New year, healthier you and all that – Let your microbiome do the work
4th January 2019
Today I learned that French people are spending more time eating than anyone else in the world. I am not that surprised, it seems I hardly left the table over the last week, Christmas time is a bit intense in the south west of France.
It means that I am looking forward to go back to London and start a new year new you thingie. But with the help of science and bacteria, it will be long term and less miserable than the usual crash-diet where everything nice is banned.
So based on Tim Spector and the 2018 gut microbiome progresses, here what my plan is :
Know your good guys : the bacteria and their friends that can work for you
At Gallinée, we are all about lactic acid for the skin, but for the gut the hero is called Butyric Acid. It’s part of a family called Short Chains Fatty Acids (SCFA for their friends) and you are going to hear a lot about them in the coming year. These postbiotics (so produces of good bacteria) have many benefits, including supporting the immune system, balancing blood sugar or strengthen the gut barrier .
Where to find it? Cheese? Thinking forward: you could eat the bacteria that synthetise it and the precursor prebiotic.
Fibres. Fibres fibres fibres. That the soil and the food for your gut bacteria. New news: It is more interesting to look at their fermentation potential than just the “food” potential for bacteria. Find fibres that do some work. The British gut study says that we should eat 30 plants a week.
Fermented food. What our favourite chef Joey calls the 5K: kimchi, kraut, kamut, kefir and kombucha. Fermented dairy seems to be especially good: cheeeeese.
Diversity is the key word, try something new all the time, feed your little gut people with new fibres, new bacteria friends and cultivate your gut garden.
And the bad guys. No need to go totally nuclear, everything is good in moderation, but we could do with a bit less of :
Sugar: This study shows that it could prevent the growth of the “lean” bacteria in the gut. Note how I didn’t say “Eat no sugar”, because my mum’s crème caramel is just too good.
Meat: the British Gut Microbiome study showed vegetarian had more gut diversity (which is good). It might be because of the antiobiotics fed to the animals which is arriving all the way to your gut and killing some fragile species.
Emulsifiers / Preservatives: there is some good evidence of how they affect the gut lining and your gut bacteria. You will find them in most prepared meals, so that means maybe cooking more from scratch.
So on my list of good resolutions:
Eat more cheese – this is my favourite resolution ever. The more “live” the better
Eat more plants. I am lucky to have a cool grocer next to my home, so I can even do a “try a weird vegetable a week” challenge
Eat less sugar. And encourage sugar when it’s delivered with fibres (so typically smoothies over juices)
24 hours fasting once a month: according to science, and excellent way to help your good guys to clean up and get rid of bad guys
So what’s on your list? 🙂