'In troubled times like these, it is important we support our gut…' – One of London’s Top Doctors

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Dr Tim Lebens has recently stressed the importance of looking after our gut, to provide ourselves with a more robust immune system. Our gut microbiome is claimed to be responsible for up to 70% of our immune system. 90% of our serotonin is also held by our very own gut - even more of a reason to look after our gut bacteria during these stressful times.

Our unique ecosystems contain over 1500 different bacteria in varying proportions based on so many different factors including our own mother’s bacteria. However there are still a few things we could all be doing in general to help our gut health.

Eating prebiotic foods such as Keffir, Kimchi, Sauerkraut and other various fermented foods help to support our microbes.

Ensuring that we are eating foods that contain anti-oxidants, the energy source for our microbes, is also important. Remember that these foods tend to be dark or vibrant in colour, such as beetroot, berries, cacao and olive oil.

Try to buy organic foods when you can. Avoid pesticides that could be damaging to your gut-flora by choosing organic produce if it is available to you. Lastly, avoid eating overly processed foods. Products that contain artificial sweeteners have been found upset your natural microbe balance.

The mental health of the general population is being put to the test during these unprecedented times, and is just as important as our immune systems. Therefore, understanding how we can improve our gut health can ensure that we are giving our bodies the best chance to fight any challenges we are facing.