In short, the science says that one way to conceive and grow a healthy baby/little person is to get your gut health sorted – something that, once again, our modern lives are challenging. However, if you’re already on board with this, but don’t have a lot of spare time to spend geeking out, here are our top five down and dirty, quick ways to get your gut healthy and build the foundation for conception and a healthy baby:
ONE: It’s all about what you eat.
The science says that you can change the bacteria in your gut (the microbiota) in as little as 24 hours with what you eat. Step one is to stay away from processed foods and added sweeteners as they are likely to create imbalance, especially if eaten repeatedly. This may seem obvious but remember they are often hidden even in ‘healthy’ packaged food (marketing pests up to their usual tricks). It is so simple: eat whole, real foods, and if something has more than three ingredients on the packet – put it back.
One of the things we know about what constitutes a healthy gut is that the diversity of the bacteria within it is crucial. How do you achieve this? Once again, it’s surprisingly simple (and backed by science): simply eat a more diverse range of food. Not too difficult (unless you’re like me – a creature of habit – then it takes a bit of getting used to…!)
THREE: Feed your gut with Prebiotics and Probiotics.
You probably know this but fermented foods are your (and your gut’s) friends. These are known as Probiotics. Think pickles, kombucha (although watch out as it can contain alcohol, so read the label), kimchi and my favourite sauerkraut (good with an organic sausage!). Live organic natural yogurt is also a favourite, although I would avoid the ‘specialist’ probiotic ones that are often packed full of sweeteners and other preservatives which defeat the purpose…marketing pests at it again! Probiotics are the foods that feed the existing bacteria we have.
And I’m not just talking about the prescribed ones. We know that the spate of doctors over-prescribing them has caused a whole host of issues – our gut health being one – but sometimes we have no choice. However, where we do have a choice is when it comes to meat, fish and milk, which are now often pumped full of antibiotics. Pretty awful, but alas the practice has become quite widespread. Instead, look to buy organic and/or wild. I know it is more expensive, but personally, I would rather eat less of better quality than more of what is pumped full of rubbish. Also, being overly clean and germ-phobic (except in the first three months of a baby’s life) is also detrimental and has been linked to issues such as the rise in allergies. Say goodbye to antibiotic hand wash: normal soap and water does just fine.
FIVE: Other gut-friendly foods
Meat stock (which I personally prefer to bone broth) is gentle, tasty and super useful (I use mine as a base for everything). It has key amino acids within it which help the gut do its job, filtering what goes into our bodies. The other is prebiotic foods (think high fibre), which sadly, the modern diet is often lacking in. Prebiotic foods feed the existing microbes that we have, so get on board with them. They also fill you up and prevent overeating (bonus!)
So there you go. Not too complicated, and your body and baby will thank you for it.
This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. The information on this website has been developed following years of personal research and from referenced and sourced medical research. Before making any changes we strongly recommend you consult a healthcare professional before you begin.