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Why you should create a home for friendly bacteria

The secret to overall good health may live in your gut, according to research scientists – and the best way to keep it healthy is to eat a varied diet with a wide range of foods

GOOD GUT HEALTH is one of the most talked-about wellbeing breakthroughs, with the positive scientific research stacking up. The concept is that if we look after the good bacteria in our gut, they’ll look after us, by helping to lower our risk of diabetes, heart disease, inflammatory stomach and bowel diseases and obesity, not to mention improving our mood. Tending your ‘microbiome’ (see below), say converts, will help reset the balance of good and bad bacteria. An imbalance in bacteria – often when good bacteria are wiped out through illness, a poor diet, ageing, stress or a course of antibiotics – is thought to trigger symptoms such as diarrhoea, bloating and abdominal pain. A lack of diversity in healthy bacteria has also been linked to illness, says Melanie Hargraves of the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF).

How to RESET YOUR GUT

EXPERTS NOW BELIEVE the trillions of microbes living in our gut can have a far more wide-ranging effect on our health than previously thought – and the key to sustaining them long-term is to eat a diverse diet.

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About Healthy Food Guide

We share the top 20 foods to reboot your gut health, which experts are now linking to better overall health – from successful weight loss to better heart and mental health. We also help you spot early signs of bowel cancer, correct your computer slump to sort out back pain (and look years younger), identify your personal eating style (to find the kickstart diet that will work for you), and Dr Dawn Harper has words of advice from behind the bedroom door for anyone feeling the heat of menopause… Plus healthier barbecues and a Mediterranean-inspired meal plan, complete with portion guide