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Tips for a Healthy Gut

Why Tips for a Healthy Gut?

Our guts are filled with about 100 trillion diverse range of bacteria, some ‘bad’, but many are beneficial that impact our health. This ecosystem is called our microbiome, and when our ecosystem is out of balance, problems arise.

Microbiome’s role

  • Digest foods and absorb nutrients

  • Modulate neurotransmitter production impacting our moods and

    behaviours. 95% of our total serotonin is concentrated in the gut

  • Promote a healthy immune system and the ability to fight germs

    and tolerate foods. 70-80% of the body’s total immune cells are

    concentrated in the gut

  • Gene expression

  • Modulates energy and focus levels

  • Modulates out weight and metabolism

  • Regulates level of inflammation and how we detox our body

  • Impacts skin health

    What can impact out gut?

    Our microbiomes are like fingerprints, unique to each individual. Factors that impact out gut include:

  • Mode of delivery at birth (caesarean over natural)

  • Method of feeding (bottle-fed over breast fed)

  • Lack of childhood exposure to microbes (hygiene hypothesis)

  • Medications such as antibiotics, metformin, and neurofen

  • High stress levels

  • Diets high in refined sugars and artificial sweeteners

  • High alcohol intakes

Avoid or limit

  • Alcohol (2 standard drinks or less; aim for at least 3-4 alcohol free days a week)

  • Salty processed foods (table salt)

  • Highly processed, sugar/ artificial sweetened containing foods

  • Heavily caffeinated beverages such as energy drinks and pre-workout

What to include

  • Prebiotics: 1⁄2 cup lentils, chickpeas, soybeans or other legumes, 1⁄2 cup wholegrain cereals (oats, brown rice barley), 1⁄2 cup cooked onion, garlic, Jerusalem artichoke,, leek, asparagus, Chicory and dandelion root, 1 medium apple or banana, 1 tablespoon flax seeds, Seaweed

  • Probiotics: 1⁄2 cup fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, and pickled vegetables (such as green olives), 1 cup kombucha, 3⁄4 cup natural/ Greek yogurt, kefir and soy, almond or coconut yogurt, Raw and unpasteurised goat and sheep cheese, 1 cup miso soup or fermented soy (tempeh and tofu), Natto (fermented soybeans)

  • Healthy Fats: 100g oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, anchovies,, sardines, herring

  • Mindset: At least 5 minutes daily of: mindfulness, gratitude, meditation, and self-care

  • Hydration: Women aim for 8 cups (2 litres) of fluid per day, Men aim for 10 cups (2.5 litres) of fluid per day, Children from 1 years aim for 4 cups (1 litre) of fluid per day. Fluids: 20% daily fluids from food, the rest from water and herbal teas

  • Movement: Deep breathing, walking, stretching, yoga/Pilates, HIIT, dancing, bike riding

Mushroom basket.jpeg

Dietary Sources of Iron

Iron is involved in the transport of oxygen around the body in red blood cells. It also plays a role in energy production, DNA synthesis and repair and immunity. Iron deficiency can present with fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, easy bruising, and susceptibility to illness. However, supplementation should only be prescribed when blood tests prove low iron levels.

Types of Iron:

There are two types of iron, heme (found in animal sources) and non-heme (vegetarian sources). Our bodies absorb heme-iron through the gastrointestinal tract more efficiently than non-heme, however, iron deficiency is just as common in meat eaters as it is in vegetarians, due to the prominence of gut issues in Western society, leading to poor absorption.


Absorption of non-heme can be improved by:

  • Soaking overnight (legumes, nuts and seeds)

  • Boiling

  • Steaming

  • Fermentation (sourdough breads, tempeh and tofu)

  • Adding fresh vitamin C (lemon, lime, uncooked fruit, fresh chili, raw

    capsicum) into your melas

  • Pairing with fermented foods and dinks such as sauerkraut, yogurt,

    pickled vegetables, kefir, kombucha

    Tannins found in red wine, coffee and tea block the absorption of iron. Consume these at least 30 minutes to 1 hour away from iron sources of food.

    Vegetarian sources of iron:

    Beans (soy, white, kidney, lentils, chickpeas, edamame. mung, peas), parsley, spinach, seaweed (nori), seeds (chia, pumpkin, linseed), amaranth, quinoa, tahini, cashews

Vegetarian Sources of Protien

A lot of individuals who are vegetarian or vegan find it hard to consume enough protein in their daily diets. However, knowing what nuts and vegetables are rich in protein can make it a lot easier to reach your recommended daily intake. It is very possible to train and live healthy, active lifestyles on vegetarian protein sources. Soy and hemp are rich in protein, and a great vegan/ vegetarian alternative to whey protein shakes for post-training muscle repair. Research shows that Ingestion of 20g of intact protein post-training is sufficient to stimulate muscle repair and growth. Ingestion of 40g of protein in one sitting may not stimulate muscle repair and growth any more than 20g.

