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Evidence-based nutrition tips from a reputable dietitian Dr Joanna


“We know that gut health is important. What and how you eat affects your energy levels, your brain function, how you feel, your work, performance, your skin, your weight, how well you age and your long-term health. At the same time, never before have we been so confused over what we should eat!”


Gutfull by Dr Joanna McMillan is a practical audiobook that explains how our food choices impact our health and happiness. Each episode tells us exactly what we should be eating to improve gut health and it also explains the science behind it.


I summarised the most important suggestions from the book, although I highly recommend listening to the book for a more in-depth understanding.


1st Episode: What the fork

This episode provides a list of gut friendly foods and drinks.

Every day we should consume:



- 5 veggies

- 3 wholegrains

- 2 fruits

- 1 portion of nuts

- every other day a legume

- optionally a little dark chocolate and red wine

More info: https://drjoanna.com.au/drjoannaplate


2nd Episode: A tale of two meals

This chapter emphasises the importance

of nutrition-rich wholefoods.


The author suggests eating interesting salads:

- give texture and variety

- add greens and lightly cooked veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, sprouts


To preserve nutrients of veggies we should

- lightly cook, stir fry, steam, microwave, roast them instead of boiling them

- drizzle veggies with some olive oil to preserve the nutrients


3rd Episode: You are not alone

This chapter is about the importance of resistance starch

(15- 20 g/day) to look after our gut bugs.


We can find resistance starch in:

- firm bananas or green banana flour

- legumes: beans, chickpeas, lentils

- hummus, indian daal, lentil flour

- wholegrains: oat (overnight is the best), barley


We can create resistance fibre by cooking and cooling potato or rice.


4th Episode: Diversity is king

A diverse, plant- rich diet is the one that humans thrive best on as plants feed both us and our friends living in the

Create a diverse diet by:

- aiming to eat at least 30 different plant food a week

- picking up veggies and fruits that we don't normally buy

- eating different nuts and seeds e.g., pine seeds

- eating different wholegrains like spelt, black rice, millet, maize, quinoa etc


5th Episode: To eat or not to eat

This episode is about the importance of fermented food that we need for overall health.


Fermented food:

- kefir, yoghurt, cheese

- kombucha

- sauerkraut, kimchi

- miso, tempeh etc.

6th Episode: It's not you, it's me

This chapter emphasises our need for probiotics and prebiotics.


Probiotics: live bacteria or other microorganism shown to have a beneficial effect once consumed


Prebiotics: fermentable fibres found in plant foods that fuel the beneficial microbes already in your guts


Prebiotics: most plant food, eg onion,

garlic, leek, chicory root, artichoke, barley, oat, asparagus, beans, peas, lentils, seaweed, cabbage, inulin.


Polyphenols: antioxidants, anti-inflammatory effect:

- berries, plums, cherries, red cabbage, red or purple skin of potatoes, red wine, kale, spinach, broccoli, tea, coffee, cocoa, extra virgin olive oil



7th Episode: That's mental

According to this chapter the Mediterranean style diet is one of the best to promote gut and brain health.


Consume daily:

-9 serves of fruits of vegetables: 2-3 fruits, 6-7 vegetables

- ensure variety of colours to include antioxidants

- different textures, cooked or raw

- wholegrain pasta, rice, couscous

- extra virgin olive oil

- olives, seed, nuts, herbs, garlic, onions

- two daily serves of diary, mainly fermented

- goat milk easier on the gut than cow's milk as it is less lactose in it

- favours seafood over red meat, at least 2 serves a week.

o anti-inflammatory effects, omega-3 fats

- poultry couple of times a week

- 4-8 eggs a week

- red meat only couple of times a week and only one processed (salami, bacon, ham etc)

- potato 3 serves a week

- sweet treat no more than twice a week, only a small portion

- greek yoghurt, berries, walnut, drizzle of raw honey

- water is the main drink

- herbal infusion, daily

- use local food and season

- sit together when eating.

- drink a little wine, only with meals

- allow time for digestion before rushing off to do something else


These food helps to improve mood, power brain performance, improve long term brain health and microbiome.


