The holiday season is a great time to focus on your gut health. Often overlooked, the gut is one area of your body that has a major impact on your overall sense of wellbeing. Fortunately, according to scientists it is also possible to alter our gut biome by the food choices we make.
During the holiday season you may have a bit more time to make lifestyle changes that can become a lasting habit, long after the holiday ends and that tan has faded.
According to Professor Tim Spector, to maintain a healthy gut biome, we should incorporate as much variety as possible into our diet: from at least 30 different plants a week – including nuts, seeds, pulses, whole grains, fruits and vegetables – in addition to starchy staples such as potatoes or rice. He believes that diversity is crucial to warding off infections, combating diseases and maintaining a healthy weight.
- Why not take the time during the holiday season to find a local source of fresh organic produce? Find out where your nearest famers market is. There are about 800 in the UK operating weekly or monthly. They are a great place to meet like minded people, taste the produce and learn from the producers themselves.
The produce here is so much more nutritious than anything you will find in the supermarket. “Fresh produce” on the supermarket shelf is typically dead, tasteless and has travelled many food miles to get there.
- Even better, if you can persuade the whole family to get involved, the summer holidays are a great time to start growing your own vegetables. Start small, either with a few tubs or a small vegetable patch, to keep it manageable. There is nothing more rewarding than taking your own mixed salad leaves to the dinner table, pesticide free and so much more flavoursome and nutritious than anything you will buy. charlesdowding.co.uk is a great place to learn about growing organically via the No Dig method or check out the Royal Horticultural Society website, www.rhs.org.uk and possibly pay a visit to one of the many National Trust Gardens around the UK that also have so many inspiring kitchen gardens.
3. Finally, if you love getting “stuck in”, how about using the summer holiday time to learn a new skill, like baking your own sour dough bread, brewing your own water kefir, preserving vegetables or make your own fermented sauerkraut? These are life skills that will help you and your family remain healthy all year round.