Hack Your Gut Health with AIYANA

Did you know that the gut is often referred to as the "second brain"? Last month in our Be Kind To Your Mind & Gut blog post, we taught you all about our favourite nutrients that support a thriving mind and gut. Today, we’re going to share some of our favourite nutrition focused hacks that help you care for your second brain and ultimately help you achieve a vibrant and balanced life. 

So let’s get learning! 


Limit Processed Foods and Added Sugars

So this is a hack that you are likely already aware of, but it's a foundational one! Processed foods and added refined sugars can disrupt the balance of bacteria in your gut, leading to an overgrowth of harmful bacteria and yeast. The more imbalance we have of good and bad bacteria, the worse we are going to feel and the less efficient our second brain is going to function (if you’ve ever experienced brain fog, this is what we’re talking about). Processed foods and added sugar lack fibre and essential nutrients, which contributes to inflammation in the gut. 

Culprits to remove from your diet include soda, boxed sweet and savoury snacks, refined grains, and fast food. Healthier options to include in your diet are fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, water, herbal teas, or homemade smoothies. 

Our favourite menu item for healthy snacks on-the-go are the protein box and mylk ball energy bites

Increase Daily Fibre Intake

Fibre is essential for a healthy digestive system, maintaining healthy blood sugar, and lowering cholesterol. Not only does it help keep things moving smoothly, it also feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gut. Our favourite sources of fibre come from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. It’s recommended to have upwards of 25g of fibre per day. 

There’s two types of fibre you want to consume, known as soluble and insoluble fibre. Soluble fibre (think oats, beans, and fruits) can help lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels, while insoluble fibre (think whole grains and veggies) keeps food moving through the digestive system, preventing constipation. Be sure to gradually increase your fibre intake to avoid digestive discomfort, and drink plenty of water to help fibre do its job effectively. 

Our favourite fibre rich menu items are the coconut dahl, turkey chili, and roasted red pepper hummus

Eat a Rainbow of Fruits and Vegetables

This one is our personal favourite at AIYANA, so much so that every menu item we create is centred around how much colour and diversity we can serve to you on a plate. Eating a wide variety of colourful fruits and vegetables ensures you receive a broad spectrum of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support overall health and feed certain groups of microbes in the gut to support diversity. 

Different colours in fruits and vegetables showcase different phytochemicals and antioxidants. For example, red foods like tomatoes and strawberries are rich in lycopene, while green vegetables like spinach and kale are high in chlorophyll and folate. We like to aim to fill half a plate with fruits and vegetables at each meal. Try new produce regularly to keep your meals interesting and nutritionally diverse. 

Our favourite menu items that introduce new fruits and vegetables into your weekly rotation are the beef + mushroom stew with rutabaga, the summer power bowl with cabbage and radish, and the fresh rolls with mango and red pepper


Some more nutrition lifestyle hacks that help you take care of your gut are: 


Incorporating Fermented Foods

Fermented foods like yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, and miso are rich in probiotics (the beneficial bacteria that support a healthy gut microbiome). These foods undergo. process of lacto-fermentation. This process preserves the food and promotes the growth of beneficial enzymes and probiotics for your gut. 


Getting Adequate Hydration 

Hydration is often overlooked but is vital for maintaining a healthy gut. Water helps break down food so that your body can absorb the nutrients. It also softens stool, which helps prevent constipation. Aim for at least 2L of filtered water daily. Herbal teas and water-rich foods like cucumbers, oranges, and watermelon can also contribute to your daily water intake. 

Taking care of your gut is a journey that begins with the foods you eat and drink. By embracing these nutrition-focused tips, you’ll begin to make mindful choices about what you consume to better your gut health and take care of your second brain. If you’re reading this, you’ve already taken the right steps towards your most vibrant life, congratulations to you! 
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