How can you keep a 5-star gut? Making the most of our "second brain".

How can you keep a 5-star gut? Making the most of our "second brain".

Ali Sheehan-Dare
Ali Sheehan-Dare
May 29th 2022

The gut has been called a "second brain" because it produces many of the same neurotransmitters as the brain does (Harvard Health, 2020).

  1. Dopamine: reward, motivation, memory & attention;
  2. Serotonin: stabilizes our mood, feelings of well-being, and happiness;
  3. GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid): a calming influence on the brain.

Various types of food can boost the production of these neurotransmitters: GABA: foods rich in B-6 such as spinach, garlic, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and bananas; Serotonin: nuts and seeds, tofu and soy & pineapple; Dopamine: almonds, apples, avocados, bananas, beetroot, chocolate, and coffee to increase its levels.

How can you keep a 5-star gut?

  1. Steer clear of refined sugar where possible. Refined sugar is inflammatory and destroys good bacteria;
  2. Limit high-fats. The high level of fats found in meat and fried foods have the same effect on your body as refined sugar does;
  3. Flirt with fibre, it’s one of the great guys. Fibre feeds the good gut microbes and makes them thrive.

So (spoiler), if you're trying to improve your gut, the best first step is to eat more fibre!

The 30g daily recommended fibre intake, which is key for feeding the good gut bacteria, is difficult to achieve within our current diet (NHS, 2015), however, the visualisation below shows you our last fibre scores and how you can start eating more fibre with ease.


At planty, we don't use any additives, preservatives, or anything else you might not want to put in your body.

For more detail on the information in this article, feel free to drop us any further questions at!

Ali Sheehan-Dare

Ali Sheehan-Dare

Co-founder of Planty

Co-founder of Planty. Science lover. Tech enthusiast. Fan of plant-based food. Fascinated by how eating more plants can positively impact the world we live in.

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