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They say you are what you eat, but when it comes to food and your gut health, this is especially true.

Dr Megan Rossi, better known as The Gut Health Doctor, believes a healthy, diverse diet is key to boosting your overall health.

But there are ten unexpected foods that have extra tummy benefits (and taste pretty good too).

1. Lentils

Dr Rossi says: ‘These legumes are high in prebiotic fibre that feeds your gut bacteria.’ says Megan. ‘When the bacteria eat the fibre they produce beneficial chemicals such as short chain fatty acids that act as messengers to your other organs such as liver, heart and even the brain.’

How to: ‘If you’re making Bolognese, why not swap out 1/3 of your mince for a tin of lentils.’

2. Leftover cold potato

Dr Rossi says: ‘Cooked and cooled potatoes are high in resistant starch (the cooling process converts some of the digestible starch into indigestible starch AKA resistant starch) which is another type of fibre that feeds your good bacteria.

Resistant starch has been linked with a range of health benefits including heart health benefits and lowering your risk of colon cancer.’

How to: ‘Include as a side with your salad.’

3. Frozen berries

Dr Rossi says: ‘Mixed berries, augmentin conversione mg ml including blueberries, blackberries and raspberries, have been shown to have antioxidant and inflammation-quenching powers thanks to their high flavonoid (a group of plant chemicals) content.

This is thought to help reduce whole-body inflammation and has even been associated with slowing the ageing process.’

How to: ‘Mix with yoghurt and eat for breakfast, or enjoy as an afternoon snack or in smoothies.’

4. Live yoghurt

Dr Rossi says: ‘Live plain yoghurt contains living bacteria to add to your community of gut bacteria. It’s all about selecting the yoghurt with the clinically backed bacteria in them such as LGG and BB-12, both are in Bio&Me live yoghurts.’

How to: Enjoy any time (mix in a tsp of honey or chopped dates for flavour), or use it as the base of your favourite dip (mix with a teaspoon of harissa paste or mustard, stirred through).

5. Balsamic vinegar

Dr Rossi says: ‘Made up of acetic acid which is thought to help lower blood sugar spikes, this helps lower your risk of type 2 diabetes.’

How to: ‘Who doesn’t love a slice of warm sourdough bread dipped in balsamic with some olive oil.’

6. Brussels sprouts

Dr Rossi says: ‘Love them or loathe them, they contain glucosinolates which, upon ingestion, are broken down to isothiocyanates and indoles, which have been linked with a lower risk of several cancers including stomach, breast and prostate cancers.’

How to: ‘Turn them into a tasty pesto, by cooking and then blending with walnuts, garlic and olive oil.’

7. Garlic

Dr Rossi says: ‘This vegetable belongs to the onion family and contains allicin. This also transforms into other compounds that have been found to support the body’s white blood cells to fight viruses (in test tube studies).

Studies show promising results for garlic in helping you recover faster and reducing the severity of symptoms if you do become ill.’

How to: ‘Add an extra clove to your next soup, pasta, or stir fry. Just fry off for a minute in olive oil before adding your other ingredients.’

8. Butterbeans

Dr Rossi says: ‘High in prebiotics which feed the gut lining, butterbeans are a creamy large bean available in supermarkets at a super-low cost.’

How to: ‘Add to a stir fry or casserole. Get the tinned versions and rinse before cooking.’

9. Salmon

Dr Rossi says: ‘High in omega 3 which have anti-inflammatory benefits, it’s best to enjoy oily fish such as salmon, mackerel or herring at least once, if not twice, per week.’

How to: ‘Roast in the oven with spring greens and mixed grains such as wheat berries, freekeh and quinoa.’

10. Jumbo oats

Dr Rossi says: ‘Jumbo has been shown to have a lower impact on blood sugars compared to the ground/quick oats. Both contain beta-glucans which help lower cholesterol, but go for no added sugar granola because you’re sweet enough.’

How to: ‘They’re a great way to add some texture to a smoothie, or use them when baking muffins by switching 1/3 of the flour for oats.’

Dr Megan Rossi is author of Eat Yourself Healthy (£12.69) and Eat More, Live Well (pre-order now, £12.69)

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