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  • Writer's pictureFrances McDonnell

Gut Instinct:

Updated: Mar 29, 2022

Welcome to my world!

I love bugs, good gut bacteria that is.

I am thrilled you found me! This will be the home of my monthly blogs to bring you the latest nutrition hacks to improve your health and well-being by making small changes which become healthy habits.

I am a registered nutritional therapist and I support my clients to reduce weigh, improve health markers like blood glucose and cholesterol and find the underlying imbalance of their symptoms. I have a special interest in gut health and I work with my clients to improve or resolve their gut issues like IBS, colitis, GERD to name a few. These conditions can be debilitating and reduce our quality of life, however, they can also be greatly improved with specialist support and dietary changes.

Tell me more.

Microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and fungi make up our gut microbiome, and live in our digestive tracts as well as other areas of the body. Though more research is needed in terms of the function and action of gut microbiota, it has been observed that people who are sick have too much of certain bacteria or too little of another type. Healthy individuals exhibit good diversity in their microbiome and this is thought to protect against certain diseases.

Small changes add up

For the average healthy individual, we can make small changes that will enhance our gut microbiome and thereby protect our health by strengthening our gut integrity. Here are 5 ways to keep our gut healthy:

  1. Eat more fibre. Government guidelines recommend 30 grams of fibre a day for adults. Foods that are high in fibre include pulses like peas, beans and lentils; jacket potatoes and wholegrains like wholewheat pasta along with Bulgar wheat or brown rice.

  2. The microbiota is thought to contain between 200-300 different bacteria species. These require different types of food. Eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables will feed these "good" gut bugs which will in turn, help to keep you healthy.

  3. Poly what? Polyphenols may act on the gut microbiota to feed the beneficial bacteria and diminish the pathogenic bacteria. Extra virgin olive oil is a great source of polyphenols and can be added to salads.

  4. Include prebiotic foods in your diet. Prebiotic foods are a type of fibre that feed the good gut bacteria that already exists in your gut. Legumes, oats, bananas, berries and cold potato salad are excellent sources of prebiotics.

  5. Probiotics on the other hand contain beneficial bacteria and this is a great way to increase the diversity of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Yogurt with live cultures are a great source of probiotics and are readily available in supermarkets. They also come in vegetarian and vegan alternatives.

Lets recap!

Increasing fresh fruits, vegetables and fibre in our diet will support the beneficial bacteria in our gut. Using prebiotics and probiotics to enhance the type and diversity of beneficial bacteria in the gut will help protect us from illness. These are simple changes we can make now to invest in our health.

If you suffer from a more serious digestive issue, I are here to help. Call me on +44 7792 232 592 or email me

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