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Nutrition plays an important role in maintaining a healthy, balanced gut. Fortunately, simple changes to your diet can quickly impact your gut health.

Here are 5 foods to add to your meals this week that’ll help improve and restore your gut:

1. Mushrooms

They contain various prebiotic fibres that feed our beneficial microbes and allow them to flourish. More healthy bacteria = more health benefits for us! Mushrooms also contain a component called beta-glucan, which has been found to stimulate our immune response & natural defence against infections. They’re incredibly versatile and go well with most herbs and spices. Enjoy them on sourdough toast or add them to salads, pasta, soup, stews and pizzas. 

Tip: Don't discard the mushroom stem as these contain the highest amount of fibre.

2. Chia seeds

Tiny nutritional powerhouses packed with soluble fibre, omega 3 and protein. They promote the growth of healthy bacteria, help to keep the bowels regular, and soothe and strengthen the gut lining (thanks to the mucilage content). Sprinkle onto yoghurt, stir into porridge, add to smoothies or make a chia pudding with different spices.

3. Berries

Deep colourful berries, such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and cranberries, are one of the richest sources of polyphenols. These protective plant compounds boost antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity within the gut, and are considered to be the 'new prebiotic' as they stimulate the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. Enjoy fresh at breakfast or as a snack, or make a berry compote from frozen (add chia seeds to make a jam consistency!).

4. Sauerkraut

A fermented food packed with both fibre and probiotics that enrich our gut environment and crowd out any pathogens that may want to take residency there. This supports the proper breakdown of food into nutrients and encourages the production of healthy metabolites, such as short chain fatty acids, that help to keep inflammation in check, regulating the immune system and strengthening the gut lining. Enjoy with scrambled eggs, in a cheese toastie or as part of a colourful salad bowl. Check out our recipe.

5. Rocket (arugula)

A leafy green bitter vegetable packed with gut-friendly micronutrients, fibre, water and polyphenols. Rocket leaves stimulate digestion by increasing the secretion of digestive juices that break down our food. This can really help with symptoms such as bloating, heartburn, reflux and constipation. Delicious as the base of a salad, on top of pizza or pasta or as a side dish to any savoury meal.

Remember, when you eat, you’re not just nourishing your body, but feeding the trillions of microbes that live inside your gut. Treat them well and you’ll thrive! 

For more tips on how to support your gut health, read this article.

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