Book Review: Gut Feeling
Science is moving at a terrific pace and the amount of proof that is now at our fingertips showing the critical role the gut plays in our overall health is phenomenal, with further evidence being uncovered almost daily. We now know that by taking care of our gut everything improves, from skin to heart, brain, digestive health and more. I've written about this at length - see here and here and here for starters and, if you still don't believe me, there are numerous books on the subject. Gut health is no trend - it's here to stay so we may as well pay heed and maximise our chances for real health inside and out.
What are FODMAPs?
Irish dietitians Paula Mee (my co-author of Your Middle Years) and Lorraine Maher have jumped on the gut bandwagon too with their new book titled Gut Feeling - delicious low FODMAP recipes to soothe the symptoms of a sensitive gut. Bowel conditions affect as many as 1 in 5 people in Ireland, with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) being particularly common in young women in their 20s and 30s. Why this is so, I'm not sure.
Science has also shown that FODMAPs (acronym for Fermentable Oligosaccharides Disaccharides Monosaccharides And Polyols) are a group of short-chain carbohydrates which people with gut sensitivities find difficult to digest. Avoiding key trigger foods via the low FODMAP diet has been proven to relieve symptoms of a sensitive gut. Swapping foods like wheat, couscous, onion, leek garlic, mango and milk amongst others, with foods that benefit the gut Paula and Lorraine created 100 deliciously colourful meal ideas.
Low FODMAP Recipes
The recipes look and sound delicious and are very much what other healthy eating bloggers and experts are touting now - think Blueberry, Coconut and Mixed Seed Granola, Chicken Fajitas, Mediterranean Meatballs, Quinoa Spinach Scramble and Nut and Seed balls. "There’s something for everyone, from the busy young student to the frazzled executive," adds Mee.
What I love are the practical tips for stomach-related issues like bloating and excessive wind for instance - that apparently happens when the gut microbiome is out of sync (more reason to get those beneficial bacteria!) as well as after eating foods from the brassica family including cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and legumes (peas, beans and lentils).
In truth, the recipes are the perfect kick-start for those wanting to eat in a healthier way. Most are simple to prepare and overflowing with goodness. The Nut and Seed balls are fab and while finding tasty alternatives to cow's milk for someone reared on the stuff, the Hot Berry Porridge passed my stringent taste test too (it's also great with coconut milk!). Time to get cooking......
Gut Feeling (€19.99) Gill Books is available from all good bookstores and on line