The Gut Stuff has taken over Old Street station, with a pop-up that’s packed with all things gut related. This event is designed to educate the masses and teach us about gut health. A variety of informal talks hosted by the likes of… Professor and author Tim Spector, The Urban Kitchen’s Toral Shah and even the founders of The Gut Stuff themselves the Mac twins, all of who are popping in for discussions and chats about your gut; from the science surrounding your gut, to products that can help maintain a healthy gut. There are also a few select product stands offering samples to try… always a bonus! Healthy Living London’s Hannah headed down to see what it was all about.
During my visit to The Gut Stuff pop-up in Old Street station, Tim Spector and the Gut Stuff Mac Twins, gave a bit-size introductory talk about gut health that was simple and concise. In other words, I was able to understand the basics about the gut. In short, our guts contain thousands… nope, trillions of bacteria, viruses and fungi. They are collectively known as our microbiome. And no, they are not bad, they are essential. All those mud pies you made and ate as a child, might have actually been good for you. Well, probably not, but in today’s world, where we sterilize everything with sanitiser, we are actually not allowing our bodies to be exposed to some good bacteria. Good bacteria and a diverse and healthy microbiome is essential to us and here’s why…
They protect us, they know the difference between harmful pathogens and the non-harmful holiday makers just fancying a journey through your intestines.
These little blighters are much more agile than our human cells, they can reshape and cultivate according to their environment – absolute ninjas. They can actually swap genes and bits of DNA amongst themselves, like a tiny miniature “microbe stock exchange”.
They affect pretty much everything hormone production, breaking down food, absorbing nutrients, making vitamins, regulating appetite, production of serotonin (blows our minds every time!).
(Gut Stuff Website)
Even identical twins, with the exact same DNA, have different guts. Professor Tim Spector had the Mac twins be his guinea pigs and tested their guts for six months. They journaled their dietary habits and sent off stool samples every day for a month, to be analyzed. It seems simple enough to say that what we eat, really does affect our microbiome, so naturally the twins had differing results. Check out their short videos for a greater understanding of gut health here… https://thegutstuff.com/watch-the-series/
So why is this important?
Scientists “…are realising just how important the gut is to our health and wellbeing, including its impact on our immune system. They’re pouring tons of money and time delving into all these areas like how it has a huge impact on diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and even mental health…” (The Gut Stuff Website).
Scientists are only just starting to fully understand and explore this area of research, so hopefully more and more information will be available soon. For more information, check out Professor Tim Spector’s website here… http://www.tim-spector.co.uk/
What can we do to maintain a healthy Microbiome?
- Increase diversity in your plant based food. (Mix it up. Don’t always eat the same stuff – don’t allow your gut to become lazy).
- Eat fermented foods. (The fermentation process allows good bacteria to flourish. Fermented products such as … kombucha, kefir, yogurt, kimchi…)
- Eat more polyphenol foods. (Berries, nuts, veg…oh and chocolate as well as hunderds of other things. But I felt it essential to remind us of chocolate.. any excuse!)
- Supplements. (Symprove, Inulin…)
What Brands Did I meet Today?
A family run brewery that started in their home. Gina, the founder and creator, wanted to find a kombucha that wasn’t loaded with sugar, but was tasty. So, she decided to make her own, plus, it’s organic. I got a can of the Ginger Turmeric with Black Pepper and it was surprisingly good. I’m new to this fermented lifestyle (not a beer drinker!) Looking forward to trying the Blood Orange and Grapefruit.
A water based supplement containing live and active bacteria that is taken at the start of the day, at least ten minutes before your breakfast. This allows the bacteria to travel to the gut, where it is needed, without triggering digestion in the stomach. I have started taking the Mango & Passion Fruit flavour as it is easier to stomach! Haha!
Kefir is fermented milk, packed with live cultures. (So not for the Vegans) The Collective have a range of digestible cultured drinks and yogurts. Head to Old Street station this week to get a free sample and voucher for a free product. I’m a fan of the Coconut yogurt, which I have for breakfast with muesli and fruit.
A powdered supplement made from the chicory root to aid digestive health. Packed full of fibre, you can add this tasteless supplement to water, smoothies, soups…
Their new range, Good For The Gut, is a range of gluten free pastas, wraps and bread crisps that are full of fibre. I love their beetroot wraps; colourful and a great way to add even more veg to a fajita!
A company that provide home kits that you send off to test your Microbiome (stool sample) and a DNA (saliva swab). I got the Microbiome one, to learn more about my gut health. I’ll let you know the results when I receive them back. The Microbiome test will tell me about my gut…
- Learn how microbes can protect your gut from disease
- Understand how your diet affects your gut bacteria
- Optimise your microbiome’s ability to synthesise vitamins
- Know how much fibre your body needs to be healthy
- Discover your personalised food recommendations
(Atlas Biomed Website)
Atlas Biome are currently offering their Microbiome test for £99, instead of £139. Use code GUTSTUFF
Organic herbal teas and supplements, rich in natural oils and ethically sourced. I am super excited to learn that they have just brought out a latte range and I can’t wait to try these new offerings. I regularly enjoy a ‘Night Time’ tea just before bed. Love their range.
A free app, that’s right, free, full of recipe ideas for gut-friendly dishes. You can also purchase the ingredients in the app, just pick your recipe and the ingredients can be added to your shopping basket. Fully customisable; uncheck the ingredients you already have and search recipes based on dietary requirements such as vegetarian. Love this!
Find Out More:
The Gut Stuff are at Old Street station, unit 2, all week from 7am to 7pm, until Sunday 1pm, 30th September. For more info as to who’s speaking and when, check out The Gut Stuff website here… https://thegutstuff.com/the-gut-blog/mind-the-gut-we-take-over-old-street-station/
*Health Advice: It is wise to consult with your doctor if you are considering changing your diet.