10% off £25 OR 15% off £35


10% off £25 OR 15% off £35


🏷️ Buy 1 Get 1 Free☀️ Summer ShopOffersOffers HubBuy one get one 1/2 priceSave up to 1/2 PriceBuy 1 Get 1 Free25% off Online Only OfferOutletFree gift with purchase1/2 Price2 for £50Better than half priceShort DatedBuy 6 for £15 Mix & MatchVitamins & SupplementsVitamins & Supplements HubVitamins & Supplements Shop AllCBDShop all CBDCBD OilCBD CapsulesCBD SprayCBD GummiesCollagen & SilicaHair, Skin & NailsShop all Hair, Skin & NailsHair GrowthFunctional MushroomsVitaminsShop all VitaminsMultivitaminsVitamin AVitamin BVitamin CVitamin DVitamin EVitamin KVitamin DrinksMineralsShop all MineralsMagnesiumIronZincCalciumSeleniumChromiumSupplementsShop all SupplementsFibre SupplementsAcidophilus & Friendly BacteriaPeppermint OilGrapeseed ExtractLecithinCollagen & SilicaOmega & Fish OilsPlant Sourced SupplementsSuperfood SupplementsArnicaApple CiderRaspberry KetonesAloe VeraChondroitin & MSMCo Enzyme Q10Evening Primrose OilGarlicGinkgo BilobaGlucosamineGlucomannanSeaweed, Kelps and Aquaceuticals5 HTPSaw palmettoCharcoalWomen's HealthShop all Women's HealthMenopauseMenstrual SupportUrinary Tract HealthPregnancy & ConceptionMen's HealthShop all Men's HealthProstate HealthChildren's HealthConditionShop all ConditionWater RetentionAllergy & Hay Fever CareAnxiety SupportBone & Muscle HealthMuscle Support & Joint PainBrain & Memory SupportWomen's HealthMen's HealthChildren's HealthPain ReliefCold & Immune SupportFatigueDigestive HealthHair, Skin & NailsHeart & CirculationLiver CareMood SupportSexual HealthSleep & RelaxationStress ReliefVisionHerbal & Licensed RemediesShop all Herbal & Licensed RemediesValerianSt John's WortRescue RemedyAgnus CastusAshwagandhaEchinaceaMilk ThistleDevil's ClawGinseng & GuaranaBlack CohoshHomeopathic & Flower RemediesShop all Homeopathic & Flower RemediesRescue RemedyTissue SaltsFlower RemediesHomeopathic RemediesAt-Home TestsVegan Vitamins & SupplementsBuy one get one 1/2 priceBuy 1 Get 1 FreeSave up to 1/2 PriceHolland & BarrettVitabioticsSolgarWeledaNew NordicBioglanBetterYouNatures AidGrass & Co.Nature's WayDairy FreeGluten FreeSesame Seed FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeFish FreeKiwi FreeLupin FreeNew inFood & DrinkFood & Drink HubFood & Drink Shop AllHoney, Jams & SpreadsShop all Honey, Jams & SpreadsManuka HoneyHoneyNut ButtersJams & ChutneysSpreadsPateSuperfoodsShop all SuperfoodsSuperfood PowdersMaca PowderGoji BerriesBaobabMoringa PowderFlaxseedSpirulinaChia SeedsDried Fruit, Nuts & SeedsShop all Dried Fruit, Nuts & SeedsNutsDried FruitSeedsMixesTeas, Coffee & Hot BeveragesShop all Teas, Coffee & Hot BeveragesCoffee & Coffee SubstitutesMushroom DrinksTeasSuperfood TeasMatcha & Green TeaSleep & RelaxationDairy AlternativesShop all Dairy AlternativesOat, Rice & Hemp DrinksSoya DrinksNut DrinksCoconut DrinksFood CupboardShop all Food CupboardHoney, Jams & SpreadsBreakfast CerealsSuperfoodsApple Cider VinegarCondiments & SaucesTinned FoodsRice, Pasta, Pulses & GrainsBreakfast CerealsShop all Breakfast CerealsCereals, Bran & FlakesGranolaMuesliOats & PorridgeBreakfast BarsVegan FoodSnacksShop all SnacksProtein BarsLow Calorie SnacksChocolate, Cakes & BiscuitsCrisps & ChipsSavoury SnacksSweet SnacksSnack BarsFlapjacksPopcornDrinks & JuicesShop all Drinks & JuicesNatural Energy DrinksKombuchaJuicesSoft DrinksWaterAlcohol Free DrinksCookingShop all CookingCooking IngredientsApple Cider VinegarCondiments & SaucesSoya & Meat AlternativeSoup & Ready MealsRice, Pasta, Pulses & GrainsHerbs, Spices & SeasoningGravy & StockHome BakingShop all Home BakingBaking MixesBreadFlourSweeteners & Sugar AlternativesEgg SubstitutesNutritionally Complete FoodBuy one get one 1/2 priceSave up to 1/2 Price25% off Online Only OfferHolland & BarrettNaturyaHeath & HeatherPukkaGrenadeMeridianTwiningsBionaNakdHuelGluten FreeDairy FreeEgg FreeWheat FreeMilk FreeMustard FreeSugar FreeCelery FreeFish FreeCrustaceans FreeNew inSports NutritionSports Nutrition HubSports Nutrition Shop AllProteinShop all