Crank up your gut biome
Much has been researched about this topic, and after my extensive antibiotic treatment for Lyme disease (three months of injections) I must have had a depressingly poor gut biome. I now nurture it with kefir (a fermented milk drink), raw cider vinegar and an extremely varied and wide diet, much of which is garden-grown and packed full of different fresh herbs. I did notice a big increase in wellbeing after using Symprove (symprove.com). This is a probiotic and there is lots of research evidence to show that it improves your microbiome. It is expensive though (from £39.99 a month), so I now take it intermittently and pay more attention to widening my diet. There are a range of foods that you can grow that are prebiotics, which aid the health of your gut biome. Jerusalem artichokes are one, easy to grow and fabulous roasted, grated in salads and in soups. Quince (Cydonia oblonga) is also good for the gut biome. We had a bumper crop this year which I sliced thinly, dried in a very low oven overnight and then shrink-wrapped. It is quite delicious eaten like this, as it becomes significantly sweeter on drying. I can easily consume two quince a day. Quince has hugely beneficial properties: it is, according to published scientific papers, a powerful antimicrobial and antioxidant, and it is also anti-Helicobacter pylori – a bacteria that causes infections and can cause stomach ulcers and stomach cancers. We also quickly realised it is a powerful aphrodisiac! When I checked this on Google Scholar, I learnt that “after administration of the quince extract, mounting frequency and the mating performance of rats increased highly significantly. The extract also influenced the behaviour of treated animals in comparison to nontreated rats in a remarkable manner, making them more attracted to females.” Enough said!