While there is a perception that people can develop health ailments because of the foods they eat, health and wellness expert Navneeta Gough says that simply isn’t always the case.
“I want people to know that it’s not what they eat sometimes and it’s actually their own hormone response and gut microbiome that determines how healthy they are. So someone who is metabolically healthy can still eat anything they want and not develop any health problems.”
It was the onset of gestational diabetes when she was pregnant with her second child, coupled with the death of her father, which caused Navneeta her to change her eating habits.
“My father died two months before I gave birth to my second child, who is now two-years-old. It was my father dying that really kickstarted it. Gestational diabetes was scary. My father had type 2 diabetes, had auto immune conditions and towards the end, kidney failure. It was a lot to take on and I saw what can happen to the body over a number of years. This is the why I now incorporate a low inflammation lifestyle to improve gut health as well as a diet that improves insulin sensitivity, she shares with SheHUB.
As she says her prior diet wasn’t bad, Navneeta says she believed that fat was bad, so she focused on cardio (which raised her cortisol levels), calories, ate a lot of complex carbohydrates (wholewheat pasta/grains/lentils) and probably far too much animal protein.
Now she shares that her diet now includes plenty of healthy fats, plenty of fibre and gut supporting fermented foods: “I was insulin resistant in 2016, but no one told me as I wasn’t classed as pre-diabetic. I had inflammation markers in my blood so my gut health was compromised, maybe because of insulin resistance, previous courses of antibiotics, stress. I’m not quite sure but since I have changed the way I eat. I am now on a journey to heal.
“My dad was a doctor, so is my mother, and nutrition and what was in our foods was always openly discussed at the dinner table. I suppose this is also where my love of learning about how foods can be medicine has come from. I’m hoping to improve my longevity for myself and my little ones.”
She continues: “I am a gut microbiome fanatic and I believe it is the key to supporting mental health, immunity as well as improving my insulin sensitivity! Insulin resistance is a metabolic syndrome which can lead to type two diabetes. There is such a stigma surrounding diabetes, I want to share my journey and empower other women, mums like me, to heal and improve their longevity.
Since changing her diet in 2019, Navneeta has seen significant changes in her health, including losing six stone (84 lbs), lowered blood pressure, improved skin health and significantly reduced levels of inflammatory markers in her blood.
She offers this advice for anyone who wants to embark on a healthier eating journey.
“Eat healthy fats. Omega 3s reduce inflammation and increase the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from the foods you eat. You want to balance out your omega 3 to omega 6 (those that drive up inflammation) fats. Vitamin D, an important hormone for mental well-being and a strong immune system, is most bioavailable when eaten with fats. I eat the rainbow. I love my colours and veggies! A wide variety of plant based foods offer antioxidants as well as fibre to support a diverse range of gut microbes! You want probiotics as well as probiotics to feed the good bacteria. I drink ACV every day and eat fermented foods.
“I also eat moderate amounts of protein. I enjoy a beautiful balance of animal and vegetable proteins. I lead a clean Keto lifestyle with whole/unprocessed foods.
Follow Navneeta and see her delicious and colourful meals on Instagram.