Updated: Jul 30
This month has seen the publication of the UK National Food Strategy Report (by founder of LEON, Henry Dimbleby). This report calls on the NHS to prioritise healthy eating as a preventative measure, asking GPs to actually prescribe fruits and vegetables. This recommendation is made in the hope that it will encourage the public to take the power and importance of dietary intervention seriously.
The report recommends higher taxes on sugar and salt to help close the price gap between cheap, processed food and more nourishing, ‘whole-food’ alternatives. Commercialised, refined foods are actually more costly long-term in terms of their effect on our health. Without action to change this trajectory, 25% of children born in 2020 will be obese by age 21.
At the Key Clinic we have the privilege of approaching physiology and nutrition on a much more individual level, acknowledging the unique biochemistry of our clients. We develop targeted and personalised Walsh Nutrient Therapy protocols to correct genetic nutrient imbalances which can underpin behavioural and emotional disorders.
Healing the gut
It has been really encouraging to see a government-backed message prioritising increasing plant-based, fresh food and ingredients within households. We know that plant foods and fibre hold the key to optimal gut health, and that there are small, sustainable changes to the diet that can make a big difference. We regularly see the consequences that an imbalanced gut microbiome can have on mood, concentration, energy levels, sleep and more. We work with gut repair programmes to modulate the gut-brain axis, which raises mood and neurotransmitter function.
So how can we put this into practice?
There are just three essential guidelines to follow for optimum gut health:
1. Abundance: just 7g of extra fibre each day can stop pathogenic gut bugs from attacking the gut lining. Focus on including more foods into your family’s daily diet – not less. Your child need not feel deprived of things that they love. It’s about adding colour and diversity to the plate to fuel the growth of all the different species of bacteria in the GI tract. Add an extra portion of chopped carrots, or peas, baked butternut squash, potatoes and sweet potatoes - keeping skins on where you can. Or try a supercharged smoothie with berries, banana, almond butter, flaxseed and dates all blended with plant milk to hit the fibre quota first thing in the morning.
2. Legumes & Pulses: lots of people don’t realise that beans and chickpeas count as one of your 5-a-day (or 10-a-day as many scientists in reality recommend). Baked beans and hummus are a great place to start. You can also try chilli con carne, white beans crushed through mashed potato or lentils blitzed into a bolognese if you have a suspicious eater on your hands.
3. Wholegrains: these contain the bran and germ of a grain, giving more fibre and nutrients than just the starchy endosperm (white flour) can. Brown rice, spelt pasta, freekeh, pearl barley or buckwheat pancakes are all much more flavoursome and gut-supportive than their refined alternatives
To find out more about Walsh Nutrient Therapy and gut health at The Key Clinic, see here.