Adding an extra plant to your takeaway, buying a new fruit or vegetable each week and enjoying a cup of tea or coffee in the morning are three of the five ‘micro habits’ you should incorporate to help prepare your gut for party season, a doctor has claimed.
Leading Harley Street dietitian and King’s College research fellow Dr Megan Rossi, from Queensland, said that improving both your digestive system and gut microbes can be done in just a few minutes, provided you know how.
‘The next few months are full of life’s pleasures, from work parties to Christmas feasts, and I’m going to help you enjoy everything life has to offer,’ Dr Rossi explained in a recent Instagram video.
‘To help get your gut party-ready, I have five micro habits that will help to boost your microbes.’
Leading Harley Street dietitian and King’s College fellow Dr Megan Rossi (pictured) said that improving both your digestive system and gut microbes can be done in just a few minutes
Dr Rossi’s first easy micro habit is that you seek out sweetness in your diet from fruit rather than any refined sweeteners (pictured)
1. Get your sweetness from fruit
Dr Rossi’s first easy micro habit is that you seek out sweetness in your diet from fruit rather than any refined sweeteners.
‘Whole fruits, such as dates in brownies or bananas in smoothies, offer not only that sweet hit but an array of dietary fibres to keep you more satisfied for longer, and phytochemicals to boost beneficial gut bacteria,’ Dr Rossi said.
If you find yourself craving something sweet, try a juice or piece of fruit before reaching for a biscuit or bar of chocolate.
2. Add a plant to your takeaway
The party season is full of dietary choices that you wouldn’t normally make.
But rather than deny yourself a takeaway, Dr Rossi said you should instead just add an extra plant to whatever is your choice.
‘Fibre goodness on the side helps to feed your gut microbes, whether it’s adding greens to your pizza topping, lentils to your curry sauce or another side of veg to your Sunday roast,’ the doctor said.
It might not feel like much, but your health will thank you.
Rather than deny yourself a takeaway this party season, Dr Rossi said you should instead just add an extra plant to whatever is your choice (pictured)
3. Go for pre-mixed combinations
When you next do the supermarket shop, Dr Rossi said it’s a great idea to go for the pre-mixed combinations of fruit, vegetables and beans.
‘Pre-mixed packs (fresh, frozen and tinned) are one of my top tips for diversifying your diet,’ she said.
For example, you could swap a tin of chickpeas for a bean mix, or frozen green beans for a bag of frozen Mediterranean vegetables.
The more healthy foods you can expose your gut to in any given day, the better you will look and feel inside and out.
4. Buy a new fruit or veg each week
‘Adding in plant-based foods you’ve never tried or rarely eat is one of the best ways to increase the diversity of your gut microbes,’ Dr Rossi said.
‘Each plant has a unique mix of chemicals (or phytochemicals) that nourish the microbes in your gut.’
Dr Rossi recommends we try to eat 30 different types of plant-based foods each week as these contain ‘different fibres and chemicals that feed the different bacteria in your gut’.
‘From wholegrains to vegetables, fruits, legumes, seeds and nuts, research has shown that those who hit 30 have a more diverse range of gut microbes than others,’ Dr Rossi said.
‘This is a marker of good gut health and has also been linked to better long-term health.’
5. Enjoy a morning tea or coffee
Finally, while you might think it’s bad for you, Dr Rossi said a cup of morning tea or coffee is in fact a fantastic way to start your day during party season.
‘A cup of filtered coffee or tea in the morning (or decaf for sensitive guts) is a great way to kickstart your gut, plus they’re rich in phytochemicals,’ she said.
Rather than ‘excluding’ certain foods, she said she is all about ‘including’ others to boost your nutritional intake.
Dr Rossi is the author of the book Eat Yourself Healthy, An Easy-to-Digest Guide to Health and Happiness from the Inside Out.
For more information, please click here. You can also follow Dr Megan Rossi on Instagram here.
The simple ways to get more fibre revealed
1. Add flavour and texture to your favourite soup by stirring in cooked barley or legumes.
Dr Rossi (pictured) also shared the six simple ways to get more fibre in your diet
2. Sprinkle mixed seeds on you breakfast – whether it’s cereal, toast or eggs.
3. Replace a third of the mince in your lasagne with cooked lentils for a twist your gut will love.
4. Keep your skin on both your fruit and vegetables.
5. A small handful of nuts, seeds and dried fruit is a quick way to boost your fibre when you’re in a rush.
6. Make the switch from white to wholegrain and seeded bread.
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