Self-care is such a buzz word these days but I think that’s because it’s often what goes out the window when the to-do list gets out of control, without us even noticing. A lot of us find ourselves prioritising the needs of others before ourselves at busy times – the summer holidays being a classic example.
Now that these are over, it’s important to make a choiceful effort to re-prioritise self-care and introduce it in to our routine and our daily to-do list.
According to the Oxford dictionary, self-care is "the practice of taking an active role in protecting one's own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.”
The link between gut health and mood is a topic that’s starting to get a lot more airtime in this self-care movement. Author of The Mind-Gut Connection, Emeran Mayer, states that "it is the engagement of the gut, and its microbiome, that plays a major role in determining the intensity, duration and uniqueness of our emotional feelings."
By proactively managing your gut health, you're also supporting your mental health and increasing your resilience to stressors and other triggers.
Here's three simple changes to incorporate in to your self-care regime that support good gut health & ultimately your happiness:
1. Manage inflammation - eat omega 3 rich foods, such as wild fatty fish, flaxseeds and chia seeds to help manage inflammation & protect your gut
2. Eat fermented foods and drink fermented drinks such as Kefir, to give you a boost of probiotics (good bacteria)
3. Incorporate collagen or bone broth into your diet, to help repair the gut lining - an easy way to do this is by adding a scoop of collagen to your morning smoothie or coffee or by using bone broth as a base for stews or curries