Cork GP and TV presenter Dr Phil Kieran.

Do you have a gut feeling?

Grace Sweeney

In recent years there’s been a growing interest in the huge range of benefits that improving your gut bacteria and health can bing.

Cork GP and TV presenter Dr Phil Kieran is emphasising the importance of gut health in light of National Food Day which took place recently.

National Food Day took place on 24 October and is a global movement that aims to help people to eat ‘real food’ that is healthy, affordable, and sustainably produced.

The co-host of RTÉ’s ‘You Should Really See A Doctor’ series wants people to consider good gut health when making food choices.

He said: “Maintaining a healthy gut is crucial, especially when you're heading into the winter season. Changes in routine, dietary choices, and stress can all impact your digestive system. Taking proactive steps to support your gut health, such as staying hydrated, eating mindfully, and considering the use of a reliable probiotic, can really help us get through the winter months.”

With the mission of helping people to take care of their tummies, Dr Kieran has shared his top four tips for managing gut health.

Dr Keiran’s first tip is to stay hydrated. Proper hydration supports healthy digestion and overall gut function. Water helps the body to break down food, aids in nutrient absorption, and facilitates the smooth movement of waste through the intestines. Hydration promotes a healthy gut environment which is exactly what you want. The doctor warns that failure to drink enough water can cause constipation and increase the risk of digestive discomfort.

Next up is mindful eating. By being mindful of what and how we eat, we can better support our digestive system which is crucial in promoting gut health. As well as this, mindful eating creates a positive relationship with food.

This involves chewing your food thoroughly for improved digestion, paying attention to hunger and fullness cues to avoid overeating and savouring each bite. Include nourishing and gut-friendly foods in your diet such as fibre-rich fruits and vegetables.

Keep things moving! Exercising regularly plays a huge role in maintaining gut health. It stimulates bowel movements and helps to regulate digestion, preventing issues like constipation. Include exercise in your daily routine by going for a walk-in nature or maybe a swim in the pool.

Dr Kieran’s final tip is to consider a probiotic supplement. A supplement can ease tummy problems and can be handy during busy periods or times of stress like travelling, changes in diet and new environments. A high-quality supplement like Alflorex can help to restore and maintain a healthy gut, promote proper digestion, and reduce the risk of gut related issues.