gut health myths busted!
you know prioritising gut health is crucial for your overall health and wellbeing. but the burning question we know you're dying to know the answer to is: do you really need to pop all those probiotics, guzzle all that kombucha and ditch the dairy to gain a healthy gut?
gut health is a complex and evolving field of research. it’s increasingly clear that your gut health can have a much wider impact on your body, but the hype around gut-boosting products has resulted in a wealth of misinformation and confusion.
so lets play a game of myth busters!
myth #1 bacteria is bad
when we hear the word bacteria, we usually associate it as a negative thing. however, our bodies contain both good and bad bacteria (or as we like to call it 'desirable and non-desirable' bacteria). bacteria makes up your microbiome, and the desirable bacteria help regulate your metabolism, process foods and protect the body against infection. in other words, without bacteria, we wouldn’t be here today. the trick is to keep the balance in check.
myth #2 just take probiotics
unfortunately it's just not that simple. reaching for a pricey probiotic in your local health food store is unlikely to be a magic bullet solution. different probiotic strains have differing levels of effectiveness depending on your specific health issue. we always suggest you work with your health care practitioner and get your microbiome tested via a stool analysis so you know which strains your body actually needs and will benefit from.
myth #3 you must be gluten free
diets that eliminate food groups such as dairy and gluten have become popular over the past few years. but cutting out entire food groups may be unnecessary and can affect your gut microbes and in fact lead to a decrease in bacterial diversity, and even lead to nutrient deficiencies. so, it's always best to 'test, don't guess' and work along side your health care practitioner to determine what it best for your body and health concern.
myth #4 you need specialist (and expensive) foods to support your gut
the supermarket shelves are exploding with new products and supplements vying for your attention. kombucha now comes in so many flavours and even in 1L bottles - but did you know we only need approx. 30ml for a therapeutic dose? guzzling a full bottle could do more harm than good (burp). when aiming for optimal gut health, choosing to include a variety of fruits, vegetables and legumes (beans and pulses such as lentils) in your diet is best.
here are some ways to get that all important fibre in (without blowing the budget):
- prebiotic foods such as onions, garlic and leeks, will help the good bacteria in your gut to thrive
- fibre from fruit, veg and whole grains, aids digestion and encourages healthy bowel movements
- probiotic foods such as plain yoghurts include strains of good bacteria similar to those in your gut
what other myths about gut health would you like busted? let us know in the comments below!