ProteinClear ProteinWhey ProteinMass GainersVegan ProteinDiet ProteinCaseinSports SupplementsShop all Sports SupplementsTestosteroneSports CollagenBars, Drinks & SnacksShop all Bars, Drinks & SnacksEnergy BarsProtein BarsProtein ShakesProtein SnacksNutritionally Complete FoodMeal Replacement ShakesPre Workout & EnergyShop all Pre Workout & EnergyPre WorkoutAmino Energy PowdersIntra WorkoutKetoPost WorkoutAmino AcidsShop all Amino AcidsAmino Energy PowdersBCAAL-LysineGlutamineCarnitineArginineCreatineShop all CreatineCreatine PowderCreatine CapsulesRehydrationShop all RehydrationElectrolytesEnergy GelsVegan Sports NutritionShop all Vegan Sports NutritionVegan ProteinVegan Protein BarsVegan Pre Workout & EnergyVegan Amino AcidsVegan CreatineSports AccessoriesShop all Sports AccessoriesBottles & ShakersFitness EquipmentFitness GoalShop all Fitness GoalRecoveryMuscle & StrengthLean MuscleEnergy & EnduranceDiet & Weight LossSave up to 1/2 PriceBuy one get one 1/2 price2 for £50Optimum NutritionPE NutritionUSNGrenadeApplied NutritionPhDSiSFoodspringHuelYfoodDairy FreeGluten FreeSugar FreeSoya FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeFish FreeKiwi FreeNew inBeautyBeauty HubNatural Beauty Shop AllAromatherapy & HomeShop all Aromatherapy & HomePure Essential OilsBlended Essential OilsBase & Carrier OilsHolisticSkincareShop all SkincarePremium SkincareFace CareBody CareSun CareTanning & BronzingEye CareLip CareFoot CareHand & Nail CareSkin AilmentsSkin OilsCBD BeautySun CareShop all Sun CareSun Lotion SPFAfter SunHair Skin & NailsWashing & BathingShop all Washing & BathingShampoo & ConditionerBathing AccessoriesShower Gel & Body WashDeodorantDentalHand WashSoapBath Soak & OilBody ScrubBath Bombs & SaltsFeminine CareIncontinence SupportHair CareShop all Hair CareShampoo & ConditionerHair ColouringHair MasksHair Oil & SerumHair Spray, Gel & MousseHair AccessoriesMother & BabyShop all Mother & BabyBaby Skincare & ToiletriesElectrical WellnessSexual WellnessSave up to 1/2 PriceBuy 1 Get 1 FreeBuy one get one 1/2 priceDr OrganicFaith in NatureWeledaNaturtintTisserandSukinMiaromaQ+AEthiqueSo EcoAlcohol FreeParfum FreeParaben FreeSLS FreePalm Oil FreeGluten FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeNew inCBDWeight ManagementWeight Management HubWeight Management Shop AllFat Burners, Binders & Appetite SuppressantsShop all Fat Burners, Binders & Appetite SuppressantsFat BurnersFat BindersAppetite SuppressantsSlimming TabletsShakes & Weight Management ShotsShop all Shakes & Weight Management ShotsMeal Replacement ShakesDiet ProteinDiet Food & DrinkShop all Diet Food & DrinkDiet FoodLow Calorie SnacksSlimming TeaExercise SupportShop all Exercise SupportFitness EquipmentMeal Replacement ShakesDiet ProteinProtein BarsSave up to 1/2 PriceBuy one get one 1/2 price2 for £50Optimum NutritionGrenadeHolland & BarrettPulsinUSNPhDEat WaterNew NordicSlimExpertNatures AidDairy FreeGluten FreeSugar FreeWheat FreeNew inVeganHealth & WellnessShop all Health & WellnessJoints Bones & MusclesGut HealthHair Skin & NailsStress AnxietySleep & RelaxationBuy one get one 1/2 priceBuy 1 Get 1 FreeSave up to 1/2 PriceHolland & BarrettWeledaVitabioticsDr OrganicSolgarNaturtintOptimum NutritionNew NordicHeath & HeatherBioglanDairy FreeGluten FreeParaben FreeSLS FreeAlcohol FreeParfum FreeSugar FreeWheat FreeSoya FreeEgg FreeNew inShop for your WellnessWomen's HealthMenstrual HealthMenopauseSkincareJoints, Bones & MusclesGut HealthHair, Skin & NailsImmunitySleep & RelaxationFood & DietChildren's HealthStress ReliefHealthy HeartEnergyLow Mood & DepressionConcentration & AlertnessEye HealthSexual HealthLearn about WellnessWomen's HealthPeriods & Cycle HealthMenopauseJoints, Bones & MusclesImmunityGut HealthFood & DietSports & FitnessSleep & RelaxationHair Skin & NailsAll articlesHealthFood & nutritionGut healthImmunityJoints, bones & musclesWomen's healthWellnessHair & skinMental wellbeingSeasonalSleep & relaxationSports nutritionRecipesAll recipesGluten freeLow sugarVeganDairy freePodcast

