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Gut Health - Your questions answered!

I am sure you have heard so many people use the term "re-set your gut" or "the stomach is the second brain" but how much of this is actually true.

Well the gut microbiome do play a big role in over all health and well being and even more so, can contribute to and affect our performance.

Firstly, what is gut health.

Well the world of gut health research is still relatively new, however Dr Gabrielle Fundaro (CH) provided a working definition of gut health, known as the three D's.

Digestion (how fast food goes from one end to the other)

Disease (The absence or prevention and management of a gastrointestinal disease (such as irritable bowel etc.) Diversity which Dr Gabby refers to the gut microbiome specifically (amount of species found in the GI Tract).

Diversity, The amount of microbiome species found in the GI Tract.

What dictates the relationship between gut microbiome and weight management.


This mainly comes down to how processed our diet is and metabolizable energy, and how much substrate is available for the microbes to utilise

I always recommend eating a whole food dominant diet. Where possible Organic and local as this minimises the number of chemical pesticides that are on the produce.  

Is my gut unhappy?

A sign that the microbiomes in your GI tract may not be working as effectively as we would hope could be, discomfort, bloating, inability to stomach food, inflammation and loose bowel movements.

If you have ever noticed that your stool looks greener, this is a sign that the microbiome has not metabolised properly due to rapid gastric emptying. This would mean that your body has not absorbed all of the nutrients from the intake of that food – therefore could lead to affecting your performance.

Something to consider is that our microbiomes are directly affected by genetics and our immune system!

However the good news... The microbiome in our gut can be influenced and change in as little as 24 hours!

Is a Vegetarian diet better for gut health?

There has been no information yet on any differences between a vegetarian/Vegan diet VS Omnivorous diet, so long as the omnivorous diet consumes enough fibre. Both diets allow for the same/very similar results of healthy diverse gut microbiome.

Ketogenic (Keto) diets however have been shown to drastically decrease the diversity in the gut microbiome, which can impact performance because of what the gut can/cannot handle. This is also due to not having adequate substrates for the microbiomes to consume.

A healthy gut looks like...

In an ideal world, our whole diet would be organic, free of chemicals, grass fed, and home grown.

However as many of us refer to, we don’t always live in the “ideals’ of life.

The main things we can focus on to ensure we are giving out gut health the chance to be its best can be summarised by the below:

-          Diversity in the Microbiome.

-          Eating as minimal amounts of processed foods as possible.

-          Mediterranean diet style meal plans / food consumption.

-          Check for any allergens and avoid those foods.

Julia Higgs

JVIA Founder, Accredited Sports Nutritionist (Grad Dip) and Gym Owner.


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