Food is Medicine – Gut and Digestive health care

Food is Medicine – Gut and Digestive health care

The gut-brain connection is often misplaced when people talk about health and nutrition. Emotional triggers that can cause depression, sadness, anxiety or fear can all affect the gut by inflammation, bloating, and changes in gut micro-bacteria. These changes can lead to gut related diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ulcerative colitis, and food allergies. 

By looking after the mind through mindful activities, you can decrease the risk of these diseases. Yoga, meditation, mindfulness, forest bathing, and creative tasks can decrease the fight or flight response that affects your gut health


Nutrition is a key factor to maintaining a healthy gut and body. The human body needs a complex set of vitamins, minerals, fibre, protein, and healthy fats to sustain a healthy balance within the body. These foods determine how the gut microbiome helps to protect your body against infection and diseases. There are up to 1,000 species of bacteria in the human gut microbiome, and each of them plays a different role in your body. 

Often people do not know they have chronic inflammation within their gut, but symptoms can be found all over the body including dry eyes, brittle nails, unexplained fatigue and much more. The Food Pharmacy book by Lina Nertby Aurell and Mia Clase has a really concise guide on how factors affect health and how to overcome these with simple ingredients.

Diet for digestive health care

Simple alterations within your diet can make a positive lifestyle change on your overall well being. By avoiding refined sugar found in processed foods and incorporating a mindful amount of slow releasing carbohydrates to your diet, you help to keep your blood sugar in check and your insulin levels regulated, avoiding the progression of diseases such as Type II Diabetes. Aiming to avoid processed foods and to eat fresh, seasonal, organic produce from local producers also helps the environment by cutting your carbon footprint. 

From the antioxidant powerhouses of root vegetables to medicinal mushrooms there is an array of ingredients which can help the body in many ways. There are many varieties of mushrooms from Reishi, Cordyceps to Skiitake, all of which deliver their own individual properties. Standard white button mushrooms are high in vitamin D which is well known to provide us with healthy bones and muscles, but it is less well known for its mood regulating properties helping with both physical and mental health. Within the market garden the Estates Team have been cultivating a range of mushroom species using Hazel from the coppice. They will be growing Pearl Oyster, Tarragon Oyster and Lion’s Mane which will be used within food preparation. 

The Caff and Combe Grove Recipes

To help our members and guests with their nutrition at Combe Grove, The Caff is stocked with nutritional soup, salads, juices and cakes which have low sugar content. Many of the items on the menu have their ingredients sourced directly from Combe Grove’s estate to reduce its carbon footprint. 

To check out some of our recipes using local seasonal ingredients take a look at our other journal posts including the most recent Wild garlic pesto recipe.