Dr Rossi will be taking to the WellFood stage in association with SuperValu at WellFest on 11th May. Ahead of the festival, we asked for the good doctor's top tips for better gut health.
1. Try fermented foods with probiotics
Some foods naturally containing good bacteria, come at no extra cost and taste great, such as kefir, kimchi and natto.
2. Avoid unnecessary medications*
Certain types of painkillers and antibiotics can aggravate gut problems and disrupt your gut microbiota.
3. Eat a varied diet rich in fibre
Eat plenty of fruit, vegetables, whole grains and legumes.
Tip: Gradually increase fibre and ensure you drink enough water as fibre needs fluid to work.
4. Stop smoking
Cigarette smoking adversely affects gut bacteria.
5. Drink alcohol and caffeine in moderation
Alcohol irritates the digestive tract and can alter the bacterial balance. Caffeine increases stress hormones which can lead to anxiety-induced gut symptoms in some people.
6. Chew your food well
Digestion starts in the mouth and chewing your food well is an important part.
7. De-stress and sleep well
There’s a direct link between your brain and gut. Being stressed and tired can profoundly affect your gut health.
8. Exercise regularly
Exercise helps to regulate bowel habit, particularly those prone to constipation. It’s also associated with greater microbial diversity.
9. Avoid excessively tight clothes
Placing external pressure on your gut can aggravate symptoms.
10. Know when to seek medical advice
Gut symptoms can mask underlying disease. Alarm features include:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Rectal bleeding
- Family history of coeliac disease, bowel cancer or ovarian cancer
- If you're aged over 60 years with changes in bowel habit lasting over six weeks
*Always speak to your GP in regards to your medication.