There are countless reasons to desire a healthy gut. Achieving and maintaining a robust microbiome (trillions of good bacteria and the helpful chemicals they produce) in the lower part of our gastrointestinal tract can help our bodies with everything from fighting pathogens to improving our mental health.
“What I ask people to do is, first of all, think about diversifying their plants and try to get 30 different plants in a week,” says Dr. Megan Rossi. Raj Punjabi and Noah Michelson, co-hosts of The Huffington Post’s “Am I Doing Something Wrong?” recently told us that he is known in some circles as the “queen of gut health.” nutritionists and registered dietitians. podcast.
Rossi says these plants should come from what she calls the “Super Six”: whole grains, nuts and seeds, vegetables, fruits, legumes, herbs and spices.
“If we want to have a variety of bacteria in the gut that have been shown to have a variety of skills and some sort of superpower, then we need to feed them a variety of fertilizers or they’ll die – they won’t grow ,”she says.
Rosie, founder of the London Gut Health Clinic, also gave us a tip for improving gut health that works no matter what you put in your mouth: Chew your food more.
“It really just depends on digestion,” she says. “Not only do we begin to physically break down the food in our mouths, but enzymes in our saliva also begin to break down the food chemically.”
Research shows that the more we chew, the more nutrients we absorb from our food, which is good for our guts.
“One study looked at almonds, and they compared people who chewed almonds 10 times with those who chewed almonds 40 times,” Rossi told us.
“They show that if you chew 40 times, you actually absorb more of the high-quality nutrients. … If you only chew 10 times, you’re malabsorbing and not reaching your full health potential. So chewing food is important for extraction It’s important to get a lot of nutrients in and not excrete it out of your body.”
However, for many of us, chewing more is easier said than done.
“It’s hard to do,” Punjabi said. “I won’t eat unless I’m really hungry, and I’ve counted – I’ll chew six times [before swallowing]”.
“I’m right there with you,” Michelson agreed. “It was like a whole hard-boiled egg fell down my throat, like I was a python.”
“I got it,” Rossi assured us. “There are many different chewing applications on the market [to help people chew more and slower] But what I tell a lot of my clients in the clinic is just focus on the first two bites of every meal. You’ll never chew each mouthful 30 times, just focus on the first two to start building a habit.Then you start doing more and more [chewing] In every meal you eat. “
Rossi adds that even just three extra chews can help develop better chewing habits, which can lead to better gut health.
“Next time, count – count how many times you chew [your mouthful of food] — and then chew it three more times,” she said.
“Then, at each meal, just focus on the first two bites and eat three more [chews]. Then, if you can add an extra chew or two every few weeks, by six months you’ll be chewing quite a bit. “
We also discuss the potential link between the gut microbiome and mental health, the truth about probiotics, and more:
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