and if this is lost or interrupted then the ability of the body to perform these natural acts is interrupted too. If you want your body to heal then give it time to perform it's necessary healing functions. Tips for sleeping better include: turning the lights out, banishing all electronic devices from the bedside table and creating an evening ritual of relaxation to ensure that you are calm and relaxed before entering this period of sleep.
The beginning not the end
We hope that these 8 simple tips will help you on your journey back to health. These articles are written from the perspective of personal experience having walked our own journey back to health and wellbeing through changing up our diet and bringing more exercise into our lives. When we eat and live in line with our nature, we become a true expression of nature, an expression of health, wellness and positive growth. That's a lot to take in and pass onto our children!