WANT TO BE RESILIENT THIS WINTER?

FEED YOUR BUGS to FIGHT OFF COLDS AND FLU, SAYS OUR RESIDENT NUTRITIONIST Rhaya Jordan

We have ten times the amount of bacteria in our gut than we do human cells. As research reveals more about the microbiome (the collection of bacteria unique to each of us), it is becoming ever clearer how pivotal it is to health.

Think your digestion has nothing to do with how many infections you pick up? Think again. Your gut is the key to your resistance and resilience.

Your microbiome is constantly in contact with and supporting your immune system. Some top tips to look after your gut flora and stay strong this winter…

FIBRE IS YOUR FRIEND

Some fibre is so useful for bacteria it is known as “prebiotics”. The fibre in vegetables and fruit help feed your microbiome encouraging the bacteria that support health. Fibre makes you feel fuller longer: this can reduce how much you eat and over time will alter the balance of bacteria in your gut, which can also have a big influence on your weight. Winter vegetables really are so useful to keep you healthy!

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FERMENTED FOODS

Popular in cuisines all over the world to preserve food using “good” bacteria, fermented foods help your microbiome and are a delicious addition to your diet.

Incorporate regular portions of yoghurt, kefir, miso soup and switch your usual condiments for kimchi or sauerkraut.

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DRINK PLENTY OF FLUIDS

The bugs in your gut don’t do too well if they have to hang around with your “waste” too long. Keep things moving with lots of fluids.

If you find the cool weather has you drinking less, then try light warm drinks – mint or other herbal teas are great thirst quenchers in winter. Drink them lukewarm when thirsty, or sip them hot at your desk.

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