Many doctors and healthcare professionals agree that our health is intrinsically linked with our digestive system; our gut and balanced microbiomes are key to our health, wellbeing and longevity.

What is the microbiome?
Microbiome is a term that is used to describe the trillions of bugs that live on and in the human body from bacteria and viruses to fungi and protozoa.

Can you believe that more than half of our bodies are made up made up of microbes! Scientists estimate that human cells make up just 43% of the body’s cell count. The other 57%, some 39 trillion cells – is microbial*
*brain health network

Many of them are located in our gut; our initial exposure to them come from the mother’s breast milk we are fed as babies. As we age, our microbiomes can change with our diets, exposure to the environments we live in, as well as internal factors such as stress and chemicals in medicines.

The bacteria in our gut have an array of functions from helping us to digest your food, to regulating our immune systems and producing vitamins vital for our health and wellbeing. Microbiomes must be balanced properly to defend our bodies from serious conditions that include obesity, diabetes IBS and more

Brain function and microbiomes

Our gut health has been shown to impact our brain health; with a number of serious conditions linked to alterations in the gut microbiomes that include Parkinson’s disease, Multiple sclerosis, and depression. Our gut and brain are indeed connected by millions of nerves, so we consider 90% of our “happy chemical” serotonin emanating from gut bacteria, it is not surprising that any changes directly affect our mood.

*Recent studies show that people with dementia have a difference balance of bacteria in their gut to those without the condition.
Some scientists believe this disruption to the gut microbiome accelerates, or even triggers, Alzheimer’s by fuelling the growth of beta-amyloid, the sticky brain protein that is a hallmark of the condition.
Source : brain health network

To summarise, the microbiomes present in our gut are critical if not vital in keeping our brain health, metabolism and immune system, hormonal balanced and overall health working efficiently

The importance of the correct nutrition and supplements
Whilst you will get some vital nutrition from eating wholesome foods containing microbiomes, we all need supplements too. Through modern farming methods, coupled with mass production, even our most natural foods sadly do not contain enough of the right nutrients or the right amounts that are critical to a healthy functioning gut . This fact is backed up by many nutritionists, doctors and healthcare experts .

Yorkshire Businesswoman's Freda Shafi takes Neutrient Neu Biotic capsules which have been specially formulated to support gut health. They contain a multi strain formula to help replenish friendly bacteria to keep your gut healthy and support optimal levels of gut friendly microbiomes.*
*Please note, as with all supplements, a healthy and balanced diet together with regular exercise is recommended

**Recipe for a healthy gut friendly winter salad **
One of the most gut friendly salads you can make yourself this winter. Not only is it delicious, but it’s packed with so much nutrition and all the elements to support a healthy gut which is vital for our overall health and well-being. With pulses, legumes, root vegetables and spices, it has at least 4 food groups in it.

1 whole butternut squash
1 cup Green lentils soaked
2 cups chickpeas soaked
1 red onion chopped finely
1 red pepper sliced finely
1 brown onion chopped
Salad leaf : spinach , water cress, rocket
Olive oil
Spices used in both lentils and chick peas :
1//2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp red chilli powder
Garnish : full fat Greek yogurt with 1 tsp mint sauce
Mixed seeds - pumpkin , sunflower, flax and chia
Salt to taste

Peel and Chop the butternut squash, then roast in the oven with olive oil salt and pepper. Place the green lentils into a saucepan with water to cover them . Add the spices and gently boil until soft . Drain them
In another pan add butter approx 80g. Heat and add the spices until they sizzle . Add half a brown onion sliced then sauté until golden
Throw in the chickpeas and stir fry for 8-10 mins until tender
Allow both the lentils and chickpeas to cool

Place the salad leaf on a platter and add all elements one by one as shown
Stir through .Add tbsp mixed seeds.Add a garnish of Greek yogurt (optional)