Skip to content
Open menu Close menu

Feed your appetite for cooking with Penguin’s expert authors

penguin logo

5 Ways You Can Change Your Diet and Improve Your Gut Health

by Lottie Huckle

published on 31 March 2017

In a world full of diets, what to eat, what not to eat, and how to lose weight fast, there’s one topic that almost always gets overlooked: the bacteria in your gut. We’re so used to thinking about fighting bad bacteria that we often forget about the good.

Dr Travis Stork, host of the popular American TV series The Doctors, is a champion of good bacteria. This is the bacteria that lower risk of developing certain diseases and raise our chances of reaching and maintaining a healthy weight.

In his new book, The Lose Your Belly Diet, he focuses on how you can improve the beneficial microbes in your own gut by making choices that protect and support your gut bacteria.

The Lose Your Belly Diet | Book

Here are 5 easy ways you can change your diet and improve your gut health:

1. Eat high-fibre foods

Did you know your body can’t really digest fibre? It’s the microbes in your gut that can, in fact they thrive off it! Without enough fibre, your gut bacteria can start to die off and look for other sources of food, like your intestinal wall, so increasing your daily intake will support your gut and provide them with the fuel they need to do their job. Try to eat high-fibre foods like whole fruits, beans, lentils and hummus.

2. Focus on the green stuff

When we think about protein, the first thing that comes to mind is meat. However, one of the best sources of protein for your gut comes from plants. Focus on eating nuts, beans, peas and lentils, all of which are also good sources of fibre.

3. Concentrate on the prebiotic superstars

In order to support your gut bacteria, focus on nourishing them with raw vegetables. We all know we should be eating more fruit and vegetables but it turns out that people who do eat more have a more diverse range of gut bacteria. So tuck in to as many different colours of raw vegetables as you can to get a varied diet.

5 ways to improve your gut health | Book

4. Don’t forget about the probiotics

Some foods contain the good bacteria you need in your gut, so makes sure they are part of your diet. Most people know yoghurt is a great source of bacteria, but check your labels to make sure there are live and active cultures in it, as not all yoghurt contains living bacteria. Look out for the lesser-known probiotic foods like kefir and kimchi, which are on the rise in supermarkets.

5. Eat purer foods

What do we mean by pure foods? We mean organic. Pesticides, and chemicals can wreak havoc on our gut bacteria, so the purer the food the better. Look for organic foods, whether fresh or frozen, to help protect your gut bacteria.

Improving your gut bacteria is a huge step in the right direction if you’re looking to achieve a healthy weight. It won’t magically melt away belly fat, but by focusing on improving your microbes, you’ll feel happier and healthier. To find out more about the The Lose Your Belly Diet, you can order Travis’ book here.


You might also like

View all

Recipe Collections

New Year’s Eve Cocktail Recipes

Take your New Year’s Eve celebrations to the next level with this selection of elegant cocktails. Worry about the hangover next year…

Book Collections

6 slow cooker recipe books

Slow cookers lend a helping hand in the kitchen, doing most of the hard work for you. Here are the best slow cooker cookbooks to get you started. 

Recipe Collections

Easy slow cooker Christmas recipes

Discover the best festive dishes to create in your trusty slow cooker, featuring recipes by Nathan Anthony (Bored of Lunch) and Clare Andrews.


Subscribe to The Happy Foodie email newsletter

Get our latest recipes, features, book news and ebook deals straight to your inbox every week