Gut Health Shopping Guide - making it easy to shop with gut wellness in mind
How to Shop for Gut Health: The Ultimate Guide to Reducing Bloating and Other IBS Symptoms
Ugh. Another shopping guide for gut health? Yep! But it's time to get real.
If you've had a diagnosis or not. If you've been struggling with bloating, bellyache, diarrhoea, constipation, or gut health symptoms - it's time to be honest about what you're eating. Not just today, but every day.
Yes, some foods are more gut-friendly than others. And yes, we all want to indulge and eat what we want.
But our guts haven't evolved as quickly as ready made meals, fast food, industrial farming and just how available food is to us.
Listen, we cover a lot in this blog so we're not saying to make all of these changes tomorrow but it is worth a check in.
Even small changes can make a massive difference to how your digestive system works. But you gotta do them.
These gut health stats are eye opening
If you're like the 238 people in this 2021 Cambridge study where 81% experienced at least 1 digestive symptom in the previous 4 weeks. Then we feel you.
Is it wild, noisy belly rumbling? Is it bloating so bad that you don't want to move? Or a gassy ass? Or abdominal pains that make you feel rotten?
Or feeling the need to go, and full but it's just not moving? Or the opposite? Yep... been there, done that.
Treat your gut like your best friend
Your gut will look after you if you look after it. Whatever relationship you've had with it in the past, you can reset and forget the past.
It's time to treat you gut like it's your best mate.
One important way to help support gut health is through your diet. By eating more of the right kinds of foods that you gut needs will make a big difference in how you feel.
There's no one-size-fits-all to fixing that gut relationship but we do know that you can make good gut choices to help avoid some of your unwanted symptoms.
Our good gut shopping guide shares tips on how to shop for gut health and introduce more gut-friendly foods into your diet.
But before we get cracking, get your eyes on this guide to figuring out what's going on in your gut before making changes.
You can with small changes. And if you know some of these foods don't agree with you, fine. But then add more of the others.
Shop fresh - look for variety of colour for your gut
An easy way to get started is to think about the colour of foods you're eating. The more colourful the better. We all know about our 5 a day.
But in a day are you eating a variety fresh veg and fruit ranging from red - oranges - yellow - green - blue/purple?
Our eyes are hard-wired to be attracted to brightly coloured foods with the rainbow, are you getting bright colourful natural food in your meals? If there are more
- For red fruit & veg we’re talking strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, cherries, tomatoes and apples 🍒 🍓 🍅
- Coming in on the orange vibes: orange peppers, carrots, sweet potatoes, orange citrus fruits, papaya and apricots 🍊 🍑🥕
- Who is loving the yellow fruit and veg like lemons and other citrus fruits, banana, pineapples or mangoes? 🍋🍌🍍
- And we all know the greenies are no meanies! Pistachios, broccoli or cauliflower (both great for bloating), spinach leaves or kale, peas (great source of plant-based protein) 🍏 🥑 🥦
- And a shout out to blues and purples - blackberries, blueberries, grapes, plums, beetroot, aubergine 🫐 🍇 🍆
Top tips for more (natural) colour in your diet
Keep it simple. Tell yourself, you'll add one new piece of fruit or veg a day. Or buy a veg box subscription and get creative.
So aim to have as many different coloured foods on your plate as possible each day - you'll be getting a wide range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that will help support the gut.
These foods support gut health because they contain natural fibre which is fuel for the good bacteria in your gut.
Prebiotic and Probiotics foods for digestive health
Get that good bacteria. Probiotics are live microorganisms (bacteria) that can help the gut, they're found in foods such as kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut and yoghurt. Prebiotics are foods that contain fibres that fuel the good gut bacteria - think bananas, raw onions, garlic, and leeks.
Including probiotics and prebiotics in your diet can help to improve gut health, bloating and other IBS symptoms. You can either eat these as part of a meal or take a supplement if you find it difficult to get them through food.
Of course you can also choose
Choose fermentable fibres for digestion
Choose high-fibre foods. Fibre is important for gut health because it helps keep things moving through your digestive system.
Not sure what high-fibre foods are? Good sources of fibre include fruits and vegetables (especially those with edible skins or seeds), whole grains, legumes such as lentils or beans, nuts and seeds.
OK - how many times in one gut guide can we mention how great vegetables are? We get it.
Make sure you're getting the right kind of fibre too! There are two types that you should be aware of: soluble fibres dissolve in water and insoluble fibres don't.
Including fermentable fibres in your diet is a great way to support gut health. These are the types of fibre that our gut bacteria love!
Some good sources include oats, chickpeas, peanuts, black beans, green peas, kidney beans, bananas, and flaxseed. Are you getting at least one of these a day? No? Then it's time to get adding.
Go for whole grains
Whole grains contain more fibre than refined ones - which is great news if bloating and constipation are issues for you! When shopping for bread, pasta and other products made from flour, choose those that say "whole wheat" or "whole grain."
Loads of people find that grains upset their guts, so really think if it's worth it.
Shop Bacteria-based Supplements
Adding a bacteria-based food supplement can help keep your gut healthy or help you after you've taken antibiotics or had stomach upset.
The benefits of probiotics is that they can target gut problems. But if you're looking for the best probiotics for gut health, be mindful that 'more isn't always more'. Before buying any supplement, you should choose one that has clinical studies and is designed to support your digestive needs.
There are many different types of pro- pre- and now postbiotic supplements on the market, so it's important to find one that is right for you.
There is no 'best probiotic for gut health' - take a bit of time to do your research and read the reviews of any product you're considering buying.
Reducing bloating can be about mindful eating
Are you eating so fast that you're not chewing and helping your digestion - it's the number 1 thing that could be an easy fix for how you're feeling.
Slow down... OK, we'll say it again for those of you who didn't get it SLOW down.
Enjoy your food, stop eating on the go so much and chew chew chew chew.
Not only does it help break down the food into smaller pieces for your digestive system to have less chunks but it also help get more salvia which you need to help start breaking things down.