It’s the final week of our “Back To Wellness” campaign and for week 4, our in-house nutritional therapist, El is talking all things gut. Below she’s sharing her gut-loving shopping list so you can stock up on all the goodness your gut deserves on your next shopping trip.
Bitter ingredients – rocket, watercress, dandelion, artichoke hearts, cacao nibs. Starting every meal with something bitter (especially if it’s green) is a great way to naturally stimulate our digestive juices to ensure that our digestive enzymes are flowing!
Cruciferous Vegetables – these are your fibrous veggies such as kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. These work to bulk up our bowel movements and keep things moving along – but importantly, they also contain a key liver-supporting compound called Indole-3-Carbinole which supports the 2nd phase of the liver detox system.
Grains – think brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa, spelt, oats and millet, these are all wonderful sources of soluble fibre which keep our digestion regular but also a source of prebiotic fibres to lay the foundation of good gut health.
Yoghurt – I personally avoid dairy, it doesn’t sit well with me, so I really enjoy Coco’s Coconut Yoghurt for this reason as its naturally rich in probiotic bacteria such as Lactobacillus which is like a warm hug for our gut with increasing research on its benefits for skin conditions too. BUT for those who can tolerate dairy, opting for full-fat Greek yoghurt is a perfect staple. I use yoghurt for breakfasts, to make a smoothie that extra bit creamier, or as an alternative to ice cream when I fancy something a little less sweet in the evening!
Nuts and Seeds – Nuts such as Walnuts, Cashews, Almonds, Brazil Nuts and Hazelnuts all count towards your plant points for the week whilst being nourishing to the body providing essential proteins, fats and minerals. Research has even shown that including a handful of good quality Brazil nuts can provide your body with its daily requirement of selenium for the day, an essential mineral for our reproductive system, metabolism and hair, skin and nails. Similarly seeds such as chia, and flax naturally keep digestion regular by drawing water to the colon.
Active Probiotics – Probiotics are the ingredients that feed our healthy gut bacteria and therefore contribute to the strengthening of our gut lining and optimisation of our digestive function. Foods such as Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Miso and Tempeh are all fantastic sources of fermented foods as well as eating products that are enriched with live cultures such as yoghurts, probiotic drinks and spreads. I really like using the Cultured Collective products.
Dark Chocolate – I love to have a few squares of dark chocolate every day! It’s a treat for my tastebuds BUT it’s also rich in magnesium which is totally needed for our nervous system, digestion, hormonal health and beyond! Research has even shown that 85% dark chocolate has a probiotic action too which means it’s good for the gut too! – but just be careful if it’s above 70% in the late afternoon, dark chocolate does contain caffeine, remember.