National Picnic Week
It’s now officially summertime! While enjoying the longer days and the beaming sunshine why not use this as an opportunity to – next week – celebrate National Picnic Week, taking place between the 18-26 June? Treat yourselves (and your gut) this summer to a delicious picnic that will keep your gut bugs happy in the sunshine.
Why go for a picnic?
Picnics are a chance to socialise, relax and explore the country around us. One of the great aspects of picnics is they can be taken anywhere – your back garden, local park or even the beach. Choosing an area couldn’t be easier. It’s also the perfect opportunity to take in some sun and vitamin D. Vitamin D is a key nutrient to keep our bones and muscles healthy so getting enough sun is very important 1. Research has also shown that Vitamin D may also be key in supporting gut health. 2
We all know that the most important part of a picnic is the food so we’ve got some top tips to make your picnic meals gut friendly:
Eat the rainbow
Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables of different colours is not only delicious but also helps contribute towards your plant point and fibre goals. Studies have shown that eating a variety of plant-based foods helps promote diversity in your gut 3. For your salads, get creative and try to include a variety of different vegetables and fruit – check out our recipes here.
Try swapping out common picnic foods with more gut-friendly and delicious options. For example, swap white bread for wholegrain bread when making your sandwiches for an added hit of dietary fibre. Simple swaps like using mixed lettuce leaves for your salad instead of just iceberg, or snacking on mixed nuts or berries, are also an easy way to increase your gut diversity.
Remember to stay hydrated, as it is is important for your overall health and gut health. It is recommended that you consume 6-8 glasses of water a day. Summer also brings lots of opportunities to “eat your water” with many seasonal fruits and veggies being packed with H2O, such as berries, cucumber and tomatoes. You can also try out this Pineapple, banana and orange smoothie. This delicious and refreshing drink can be enjoyed in the sunshine and is packed with vitamin C to help support your immune system, especially during these summer months 4.
There are plenty of opportunities to make your gut bugs happy this National Picnic Week.
- (2021) Vitamin D. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamins-and-minerals/vitamin-d/.
- Akimbekov, et al (2020.) Vitamin D and the host-gut microbiome: a brief overview. Acta Histochemica et Cytochemica, 53(3), pp.33-42.
- McDonald D, (2018). American Gut: an Open Platform for Citizen Science Microbiome Research. mSystems. 3(3): e00031-18
nhs.uk. 2023. Vitamins and minerals – Vitamin C – NHS. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/