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5 ways to look after your mental health (and gut health!)


It’s WorldMentalHealthDay and looking after our mental health is more important than ever.

Here are my top 5 tips…

  1.  Destress with mindfulness – Just 15 mins a day with a mindfulness / meditation app can make a big difference and relax a stressed gut. Give it a go for 8 weeks and see how you feel.
  2. Up your plant points and fibre. Research shows a Mediterranean-style diet, super high in fibre (they ate 50g a day in one of my favourite studies, the SMILES trial!). Nourish yourself with plenty of wholegrains, veggies, fruit, legumes, nuts, seeds and extra virgin olive oil – it’s been shown to improve mental health after 12 weeks.
  3. Get out in nature. Just a couple of hours walking in forests (called ‘forest bathing’) has been shown to reduce high blood pressure and heart rate, as well as feelings of anxiety and stress.
  4. Cultivate connections. Ongoing feelings of loneliness can have a big impact on our health and wellbeing. It’s about the *quality* of relationships we have, not the quantity – why not think about phoning that friend you perhaps haven’t spoken to recently and stay connected.
  5. Get a good night’s sleep. Feeling tired can have a big influence on your gut-brain axis and is also a common trigger of gut symptoms.