Vegetarian Sources 

  • 170g Tofu/ Tempeh (22 grams)

  • 2 large Eggs (12 grams)

  • 2 tablespoons Peanut

    Butter (7.5 grams)

  • 1⁄2 cup Lentils (9 grams)

  • 1⁄2 cup Soybeans/ Edamame

    (8 grams)

  • 1⁄2 cup Kidney beans (7 grams)

  • 30g/15 Almonds (7 grams)

  • 1⁄2 cup Chickpeas (6 grams)

  • 30g/15 Cashews (5 grams)


See handout for specific protein requirements

  • 30g/10 Walnuts (4.5 grams)

  • 1 cup Broccoli (4 grams)

  • 1 cup Cooked Kale (3.8 grams)

  • 1⁄2 cup Peas (3.3 grams)

  • 1⁄2 cup Oats (3 grams)

  • 1 tablespoon Sesame Seeds (3 grams)

  • 1 tablespoon Chia Seeds (2.5 grams)

  • 1 tablespoon Pumpkin Seeds (2.5 grams)

  • 1 tablespoon Flax Seed (2.2 grams)

Liver Loving Food

Cruciferous Vegetables and Choline

Aiding liver function and fatty infiltration in the liver

  • Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, collard greens, asparagus, cabbage, kale, radishes, bok-choy, turnip, Watercress, horseradish, wasabi (1cup)

  • Eggs (1 large egg)

  • Green peas, navy beans (1/2 cup) Salmon, pork (100g)

  • Salmon, pork (100g)

Tumeric Paste


This turmeric blend helps decrease inflammatory pathways within the body


  • 1⁄4 cup ground turmeric

  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger,

    or powdered ginger

  • 1⁄2 teaspoon of black pepper

  • 3 tablespoons of coconut oil

  • 1⁄2 cup of water

Add everything to a small pan and heat over a medium heat. Turn the stove off once the coconut oil has melted and everything is mixed in. It is important that you do not overheat, as the primary component in turmeric (curcumin) will lose its benefits when it is heated for too long. For golden milk mix 1 teaspoon of paste in with 1 cup of hot milk of your choice. You can sweeten with honey or maple syrup

Bitter Greens

Stimulating bile production for break-down of fatty foods
(1 cup of each)

• Kale, Rocket
• Watercress
• Dandelion greens (find in health food stores)

• Collard greens
• Chard
• Chicory, Endive

Balancing Polyunsaturated Fats

Increase omega 3 sources of polyunsaturated fats for anti- inflammatory effect. The Western diet consumes higher levels of omega 6 polyunsaturated fats which can have an inflammatory effect in high doses.


​Omega 3 Sources

  • Salmon

  • Mackerel

  • Anchovies

  • Sardines

  • Herring

  • Flaxseed

  • Chia seeds

  • Walnuts

  • Miso

  • Soybeans

  • Avocado

  • Tofu

  • Walnuts

Omega 6 sources

  • Sunflower seeds

  • Chicken thigh

  • Peanut butter

  • Brazil nuts

How To Find Dairy In Products

What is Lactose Intolerance?

Lactose is a sugar found in milk that is broken down by the enzyme lactase. Individuals that are lactose intolerant do not have (or do not have enough of) the lactase enzyme, and therefore,

ineffectively break down and digest dairy products containing lactose.

When lactose is not broken down effectively, it passes into the large

intestine (colon), and ferments, drawing water into the colon, and causing symptoms such as bloating, abdominal discomfort, flatulence and

diarrhoea. Some individuals can tolerate small amounts of lactose or fods that contain little lactose such as hard cheeses.

What else can dairy be called?

  • Acidophilus milk

  • Buttermilk

  • Buttermilk blend

  • Buttermilk solids

  • Cultured milk

  • Condensed milk

  • Dried milk

  • Dry milk solids (DMS)

  • Skim milk powder

Always check the labels as foods will often contain milk products. Some common foods that contain dairy include: Smiths salt and vinegar chips, Corn chips (Doritos, Missions), Chai and hot chocolate powders).

  • Sweetened condensed skim milk

  • Whole milk, 1% milk, 2% milk

  • Butter extract

  • Natural butter flavour

  • Whipped butter

  • Cheese (all types)

  • Cheese flavour (artificial and natural)

  • Acid whey

  • Hydrolysed whey

  • Powdered whey

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