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The importance of diet in digestive health

Our health and immunity depend largely on the health of our digestive system. 70% of our immune system lies within our digestive tract. Vital nutrients are delivered from our intestines into our bloodstream for use elsewhere in the body. If this system is compromised in any way, by things like poor diet or stress, then our entire body system can be compromised – possibly resulting in weakened health and immunity.

‘All disease begins in the gut’ (Hippocrates). I personally prefer to think of it slightly differently; that all health can begin in the gut – slightly more positive! Thanks though Hippocrates!

If you follow any health or nutrition-based practitioners you will be familiar with the term ‘gut health‘. Gut health is a current trending health topic which has gained momentum over the last few years.

Although digestive health is a popular topic, it isn’t one that I hear discussed within social care with a focus specifically on diet.

However, that changed last week when I attended a webinar put on by the the National Association of Care Home Caterers (NACC) entitled ‘The importance of diet in maintaining good bowel health’. Guest speakers included Sophie Murray, Quality Improvement and Regulatory Partner and Subject Matter Expert in Nutrition and Hydration and Paula Woods, Registered Dietician at Hearth Wood Health.

Both discussed the importance of diversity in the diet, fibre and the gut microbiome. This is a topic I am excited to bring into Nellsar, to start taking a deeper dive into how well we are supporting dietary diversity. I want to review what our digestive support picture looks like and how we can better incorporate evidence-based research into our Homes, looking in particular at fibre and digestive health through diet.

Watch this space!