Listen To Your Gut

Food & Drink

Spa therapists are forever reminding me of my deficient solar plexus or “blocked third chakra”. That chronic knot between my sternum and naval.

While they advise me to invest in a Tibetan singing bowl, meditate with gemstones and chant daily affirmations to myself in the mirror, nutritionists are more inclined to look at my gut.

For a healthy gut, is a happy gut so they say, and the gateway to a happy mind. It is after all our second brain where 95 per cent of our serotonin is produced.

“Serotonin is the chemical that’s involved with happiness, sex, sleeping, feeding – just about everything that makes life worthwhile,” says Michael Gershon, author of The Second Brain and a professor of anatomy and cell biology at Columbia University in New York. “So if something in your gut is troubling you, you have to wonder what else it is doing”.

I take a DNA test with iamYiam to rule out any intolerances. After a quick saliva swab, my genetic results reveal that I have difficulty digesting gluten, which is “likely to lead to bloating and severe discomfort”.

As someone who has rarely experienced these symptoms (that have plagued my friends in pizza restaurants), the result comes as a surprise.

Lethargy and irritability yes. But I always attributed that to crashing from sugar and caffeine. Another thing I could do with limiting according to the test.

While reluctant to label myself an IBS sufferer (they say it’s now one in five), I am intrigued to see what removing gluten does to my general wellbeing. But does a “blocked third chakra” really warrant cutting it from my diet?

With no debilitating cramps to show for it, I can’t help feeling like a fraud. That i’m falling victim to the gluten-free fad while being slightly insensitive to IBS sufferers in the process. For whom, 50 milligrams of gluten (the size of a crouton) is enough to cause them to fly out of a restaurant.

Perhaps something in my gut is troubling me. But am I to blame wheat for my woes? Or sugar, which is commonly linked to imbalances in the solar plexus, and often found in gluten-free products to enhance flavour. Just saying.

If you’re thinking of cutting gluten from your diet to rule out IBS, stock up on fruit, vegetables, poultry, fish and try these low sugar, gluten-free products…

The Happy Tummy Company
Photo: The Happy Tummy Company

Chia Teff Loaf from The Happy Tummy Company: A special bread that has been ridding IBS sufferers of their symptoms for years. Slather on some Pip & Nut peanut butter, add a sprinkling of banana and voila.

Wild Fizz
Photo: Wild Fizz

Wild Fizz Kombucha: A fermented sparking tea full of gut friendly live cultures, vitamins and antioxidants. Once you get over the stringy bits of yeast (only to be expected of a raw, living beverage), you’ll find the taste to be quite pleasant.

The Coconut Collaborative
Photo: Coconut Collaborative

Coconut Collaborative Yogurts: Silky smooth, gut friendly yoghurts made from the milk of the coconut. Free from dairy, soya, and gluten. Flavours include natural, strawberry, mango & passion fruit. They do ‘snowconut’ frozen yogurts too.

Innermost
Photo: Innermost

Innermost Protein: Innermost offers a vegan, gluten free version packed with superfood ingredients from Japanese mushrooms to Acai berries. Add 4 scoops to 250ml of water or milk. Or to make a smoothie, add some ice cubes and fresh or frozen fruit.

Nairns
Photo: Nairns

Nairns gluten free wholegrain crackers: For some healthy snacking between meals, add some smoked salmon or humous to these gluten-free wholegrain crackers. Or enjoy them on their own.

For more information on iamYiam visit the website. To claim 30% off your DNA kit use the code Dose_iamYiam30

By Hettie

      A destination for healthy hedonists that fuses the worlds of fitness, healthy food and drink.