Health / 01.09.2015

Gut Week: We’ve found a diet that could heal your gut

By Kathie Madonna Swift
Discover a digestive-soothing plan for a calm and happy tum this Gut Week

heal your gutAs a clinical nutritionist, over the past three decades I’ve worked with thousands of clients, mostly women, to manage their weight and their digestive issues.

Sometimes it was the unruly gut that was their biggest complaint: constipation, diarrhoea, gas, and bloating given the all-purpose label of irritable bowel syndrome. Sometimes, it was the weight they’d tried for years to shift. What I found was this: heal the gut, lose the weight.

1. Research shows that your gut is key to overall health
Over a quarter of British adults are obese, half a million people are on track to develop diabetes and only 40.6 per cent of women (and 32.1 per cent of men) in the UK have a healthy body mass index (BMI).

2. Digestion and weight are co-conspirators
When we eat to heal the gut, and we make some basic gut-friendly lifestyle and stress-reduction adjustments, we address virtually all of them.

Read more: 10 weight loss tips worth listening to

3. The Swift diet fine tunes the digestive system
The diet introduces us to the microbiome – the collection of genes belonging to the bacteria that live inside our bodies. These bacteria impact just about every aspect of our lives, from food cravings and how our bodies store fat, to our emotions, our digestion and our immune system response.

4. All you have to do is pay attention
By paying close attention to how we eat and how we live, we can influence how the microbiome behaves for the better.

Read more: Why it’s time to try probiotics

5. Research shows it helps maintain weight
In a landmark 2013 study published in the journal Nature, a French team tracked two groups of subjects, 169 obese people and 123 lean ones. The lean group, it turned out, had more bacteria at work in their guts and more types of strains than their heavier counterparts.

6. …and prevent chronic disease
The same group were less likely to gain weight over the nine years of the study and less likely to develop the most common chronic diseases, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Read more: Are our diets to blame for diabetes?

7. Boost your metabolism
In a second study, subjects who were overweight were put on a lower-calorie, higher-fibre diet rich in vegetables and fruits for six weeks. Not only did the participants lose weight, but the community of bacteria in their guts became richer and more diverse; in other words, it more closely resembled the bacteria in the people who were naturally lean. Their metabolism and digestion had shifted to support their weight-loss efforts.

Want in? Click here to discover The Swift Diet and get the gut-healing plan

Will you be trying The Swift Diet to heal your gut? Tweet and tell us @healthymag or join in the conversation on our Facebook page

Kathie Madonna SwiftKathie Madonna Swift, author of The Swift Diet (Ebury, £12.99), is an influential US holistic nutritionist and is recognised for her work discovering how we can heal ourselves with food. Click here to discover The Swift Diet for yourself.




Gut Week: We've found a diet that could heal your gut
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Gut Week: We've found a diet that could heal your gut
If you've struggled with issues from constipation to weight loss, the key might be to heal your gut. Our expert advice shows you how to do it.
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