Ask any health professional what the key to good health is these days and they will all agree on one thing: your gut is most important.
But while many might think that making over your gut health is a long and complex process, it doesn’t need to be.
In fact, you can improve your tummy status in just 24 hours with a few simple tweaks.
FEMAIL spoke to the Sydney-based nutritionist and founder of the Keep It Real health programme, Lyndi Cohen, to find out how you can change your attitude to your tummy overnight – and get healthier as a result.
Sydney-based nutritionist, Lyndi Cohen (pictured), shared her tips for gut health with FEMAIL – countless health professionals now argue the most important part of good health is gut health
But many people still think that improving the status of their tummy health (stock image) is a long and complex process – you can in fact make a few improving tweaks in 24 hours
The first thing Ms Cohen (pictured) recommends is that you follow a Mediterranean or Japanese diet – this is because both of these contain things which are good for your gut
GUT HEALTH TIPS
* Take a probiotic first thing in the morning; there is no need for a hot water and lemon.
* Eat Mediterranean cuisine, which is filled with fibre and plant foods, which contain beneficial prebiotics.
* Ditch the highly processed, sugar-laden foods and swap out soft drinks for kombucha.
* Eat Japanese and Korean foods where possible, as they include fermented options like kimchi and pickled vegetables.
* Clean your teeth thoroughly as this will boost your immunity and stop pathogens from making it into the gut.
* Keep a lid on your stress levels as these can impact your internal health.
* Don’t exercise too intensely or excessively in the gym as this can make you get sick more frequently.
TAKE A PROBIOTIC AND DITCH THE HOT WATER AND LEMON
Ms Cohen explained that when it comes to a happy tummy, you can’t go wrong with starting the day with a probiotic:
‘Taking probiotics, along with prebiotics, is one of the simplest ways to boost your gut health,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.
‘Try something like Yakult and try to have it each day to keep up the good habits.
‘Your body is highly sophisticated, and there isn’t really any evidence to support the idea that your gut needs to be “prepped” with hot water and lemon before breakfast,’ Ms Cohen continued.
‘Most stomachs can regulate acid just perfectly without a squirt of lemon juice having to wake them up,’ she added.
EAT MEDITERRANEAN CUISINE AND DITCH JUNK FOODS
Next, Ms Cohen said that there are certain foods which will do good things to your stomach – and certain foods which will have a negative impact.
‘Mediterranean cuisine is ideal as it’s filled with fibre and plant foods, which contain prebiotics,’ she explained.
‘Prebiotics are essential to creating a healthier gut, and they can be found in fibrous foods like beans, bananas, leafy greens, garlic, onions and tomatoes.
‘Japanese and Korean foods are also a good option, as they include fermented foods like kimchi and pickled vegetables which can help with digestion.’
The Sydney-based nutritionist said that on the other hand, you should stay away from highly processed junk food which ‘can throw off the balance of your gut microbiota and impact your body’s immunity’.
If you’re hooked on a daily soft drink or packet of crisps, Ms Cohen recommends you try switching it for some kombucha or fruit at 3pm.
‘Bacteria doesn’t thrive in foods that are high in sodium, so aim to eat foods with lower salt content to boost the number of good bacteria which make it to your gut,’ she said.
‘Prebiotics are essential to creating a healthier gut, and they can be found in fibrous foods like beans, bananas, leafy greens, garlic, onions and tomatoes,’ Ms Cohen (pictured) said
Meanwhile, Ms Cohen (pictured) recommends you lessen your intake of sodium as bacteria doesn’t thrive in these foods
CLEAN YOUR TEETH THOROUGHLY AND TRY TO MANAGE STRESS
It might sound unusual, but brushing your teeth thoroughly really can give you a healthier stomach:
‘Gut microbiota need to travel through your mouth first, so having a clean mouth and brushing well can help to boost your immunity and prevent pathogens from making it to the gut,’ Ms Cohen explained.
Keep a lid on your stress levels where possible too, as high stress at home or work can also impact on your internal health.
Ms Cohen recommends meditation or exercise in this instance.
Brushing your teeth thoroughly (stock image) can help to boost your immunity and prevent pathogens from making it to the gut
As well as this, Ms Cohen said you shouldn’t go too hard in the gym – instead you should do regular exercise which doesn’t cause stress to your body (stock image)
DON’T EXERCISE TOO INTENSELY
Last but not least, though it may feel counter-intuitive, Ms Cohen said you shouldn’t go excessively hard in the gym.
‘Exercising excessively or intensely can reduce your immunity, which will make you get sick more frequently,’ she said.
‘The best type of exercise for a strong immune system is enjoyable regular exercise which doesn’t cause stress to your body.’
Yet another reason to take up yoga.
Lyndi Cohen is a nutritionist and the founder behind the Keep It Real programme. For more information, click here.