Best Natural Approaches To A Healthy Gut


Gut feeling

Matt Chittock discovers the best natural approaches to help bloated consumers get back to a balanced, healthy gut.



Do you complain about pain or irritability in the gut?

Would you prefer to have a healthy gut that’s back in balance?

Then you’re certainly not alone – from serious bowel issues to everyday bloating, a massive nine million people in the UK have problems with their digestive system.

“Lots of people come to me with conditions such as IBS, constipation and gastro-intestinal reflux,”

says Higher Nature nutritional therapist Emma Mihill ( 


Food focus

She believes that a fundamental change in the UK’s food culture is what’s behind many of her patients’ problems.

“Today food is all about convenience, so we’re drawn to packaged foods that have high levels of sugar. Because of this people are eating a really limited diet with only five or six different food types every week.”

Alison Cullen from A Vogel agrees that our problems can be traced back to modern diets.

“Gillian McKeith used to do a really interesting thing on TV where she laid out on a table what one of her clients eats in a week,” she says.“Often you’d end up with this sea of grey food – which just can’t be good for your digestion.”

Mihill recommends taking things back to basics and asking clients to fill in a food diary, so they can see exactly what they eat. From then on it’s about upping levels of leafy green veg, drinking water, reducing sugar and also “making sure they get plenty of sleep and take time to laugh.”


Conscious Eating

As well as being conscious of what goes into the body – the experts recommend that people with digestive problems should be aware of how they eat.

If you’re eating a quick sandwich while you’re working at your desk you’re just not giving the body a chance to digest properly,” says Cullen.

“Chewing is necessary to create digestive enzymes in the first place,” adds Mihill.“So if you’re eating too quickly there’s no time to digest food.”

Of course, sometimes our bodies are simply intolerant or allergic to certain foodstuffs.

“Many people that come to me already suspect that a certain type of food is causing problems,” says Mihill.“Often they’re just looking for confirmation of what they already suspect. Cows’ milk can definitely cause problems – sometimes people have skin conditions linked to cows’ milk. It’s almost become a cliché – but wheat, and anything gluten-based can often be behind digestive conditions”

Happily, Mihill says that in around 90 per cent of cases she sees, simply cutting out the offending foods can turn gut conditions around completely.


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