In 2014, sugar was marked out as enemy #1, and we all resorted to cold-pressed green juices and sweet potato brownies as a result.
Now it seems that a new trend is on the way – the unfortunately termed “gut health” (it’s not as gross as it sounds!)
Major publications are coming from across the pond that indicate how seriously we should be concerned with nourishing our gut in order to keep our health in balance. As the rate of IBS soars and many continue to suffer from food intolerances / digestion problems, it’s more important than ever to treat your gut well in order to achieve optimum health.
Here are some of the hallmarks of the gut health trend to look out for this year:
If you’re not already following the Hemsley + Hemsley sisters escapades with this, bone broth is a trend that is just getting started in the UK. The health benefits of boiling up an animal carcass and making a soup from it are reported to be endless – better digestion, higher mineral content, immunity boosting… I could go on! New York has even seen the opening of bone broth cafés. Make no bones about it, this trend is here to stay! (Sorry… I had to make a pun somewhere).
Companies like Biokult and Optibac have seen sales soaring amongst health conscious folk who want to take better care of their internal ecosystem. Supplements are the simplest way of delivering the recommended amount of probiotics to restore the “good bacteria” balance of the gut. Nutritionists state that the live cultures contained in probiotics will repopulate the flora of the gut to help it function properly. Reported benefits include clearer skin, more energy, improved mood and general bright eyed and bushy-tailedness. If you are on antibiotics, some experts advise taking a probiotic supplement alongside it to help prevent your immune system from weakening as an effect of the drugs.
You’re probably thinking huh? But cows’ dairy is known to contain the casein protein that the stomach finds very difficult to break down and digest. Goats milk is a much gentler form of getting your recommended calcium intake and has a reduced amount of casein. For the ultimate tummy care treatment, try the goats milk kefir package from Chuckling Goat. Admittedly, the drink has quite a sharp taste but it is delicious in smoothies and the kefir means it’s a powerful probiotic as well as a healthy dairy source. The founder Shann Jones has had amazing results with customers suffering from eczema, IBS, colitis, acne and all sorts of other health issues.
Pickling your veg and fermenting yoghurt into kefir are traditions that date back centuries in some cultures, but have recently become much more of a ‘thing’ in the UK. Adding sauerkraut to a salad or main dish is a delicious addition that will help your stomach absorb the nutrients it needs. Kefir and Kombucha are both fermented drinks that are high in probiotic cultures and you can also include sourdough bread as part of the mix (does this mean I have a reason to eat more sourdough pizza? Ermmm yes it does YOU’RE WELCOME).
Here are some books you might want to consult if you want to investigate gut health for yourself: