I’m out in nature having a dog walk in Beckenham Place Park and it’s absolutely beautiful out here. If you are reading this inside, see if you can get out and get some exposure to natural light, even if it’s just a couple of minutes.

This week I want to talk to you more about the links between breastfeeding and gut health. And recently there has been a fascinating discovery made that there is something in a mother’s breast milk that the baby can’t actually tolerate.

Scientists were trying to figure out, “Now why is this, why would we put something into breast milk that babies can’t tolerate?” And then they realised that whilst the baby can’t tolerate it, there is something contained in that breast milk that is good for the baby’s microbiome – it’s there to feed, and nurture, and develop the baby’s microbiome.

And that’s one of the reasons why scientists prefer women to breastfeed, but obviously not everyone can do that, and that’s fine if you can’t. There are ways of expressing breast milk, it doesn’t have to be directly from the breast itself. But isn’t that a fascinating discovery, that actually nature is so clever, and there is something in that breast milk, that’s not only good for the baby and its systems as a whole, but specifically for its microbiome so it can cultivate a good diversity of bacteria as that baby is growing up.

It goes some way towards explaining more and more what we’re finding out about the gut microbiome and its importance for overall health, and how that can start from the very beginnings when we’re being breastfed or fed mother’s milk – a very interesting little fact for you.

Other ways you can look after your gut health would be eating lots of diversity of vegetables – all sorts of different colours and shapes and sizes, and mouth feels and textures. Prebiotics like onions, garlic, things like that, and Probiotics would be things like Kaffir, Kombucha, Kimchi, Sauerkraut, fermented foods, and that’s all good for the microbiome.

The last thing I would add is minimal stressors, like alcohol and caffeine and lack of sleep – minimise the stresses, it’s all good for the gut microbiome!

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Leanne Spencer is an entrepreneur, coach, TEDx Speaker, author of Remove the Guesswork, and founder of Bodyshot Performance Limited. Bodyshot is a health and fitness consultancy that helps busy professionals get more energy by removing the guesswork around their health, fitness and nutrition. Visit www.bodyshotperformance.com or email [email protected] to register your interest in our services and connect with us on FacebookInstagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.


  • Leanne is an award-winning entrepreneur and the founder of Bodyshot Performance Limited. She delivered a TEDx talk on 'Why fitness is more important than weight', is the author of bestselling books 'Remove the Guesswork' and 'Rise and Shine', and hosts a podcast called ’Remove the Guesswork‘. Leanne is the founder of Bodyshot Performance, an award-winning health and wellbeing company. Bodyshot Performance work with businesses of up to 500 people who want to create a culture of energy, vitality and performance through the business and position wellbeing as a competitive advantage. Bodyshot intersect the latest science and technology to provide unique solutions to the challenge of wellbeing in the workplace that have a direct impact on the bottom line. Our clients have won awards for wellbeing and recognise it directly improves employee engagement and retention and attracts talent into the business.  We also work with chronically stressed or burned out professionals to get you back in control of your health and able to do the things you want to do in life. My expertise is around health, fitness and wellbeing, specifically focusing on sleep, mental health, energy, body composition, digestion and fitness. I host a popular podcast on iTunes called ’Remove the Guesswork ‘, and in November 2016 I delivered a TEDx talk on 'Why fitness is more important than weight'. I’m the author of the bestselling books 'Remove the Guesswork' and 'Rise and Shine' and I regularly speak to corporates on health and wellbeing. My personal values are to live truthfully, considerately and to "suck all the marrow out of life" as Thoreau said. I support the charity Diversity Role Models which works to combat homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying. I recently completed the world’s toughest ski race to raise £10,125 for Alzheimer's Research as my father-in-law was profoundly ill with Alzheimers, and I am on a constant mission to find ways to live in a way that is sustainable and environmentally friendly. I love sport, fitness, reading, gardening, business, podcasting, and being with my cat and our scampish little rescue dog, Kami from Romania.