British Nutrition Foundation’s Healthy Eating week

Healthy eating week 2020

With a myriad of resources and a variety of authorities defining what comprises a healthy diet, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with the information.

Healthy eating week is an initiative by the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) to promote healthy eating habits to support mental, emotional and physical well-being.

The BNF is a registered charity that provides impartial, evidence-based information to the public, in regard to food and nutrition. For Healthy Eating Week 2020 they aim to focus on key areas of health each day from Monday 28th September to Sunday 4th October.

Healthy Eating Week beginning Monday 28th Eat more wholegrains

The aim today is to increase the range not volume (although some might need this) of wholegrains we eat on a regular basis, introducing new grains such as rye or spelt.

The dietary fibre contained in wholegrains is beneficial for your gut health. This fibre is not digested in our intestines and relies upon friendly bacteria to ferment it, breaking it down into short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). These SCFAs maintain our gut mucus barrier that keeps pathogens out of our system, provide energy to the digestion system itself and encourage friendly bacteria to colonise the intestines.

Healthy Eating Week beginning Tuesday 29th Vary your veg

Additional vegetables increase fibre and add valuable vitamins and minerals in your diet. Including additional vegetables to traditional dishes can help to ensure you hit five or more servings per day. The BNF stress that canned and frozen variants are practical ways to increase your daily intake.

Fruits and vegetables contain prebiotic fibres, known as fructo-oligosaccarides (FOS) and inulin. Prebiotics support the environment in which friendly bacteria (probiotics) flourish, feeding the bacteria and adding bulk to stools.

Healthy Eating Week beginning Wednesday 30th Drink plenty

Keeping hydrated is essential for digestion, concentration and energy levels. Take a look at the BNF’s challenge guide for hints and tips on increasing your intake of unsweetened drinks[AB1] .

Drinking plenty of water allows your digestive system, particularly your intestinal lining to function well. A hydrated system will help to prevent constipation and support the growth of intestinal flora.

Healthy Eating Week beginning Thursday 1st Move more

Today, Healthy Eating Week focuses on the importance of activity throughout life stages. Achieving activity goals will improve overall health as well as lift mood and encourage sounder sleep.

Exercise is also linked to an increase in the number of beneficial microbial species in our gut and to an enriched microbial diversity as well as enhanced short-chain fatty acid production, all of which support gut health.

Healthy Eating Week beginning Friday 2nd Be mind kind

With anxiety, depression and addiction on the rise in the UK, it’s important to bring mental health into focus. What we eat and drink, our activity levels and sleeping well, may all have positive benefits on mental health.

Research now points to the link between gut health and mood and supporting our gut health may help our mood. For example, irritable bowel syndrome has been linked to stress and when we are nervous (brain activity) we are likely to feel it in our gut. Supporting gut health.

Healthy Eating Week beginning Saturday 3rd Get active together

Exercising in a group or with a partner appears to be more beneficial than exercising alone.  Introducing a social element to exercise through playing in team sports can improve mental health as well as encourage us to reach activity targets longer term.

As a result, group exercise may have further benefits for gut health through the added impact of the emotional support and camaraderie of achieving a team goal.

Healthy Eating Week beginning Sunday 4th Eat together

Preparing, cooking and eating together is a custom for people of many countries. In the UK we sometimes forget the joys of doing these things together and eating becomes a solitary function. Children of all ages and adults benefit from the fun and improved social skills eating together can bring.

The gut microbiome may also be a biological mechanism linking relationships to health. Social support may impact one’s health by reinforcing healthy habits, reducing the impacts of stress and motivating us to abstain from certain unhealthy behaviours.[AB2]  Let’s not forget that reduced stress leads to more effective digestion!

For more information and to participate in this 7-day BNF event, go to

Simplicity is key…

Healthy eating needn’t be a minefield. A diet of plentiful fresh fruit and vegetables coupled with whole grains, legumes, pulses and lean meats is easily achievable. Most of us know which foods are good for us and we just need to put our knowledge into practice and challenge our habitual patterns. We don’t need to buy or make ‘fancy food’, in fact, simple is often best for health.

For more healthy eating plans and recipe suggestions, take a look at the following pages:

Want to know more?

Pro-Ven Probiotics aim to provide the best support for both you and your health. If you wish to know more about gut health and staying healthy please do not hesitate to call us on 01639 825107 or alternatively, learn more via our blogs or in-depth proven research.

ProVen Probiotics, Unit 2 Christchurch Road, Baglan Industrial Park, Port Talbot, SA12 7DJ. Tel: 01639 825107

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