Your gut houses trillions of bacteria – outnumbering the cells we have in our body! These microbes carry out many functions, from digesting food, producing vitamins, providing structural integrity to our gut lining, protecting against invading pathogens and acting as a communication centre – so it isn’t hard to see why imbalances in our microbiome can have far reaching effects for our health and wellbeing.

Achieving good gut health is not just vital for healthy digestion but is intimately linked with all our bodily functions. Up to 80% of the body’s immune cells are found in the gut and the symbiotic relationship between our microbiome and immune system can help to protect us from disease. Your gut also produces around 95% of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which can have a profound effect on mood. So, it is easy to see why gut health is so important which is why we’ve put together this handy guide, which includes our popular gut related blogs, our most frequently asked gut health questions plus an educational video from our in-house Nutritional Therapist, Helen Drake.

Read our blogs

Supporting your gut with ‘functional foods’

The gut ecosystem and microbial diversity


Our nutritional therapists have answered the most common questions we get asked. if you need further information, please contact our nutrition team via email

Q: Which foods help good digestion?

A: The key is diversity! Essentially, eating a varied diet will support a diverse microbiome, which will bring with it a whole host of health benefits, to your digestion and beyond. Eat the rainbow – include as many fresh fruits and vegetables, herbs and spices of different colours as you can, minimising repetition, as this will give you a great range of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, as well as cultivating microbial diversity. Set yourself a challenge to eat 50 different foods over a week, mainly plant based, and the brighter the better!

Other things to include in your diet are fermented foods, such as natural yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha and miso as well as prebiotic foods in the form of chicory, olives, baked apples and Jerusalem artichokes. These together will help to promote a healthy microbiome.

Q: I’m planning to travel for six months – what should I take to support my gut?  

A: When we travel, we are exposed to a range of different bacteria through food, drink and the new environment, which have the potential to cause digestive complaints; traveller’s diarrhoea and constipation are very common and the last thing you want to worry about while you’re on holiday!

Having a healthy gut flora is your best defence in preventing an attack from infectious bacteria, so supplementing with a good quality probiotic is recommended for at least a week before travelling, as well as during, and for one week after returning. Saccharomyces Boulardii is a non-pathogenic yeast that can also help to reduce the risk of traveller’s diarrhoea.

If you are particularly susceptible to tummy upsets or travelling to an exotic place, supplementing with anti-microbial nutrients such as garlic, oregano, grapefruit seed extract and caprylic acid may give you additional protection.

Q: What is leaky gut? Could it be causing my symptoms?

A: Intestinal permeability, or “Leaky Gut Syndrome” can occur when our gut lining becomes damaged, allowing undigested food particles, bacteria and toxins to escape from the gut into our bloodstream. This damage can come from a variety of sources such as certain medications, dysbiosis, gluten, sugar and even stress.

Initially, Leaky Gut can create localised inflammation and you might experience symptoms such as bloating, flatulence and constipation, but over time the entry of undesirable particles into your bloodstream can cause your immune system to launch a systemic inflammatory response, which can be at the heart of many chronic conditions such as autoimmune diseases, migraines, food sensitivities, skin conditions, brain fog and fatigue.

Removing gluten, sugar and foods you are sensitive to is the first step in addressing leaky gut. CytoProtect GI Tract can help to reduce the inflammation in the gut whilst providing a range of healing nutrients. Bone broths and marine collagen can also help to repair damage to your gut, and bringing balance to your gut flora, through diet or a probiotic supplement will support the healing process.

Q: I’ve been prescribed a course of antibiotics – how can I protect myself from the side effects?

A: A healthy microbiome consists of a high diversity of finely balanced microorganisms living in harmony, without one species dominating. Antibiotics tend to have a broad spectrum of action: they affect not only the harmful bacteria, but the healthy ones as well and can disrupt this balance, thus leading to an overgrowth of bad bacteria and the accompanying digestive symptoms, leaky gut, increased inflammation and a higher likelihood of antibiotic resistance.

Thankfully, we are able to support a return to diversity in our gut through ensuring a diet rich in wholegrains, dietary fibre and wide variety of plant-based foods, particularly vegetables, providing a wide variety of prebiotics. Probiotic foods or a probiotic supplement such as Cytobiotic Active can also help to bring back balance. Our probiotics can be taken alongside your course of antibiotics, but we would always recommend you leave at least 3 hours between the two.

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