We caught up with The Mac Twins, the duo behind ‘The Gut Stuff’ to find out about The Importance of Gut Health and why we need to look after our guts.
Before we go any further, we do need to say, yes, there will be poo chat. So, let’s just move on from the awkward embarrassed feelings and admit, that yes, we all poo, even The Queen and Kylie Jenner.
Hello hello, so we’re primarily DJ’s and presenters, but after volunteering for twin research (long story!) we now own “The Gut Stuff” a business made to empower gut health in EVERYONE.
Q1. Ok, so what do you mean when you say ‘Gut Health’?
So, of course, we’re talking about digestive health, but we’re also talking about the “microbiome”. We have well over a million little critters made up of viruses, fungi and organisms in and around our body - mostly in our digestive tract - also known as our “microbiome”. Despite them being scattered around the place, scientists are starting to treat them as an organ within their own right as they can affect and influence so many other things.
Q2. Why is it important to our health?
Research on the gut and gut microbiota is published almost daily and from this we now know how important it is not to just get treatment/support for gut issues, but to also look after your gut to prevent a whole host of different conditions and diseases. With some simple changes to your diet and lifestyle, you have the power to look after your gut and gut microbiota for better health now and in the future.
It affects literally everything from our immune system, even our mental health!
Q3. How come you know so much about it?
As we said before we were part of the initial research into the microbiome, but we have an incredible team of scientists, GP’s, nutritionists and dietitians at The Gut Stuff, to keep us all on the right track and separate the fact from fiction.
Q4. What parts of my life can it affect?
Not only are our day to day lives dictated by our digestive health, with one in five people needing to take time off work due to their symptoms and over a quarter (28%) avoiding going out (Love Your Gut report 2018), but what we eat also affects our children and our grandchildren. How we look after our guts now will affect the generations to come.
Q5. How do you know if you have a healthy gut?
A healthy gut looks different for everyone, it's important to tune in to your body, so you know and can recognise when something is up!
Q6. What are the signs to look out for an ‘unhealthy’ gut?
Head over to our “I've gutta problem” section of our site to spot signs and symptoms and how to go to your GP.
Q7. What things can you do to improve your gut health?
Again our “gut tips” section of the site has got LOADS of advice and different things to try. I think our main ones would be FIBRE and a food diary.
This is NOT a food diary for calorie counting but to monitor what you’re eating, how you are feeling (mentally and physically), your poos (yes, really!!) and how much you are moving to help you “tune in” to your body and to spot patterns. We all live such fast-past lives,
when was the last time you asked yourself ‘how am I today’
– understanding and listening to your body is a big part of understanding your gut and often we don’t listen to it until there’s something wrong or you’re not getting along. You’ll be surprised at how much you notice.
Experiment, try taking things out and putting them back in and see what happens. You may also see some patterns between stress and your digestion.
If you do have gut symptoms, you can take your ready-made diary to a nutritionist/dietician/GP (we’ll sure they will thank you for it).
We’ve created an easy one to follow - https://thegutstuff.com/shop/
We have teamed up with The Gut Stuff and will be giving away a limited number with any orders placed! Have a look here if your interested.
Fibre is the unsung hero of nutrition and 9/10 of us aren’t getting enough of it, and it's not all about prune juice and cereals, We’re supposed to be getting around 30g per day, to put this into context one apple is 4g - so it's a high number to hit, but luckily nature has packaged both soluble and insoluble fibres into lots of the same plant-based foods - and variety of fruit and veg is key, as different types have different benefits and feed different bacteria!⠀⠀
It's important because it bulks out and softens your stool by retaining water, which supports gut transit time and prevents constipation. Certain types of fibre can be fermented by beneficial gut bacteria (food for the bacteria basically!), which produce short-chain fatty acids, which are a source of energy and it also slows down the breakdown of sugars found in carbohydrates, which helps stabilise your energy levels. Fibre also promotes an environment favourable to beneficial gut bacteria (and we know we need to keep them happy) and more seriously a diet high in fibre can reduce the risk of developing high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, and bowel cancer. So it has so many benefits beyond helping you “go”!.
Q8. What have you done to improve your gut health and how has it affected you?
We’ ve just added stuff really, more variety, more fermented foods, more sleep, more time for us! We feel more energised and Alana claims she hasn't had a cold for 5 years, but I don't believe her ha!
Wanna know more about the importance of sleep? Check out the blog 'Are You Getting Enough Sleep' for some great tips about how to level up your bedtime routine.
Q9. We wanna know more, where is a good place to start?
Empowering yourself with the facts first, so you know WHY you’re doing it and recognising every gut is unique, so go on your own journey.
Q10. If you had a giant billboard that you could write anything on for everyone to see, what would it say?
LIVE THAT GUT LIFE!
Thank you so much to the Mac Twins for taking time out for this interview! We hope you enjoyed reading and if you wanna know more about them, show them some support or just have a lil nosy, we've popped all their links here:
insta : thegutstuff