Tue, 9 Apr, 2019Basmah Qazi

The best diet to help improve gut health

The best diet to help improve gut health

When it comes to gut health, information on what we should and shouldn’t be doing is kind of blurry. Should we drink kombucha? What should we be eating? Should you take that probiotic? You get the gist.

But one thing that experts agree on is that the timing of our meals are just as important as the meal itself.

A study conducted by the University of Southern California revealed that fasting can improve and manage chronic digestive diseases. Researchers believe that following a “fasting-mimicking” (FMD) diet – a program developed by Dr Valter Longo, author of The Longevity Diet – could be the answer to solving gut inflammation and easing symptoms of IBS, Chrons and colitis.

What is FMD?

Many eating plans work by placing restrictions on the amount of food you consume, but FMD focus more on calorie intake, so those following the plan won’t be going long periods of time without food. Experts studied mice after they minimised their calorie intake by half for a day, they then reduced it down further to 10 per cent of what they would normally eat.

Results showed that during this “fasting” period, the mice obtained greater benefits when it came to their digestion.

Another set of mice were only provided water throughout a 48-hour period, but researchers noticed no difference to their gut health. Which proves that when taken in small doses, nutrients are important to aid digestion.

“It’s really remarkable, that in the past 100 years of research into calorie restriction, no one recognised the importance of re-feeding,” said Dr Longo of the study. “Restriction is like a demolition where you take the building down. But you have to rebuild it. If you don’t do that, there’s no benefit. You are left with an empty lot, and what have you achieved?”

The point? If you’re suffering from poor digestion, take a look at what you’re eating, and also when you’re eating it.

Do you have any tips to help aid digestion? Let us know in the comments below.