From drinks to breakfast cereals – we test the best products for gut health

From drinks to breakfast cereals – we test the best products for gut health

FLU and norovirus cases are surging and one way to try to keep your immunity high is to look after your gut health.

Trials show that people with high levels of “healthy” gut bacteria have fewer symptoms when suffering a respiratory illness.

We’ve tested the best products for gut health

New products are available that are full of probiotics, the good bacteria needed for a healthy gut.

Today JANE ATKINSON looks at ways to boost your levels . . . 

POWDER

SuppliedJERMS Daily Gut is a powder barely tastes of anything[/caption]

JERMS Daily Gut is a powder that delivers probiotics, plus the prebiotics they feed off, together with digestive enzymes and a few organic superfoods.

The main ingredient is flaxseed followed by vitamin-packed baobab, calcium, lemon balm, pineapple, artichoke leaf and turmeric.

There are 10 billion live cultures too.

Unlike some other superfood powders that can be hard to stomach, this barely tastes of anything.

You can bung it on your cereal, stir into a drink or sprinkle over cold food.

I just put a teaspoon of it in water – it had a slightly grassy but inoffensive flavour.

This doesn’t have bucket loads of superfoods but it’s a good mix, with no fillers.

I really like this. Just 16 calories per 6g serving.

From £20.79 for a 30-day serving. wearejerms.com

DRINK

SuppliedThis flavour really hits the back of your throat, giving a really earthy flavour and slight tickle[/caption]

NUNC has created a kombucha drink in five flavours: Hops Monster, Rose Blush, Mango Buzz, Juni-purr and Chilli Cha Cha.

I tried the Chilli Cha Cha, which is made by fermenting Sencha green tea and organic Darjeeling green tea with raw honey from Buckinghamshire.

Then Scotch bonnet chillies, organic mango, pineapple, turmeric and ginger are added. It is the fermentation in kombucha that helps regulate gut flora.

I am not keen on sweet drinks and love the fact the chilli hits the back of your throat, giving a really earthy flavour and slight tickle.

It’s just 50 calories per 330ml can and 2.8 per cent sugar which isn’t too bad for a kombucha.

From £31.99 for a pack of 12, drinknunc.com.

BREAKFAST

SuppliedBio&Me makes porridge, granola and muesli with gut health in mind[/caption]

FOUNDED by Dr Megan Rossi, Bio&Me makes porridge, granola and muesli with gut health in mind.

The company has just launched new porridge pots that contain no added sugar or hidden nasties, and are 100 per cent plant-based and gluten-free.

I tried the new Spiced Apple which contains 11 plant-based products including wholegrain oats, apples, almonds, dates and seeds.

You can really taste the cinnamon and see the lovely chunks of apple.

It has a great flavour and kept me full until lunchtime.

But being in a pot, it went cold really quickly.

Each 58g pot has 240 calories, 5.8 per cent fat and 4.2 per cent fibre.

£1.15 per pot from Tesco, or £7.99 for an eight-pack at bioandme.co.uk.

How to boost gut health with diet

Go for the long haul and improve your gut health by following these steps.

Aim for 30 different types of fibre per week as there is evidence this helps build a diverse gut microbiome. Foods you can count include all fruits, vegetables, pulses, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds. Start by counting how many you eat and increase slowly from there.
Start increasing your fibre intake slowly. Just one extra portion of fruit or veg a day will help. One portion is around 80g of veg. Aim for 25-30g of fibre a day.
Look after the gut-brain connection. When we are stressed, we don’t digest food as well and you can become bloated, constipated or suffer with loose stools. Deep breathing, yoga and walking have all been shown to calm the vegus nerve which can affect digestion.
Aim for eight hours sleep. Go to bed eight hours before you need to wake up and incorporate a wind down in the evening such as stretching, writing in a journal or listening to calm music.
Get outside every day. Exposure to the natural world helps diversity the gut microbiome. Stroking a pet or doing the gardening could help.
Exercise. Daily movement helps create a healthy gut. People who exercise regularly have a more diverse set of gut bacteria and often have strains associated with better overall health.

Common signs that something is wrong with your gut include persistent changes in bowel habits, abdominal pain, blood in the stools, weight loss and trouble swallowing. If you experience any of these, you should seek medical help.

   

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