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Simple steps you can take to help improve your health

10th February 2022
Improve Your Gut Health

Improve Your Gut Health

 

Navneeta Gough is a health and wellness advocate and gut-supporting recipe developer. The busy mum-of-two takes to her Instagram to share delicious recipes that the whole family can sit down and enjoy together. She began her wellness journey following imbalanced prediabetes and inflammation within the gut - she truly believes in the power of food as medicine to nourish her body and heal.

Hi, I’m Navneeta! After receiving the above dignoses I now lead an anti-inflammatory lifestyle and utilise whole foods (food that has been processed or refined as little as possible and is free from additives or other artificial substances). Health encompasses more than the food you consume, of course, but I have found simple steps that have improved my symptoms that I would love to share with you, in the hope that it may also offer support to anyone going through the same.

Let me tell you a little more about my story.

I was on route to becoming prediabetic after my second pregnancy in 2018, where I had gestational diabetes. My father had type 2 diabetes as well as an auto immune disease and towards the end of his life, had kidney failure. He passed away two months before I had my second child. This grief helped spur me to learn more about ways I can improve my own health.

I learned that I was five times more likely to develop diabetes, five years after gestational diabetes. This was shocking to me given that I was very aware what a slow and progressive disease diabetes can be. I was insulin resistant and wanted to improve my insulin sensitivity so that I didn’t become type 2 diabetic.

So, what steps can you take to improve your health today? Here are a few simple things that have helped me:

  1. I moved away from counting calories as it did not consider my microbiome - the community of trillions of gut microbes in your lower intestine - and its ability to absorb those nutrients and calories. By upping my healthy fats, my body releases satiety hormones to help me feel fuller for longer. Fats allow your body to take up fat soluble vitamins, such as: vitamin D, E, A and K. Omega 3 fatty acids can drive down inflammation whilst omega 6 (stay away from processed food with vegetable/seed oils) can drive up inflammation. Organic meats (pasture raised) have higher levels of anti-inflammatory omega 3, so I choose to buy direct from farmers who support this. 
     
  2. Cheaper, fattier cuts of meat such as offal and bone marrow can be incredibly nutrient dense, and the vitamins and minerals from them extremely bio available. We could take all the health foods in the world but ultimately it comes down to how your body can absorb them. Liver itself is a true superfood. Believed to be one of the most nutrient dense foods, it contains vitamin B, iron, zinc, folate and copper. 
     
  3. Support gut health by offering your gut a great diversity of whole foods. I take probiotics to introduce plenty of ‘good guys’ into my gut and nurture and feed them with prebiotics (fibre). Plant based fibre will naturally support your detox pathways/liver which will naturally support your hormone balance. I enjoy an abundance of plant-based foods and eat the rainbow as they are rich in phytonutrients like flavonoids and polyphenols. I love a mix of animal and plant protein to get a full spectrum of amino acids - the building blocks of the body.

I have lost five stone in weight, lowered my blood pressure and improved my skin. Insulin resistance can cause pigmentation and I have alleviated this through hormone balance. Vitamin A rich foods, like liver, have also eased my keratosis pilaris.

I do not define my health through weight. It’s important to check-in with yourself and see how you are feeling.

Every day I aim to take small steps to improve my gut health, incorporate greater microbiome diversity and lower inflammation by leading a nourishing diet to improve my metabolic flexibility!

Try Navneeta's delicious offal meatballs recipe where she's combined our very own superfood liver with a cherry jus that is cooked using rich beef bone broth, another great aider in gut healing.