Nutrition is a key factor that impacts the gut and the gut microbiome. The food we eat can either promote or disrupt the balance of our gut microbiome, which in turn can have a significant impact on our health. Therefore, it is important to choose foods that support a healthy gut and a diverse gut microbiome.
Em’s given us an insight into her weekly food shop, and what to reach for to build a balanced plate.
When it comes to building your plate, we generally need to consider the 5 main food groups:
Low starch fruits & vegetables: eat the rainbow, aiming for a variety of colour to ensure you are getting a good mix of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Low starch vegetables also help bulk out your plate to make you feel fuller for longer.
Protein: Aim for a palm sized portion of protein to leave you feeling full and satisfied. Protein can come from both plant and animal sources. I encourage you to consume your protein from diverse sources such as lean cuts of meat, fish, eggs, dairy and plant-based sources such as beans, lentils and chickpeas. Fish is another great source of protein that can also be rich in healthy omega-3’s.
Carbohydrates: Aim for high fibre, wholegrain and seeded carbohydrates to support your digestion , blood sugar and promote a healthy gut.
Healthy fats: Fats help the absorption of vitamins A, D, E and K. Add avocados, nuts and nut butters, seeds and fatty fish like salmon on your plate and cook with healthy oils like olive oil for a boost of antioxidants.
Em’s Shopping List/Cupboard Essentials
Yeo valley o% extra thick yoghurt
Chicken breasts or a whole small chicken
Organic 5% beef mince (I eat red meat once a week)
Oily fish ie salmon, trout or mackerel
Lots of precooked beans and legumes
Onions; red, white, shallots, leeks, spring
Broccoli and green beans
Greens; spinach (I love to buy the frozen whole leaf pellets, they are perfect for adding into sauce), kale, cavolo nero, rocket
Fresh herbs; basil, parsley, coriander
Starchy veg; sweet potatoes, potatoes, butternut squash, parsnips
Tomato products; chopped, passata, fresh, tinned
Wholegrain pasta or lentil/chickpea pasta
Legumes (a protein source but also a carb)
High fibre bread
Rye crisp breads
Brown pita breads