It’s easy to get stuck in a bit of a rut when it comes to food, especially after months at home – which invariably has curtailed any food inspiration or experimentation.
I regularly find myself cooking the SAME dishes week after week, without any thought given to mixing things up. Fajitas on a Monday, pie on a Tuesday, stir fry on a Wednesday… you get the idea!
But after reading an article about how the diversity of the food we’re eating (including mixing up our fibre sources once in awhile) can really boost our gut health, it got me thinking about how I should really start switching things up and getting a little more creative in the kitchen.
My IBS symptoms have started to rear their ugly heads again recently, plus like many of us – I’ve been generally feeling a little under the weather – and so any way I can boost my gut health naturally is a huge bonus!
But where to start? Despite wellness being a buzzword we all use far more often these days, with many of us taking the time to understand how our lifestyle choices can affect our wellbeing, I for one have absolutely no idea how much fibre intake (for example) I’m actually getting from the food I eat.
While most of us potentially have an inkling about how much fibre we should be including in our daily diets (it’s 30g per day FYI), I rarely track whether I’m diversifying my intake (apparently most adults in the UK are only eating around 18g at most on a daily basis) and ensuring I’m eating a wide variety of fruits and veggies. I just eat as I usually do and expect it’s o.k…
Of course, there’s no definitive simple ‘fix’. Getting to know your body and taking control of your health is an ongoing process. In fact, the very definition of ‘wellness’ itself is ‘the state of being in good health, as an actively pursued goal.’ But I have been trialling a couple of food tracking apps over the past few months in a bid to encourage and inspire me to get creative with flavours and start diversifying my meals.
Introducing… the Atlas Health app…
Atlas (who I’ve previously spoken about my journey with about in this post) have developed the world’s FIRST AI-Based Food Tracking App for gut health, taking the guesswork out of what we’re eating. It’s by far the most sophisticated apps out of the bunch I’ve tried and I love the ease of being able to snap a picture of your meal – and having all the individual ingredients automatically identified for you.
Once you’ve uploaded your image and ingredients, it will impressively quickly ‘rate’ your meal and give you with a numerical score that indicates how microbiome-friendly your dish is.
After a few uploads, the savvy app will deliver you a daily and weekly gut health rating, after assessing the nutrient content of your food choices. It will also provide pretty extensive detail on the breakdown of the prebiotic dietary fibres to boost your beneficial bacteria AND it encourages you to eat your ‘food rainbow’ in order to promote diversity in what you’re eating. I’ve been pretty good with yellow and greens this week (hello avo & corn featuring pretty frequently!) but I need to up my purple intake (*cue Googling recipes involving blueberries, figs, aubergines and beetroot).
Not to be confused with a food tracking app (which focus on calorie-counting, weight, BMI and measurements), I love that this unique technology focuses on your gut microbiome – which of course, is the friendly bacteria in our tummies that support our entire system – our immune system, our digestion, our skin, our brain and keep us ticking over!
The app is also designed to be used in conjunction with the Atlas Microbiome test (which I took last year).
The dashboard will tell you how your gut bacteria protect from 5 serious conditions, such as obesity, diabetes type II, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and coronary heart disease.
But you shouldn’t worry because disease protection is not a measure of disease risk. Just because your microbiome may share traits in common with a disease does not put you at risk of developing it.
Microbiome protection rating is measured on a scale of 1 to 10. The fewer features shared with your microbiome, the greater your level of protection from this disease.
The new food diary functionality links into your results, providing diet suggestions to promote and optimise your health.
At a time when we’re indoors so much – and it’s very easy to eat the same things day in, day out, I’m delighted to have found an app that really is providing us with a whole new way to better understanding our bodies and actively pursuing feeling ‘well’!
Already, it has inspired me to up my efforts in ensuring I’m eating ‘all the colours of the rainbow’ in terms of food diversity, but I’m intrigued to try the app out over a couple of months and see what data my results produce!
Have you tried the Atlas Health app yet?
Use my code Scarlett15 for 15% off the Atlas Microbiome Test. Valid until the end of 2020.