Head of Research Claire Sehinson discusses the latest research on the role of gut health in Long COVID and complex chronic illness. She offers guidance around optimising gut health and shares 4 tips to start supporting your digestion.
Our favourite foods for supporting digestion:
Organic butter or ghee
Contains butyrate which is a short chain fatty acid normally produced by healthy gut bacteria. It can nurture the gut lining and may have anti-inflammatory properties. Butyrate further encourages the growth of of healthy bacteria.
Can have anti-inflammatory properties and also may support healthy digestion and stomach acid levels. Ginger juice, or ginger tea before meals can be easily added into your routine.
Contain pectin which is linked to healthy gut mucosa. Beneficial bacteria ferment pectin to produce short chain fatty acids, which are shown to both support the gut and immune system.
Contains collagen which can support the health of the intestinal lining. Broth is also a good source of minerals and can be sipped as a hot drink or used as a base for soups and stews. Vegetarian Option: Okra, flax, chia, seaweed and figs work equally well.
Contain beneficial bacteria:
Home made yoghurt can be easily made on the stove or in a slow cooker. As it is fermented overnight for 24 hours, it contains at least 10 times more beneficial bacteria that shop-bought yoghurt which is only fermented for 8 hours.
Other fermented options: kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut. If you are avoiding dairy, coconut or almond yoghurt or kefir
Aim for 40 plant foods a week and this includes herbs and spices. In particular we like: Jerusalem artichokes, chicory, garlic, onion, leek, shallots, spring onion, asparagus, beetroot, fennel bulb, green peas, snow peas, savoy cabbage.
Note that some people with upper gut fermentation syndromes such as SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) will not do well on prebiotic foods and need to seek the help of a nutritional therapist.
Link to source article:
Gut microbiota composition reflects disease severity and dysfunctional immune responses in patients with COVID-19