8th Episode: It's all hot air


List of top foods for gut health providing fibres, prebiotics, prebiotics and/or polyphenol

1. Veggies in the allium family: garlic, onion, shallot, leek

2. Cruciferous vegetables: broccoli, sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage

3. Legumes: chickpeas, lentils, beans, peas

4. Wholegrains: oat, wheat, quinoa, spelt, barley, corn

5. Fermented foods, drinks: kombucha, kefir, yoghurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh

6. Berries, cherries

7. Leafy greens: spinach, watercress, salad greens

8. Teas, herbal teas (peppermint, fennel, ginger, olive leaf) cocoa powder (not chocolate drinks), coffee

9. Extra virgin olive oil

10. Nuts and seeds



9th Episode: Blocked and Burned


How to prevent happening to get blocked up?

- Eat food rich in fibre and drink water

- Eat polyphenol rich food

- Regular exercise gets your gut muscles moving

- Use natural laxatives:

fibre rich seeds such as flax seeds, chia seeds, psyllium, oat bran, plums, apples, kiwis, coffee




How to get rid of heartburn?

- wear loose clothing

- sit upright after meals

- don't jump around and don't eat or

drink too much all in one sitting

- consume less:

o coffee

o spicy meals

o fatty food

o citrus

o alcohol

o onions

o garlic

o peppermint

o tomatoes

o chocolate


If the burns hit: consume ginger, 1/2 spoon baking soda with water, small glass of skimmed milk.

Ask for help if you feel the symptoms regularly.


10th Episode: Ouch

This chapter summarises what is clearly bad for the gut:

- ultra processed food

- too much alcohol

- added sugar to food


Create healthy eating habits by following the next tips from Joanna.

Enjoy your meals, giving them priority in your day, even if it is just few minutes.


Food should be a pleasurable art of life.

Do not get so worked up about the health impact of food that you forget to love what you eat.


Your food choices are not just about you.

Fuel your friendly little gut bugs and they pay you back.


Exercise regularly, limit sitting, manage stress and get enough quality sleep.


Hope you appreciate Joanna`s book as much as I did. The clear explanation of science* and practical tips, I am ready to make small changes, now.


* in the actual Audio book only, as I only wrote the summary of the book in here and you might need to listen to the book or google some of the terms

Let`s see again what Joanna suggests eating in a regular basis.


Weekly 30 different types of plant food


Daily:

- 5-7 veggies

- 3 wholegrains

- 2-3 fruits

- 1 portion of nuts


Every other day a legume

Sometimes a little dark chocolate and red wine


Resistance starch

- firm bananas or green banana flour

- legumes: beans, chickpeas, lentils

- hummus, indian daal, lentil flour

- wholegrains: oat (overnight is the best), barley


Fermented food:

- kefir, yoghurt, cheese

- kombucha

- sauerkraut, kimchi

- miso


Prebiotics:

- onion, garlic

- leek

- chicory root

- artichoke

- barley, oat

- asparagus

- beans, peas, lentils

- seaweed

- cabbage

- inulin


Polyphenols: antioxidants, anti-inflammatory effect:

- berries, plums, cherries

- red cabbage

- red or purple skin of potatoes

- red wine

- kale, spinach

- broccoli

- tea, coffee, cocoa, extra virgin olive oil



Probiotics: fermented food, supplements



List of top foods for gut health providing fibres, prebiotics, prebiotics and/or polyphenol

1. Veggies in the allium family: garlic, onion, shallot, leek

2. Cruciferous vegetables: broccoli, sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage

3. Legumes: chickpeas, lentils, beans, peas

4. Wholegrains: oat, wheat, quinoa, spelt, barley, corn

5. Fermented foods, drinks: kombucha, kefir, yoghurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh

6. Berries, cherries

7. Leafy greens: spinach, watercress, salad greens

8. Teas, herbal teas (peppermint, fennel, ginger, olive leaf), cocoa powder (not chocolate drinks), coffee

9. Extra virgin olive oil

10. Nuts and seeds



And at the risk of repeating Dr Joanna`s tips

- Resistance starch

- Fermented food

- Prebiotics

- Probiotics

- Polyphenols

- Allium family

- Cruciferous vegetables

- Legumes

- Wholegrains

- Leafy greens

- Tea, coffee, cocoa powder

- Extra virgin olive oil

- Nuts and seeds

- Red meat: twice a week, only once processed

- Poultry: couple of time a week

- 4-8 eggs a week

Also, feel free to print this table and stick it on your fridge.

Make notes and see how can you help your gut to live a healthy and happy life.









Gutfull Weekly Checklist
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Gutfull Daily Detailed Checklist
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