Your gut is a delicately balanced ecosystem – one that doesn’t like to be upset. This is why allowing your body to adjust to Huel when you’re starting out is important. Let us explain.
Weighing about two kilograms and bigger than the average human brain, the gut microbiome is an amazing thing. Inside contains trillions upon trillions of bacteria, archaea, fungi, and viruses, and at least 150 times more genetic material than the human genome.
Big numbers that add up to a whole load of benefits. Studies have linked poor gut health with obesity, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, depression, and cardiovascular disease. Yikes.
With nutrients like fibre, chloride, and calcium, Huel can aid the functioning of your digestive system. The high fibre content in Huel is especially helpful for your gut (fibre is really important as we'll go on to discuss).
At the beginning your gut might take some time to adjust to Huel but don't worry it's completely normal. Here's why this might be the case, and what you should do.
It can be hard to consume the same thing over and over, and dietary variety is important for maintaining a healthy gut microbiome (the term “gut microbiome” refers to the microorganisms living in your intestines). This is why going straight into eating something all the time - like Huel - isn’t the best idea.
For example, a 2018 study on 10,000 people from across the US, UK, and Australia found that eating over 30 plants a week was associated with markers of better gut health.
Introducing Huel into your routine is similar to switching from one diet to another. During this transition, people may experience flatulence and irregular bowel movements, tiredness, and/or cravings. It’s not that the diet is bad. Just think of it as your body adjusting to changes in the gut’s microbiome based on the new food source. That’s why we recommend starting your consumption slowly and building from there.
If we’re going to get precise, we recommend that when you start consuming Huel, you first try replacing 1 meal with Huel (breakfast, for example), and then after approximately 7 days you could progress to replacing 2 of your daily meals (and then 3, 4, etc. if you choose to). This will allow your body to adjust to Huel gradually.
Most Hueligans like to consume Huel for 1-2 meals per day, in combination with snacks and other traditional foods.
When it comes to Huel and your gut, it’s also worth mentioning fibre.
The number one thing you can do for your gut is to make sure you’re getting enough fibre in your diet. Fibre is what forms the bulk of our poop, feeds our gut bacteria, and helps with gut motility.
Huel is high in fibre which is a big reason why new Hueligans might experience gut changes. If they've suddenly increased their fibre intake from a diet previously lacking in fibre, this can sometimes be a bit much. For perspective, Huel Instant Meals contains 14g of fibre per meal, which is a good portion of the 30g daily recommendation.
By following the same advice about easing Huel into your diet, the gut can adjust to the higher fibre intake.
It’s also important to stay hydrated and consume plenty of water as this will help the fibre keep things moving through the gut and 'doing its thing'.
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