We answer your most Googled questions on gut health

The term “gut health” flies around a lot, but what does it actually mean and why the gut an important part of our health? How do you get a healthy gut and what does your gut affect?

The term “gut health” flies around a lot, but what does it actually mean and why is the gut an important part of our health? How do you get a healthy gut and what does your gut affect? These are some of the questions we’ll be answering below along with a few more. So, let’s become gut health experts together...

1. What does gut health mean?

Your gut microbiome is the foundation of your health. Good gut health means having a balance between the good (helpful) and bad (potentially harmful) bacteria and yeast in your digestive system.1

2. Is gut health key to overall health?

2. Is gut health key to overall health?

Essentially, yes. This is because the health of the gut microbiota (the microorganisms in your gastrointestinal system, or GIT tract for short) exists to support the functionality of:

  • the digestive tract
  • the immune system
  • endocrine system
  • cardiovascular system
  • skeletal system
  • the brain
  • the skin

So quite a lot! Two thirds of the body’s immune system resides in the gut, and 95% of the body’s “feel-good” hormone, serotonin, is produced in the gut - not the brain as many of us think! Without a healthy gut microbiome, overall health isn’t possible.2

3. Which gut health tips actually work?

There are lots of tips for good gut health out there, but everyone’s gut is different so it’s about finding what works for you. Certain foods and healthy lifestyle habits are the main factors that can improve your gut health naturally, such as:

  • eating fibre-rich and probiotic-packed foods – think beans, lentils, whole grains, yogurts, tempeh and kefir.3,4
  • supplements – like turmeric, live friendly bacteria and apple cider vinegar.5
  • frequent exercise – you’ve heard it before, but exercise is important for your overall health and wellbeing. In terms of your gut health, being more physically active can lead to a healthier gut, support your digestion and even mood!6
  • limit your alcohol intake – ever had a funny tummy after a heavy night of drinking? Well, you won’t be alone as alcohol can have a negative effect on the healthy bacteria in your gut microbiome. This can lead to symptoms like bloating, excessive wind and diarrhoea.7
  • reduce stress levels – sometimes stress can slow down digestion which causes bloating, pain and constipation or diarrhoea.8

4. Which foods improve gut health?

4. Which foods improve gut health?

Check out our 18 of the best foods for gut health article! But here’s a quick overview of some of our favourite foods for gut health:

  • avocado
  • lentils
  • black beans
  • oats
  • chia seeds
  • almonds
  • garlic

Plus more!

5. What are symptoms of an unhealthy gut?

Symptoms of an unhealthy gut can be quite common, with more people having them than you realise. Signs to look out for to determine whether your gut needs some extra love are: 9

  • stomach pain or cramps
  • bloating
  • diarrhoea
  • constipation
  • heartburn

Take a look at our superfood top ups to support gut health.

6. What are the signs of a healthy gut?

6. What are the signs of a healthy gut?

The 6 common signs of a healthy gut are:10

  • regular and pain-free bowel movements
  • consistent energy
  • normal amount of gas and bloating
  • healthy bowel transit time
  • mental clarity
  • healthy reactions to food and stress

7. How can I detox my stomach?

The theory behind detoxing your stomach is to try and remove any waste and toxins from your colon.

Here are some tips on how to detox your stomach:11

  • drink plenty of water
  • eat food high in fibre
  • try drinking honey and lemon water, juices and smoothies or organic and herbal teas
  • eat ginger or take ginger supplements
  • add resistant starches to your meals
  • try intermittent fasting

8. How does gut health affect mental health?

8. How does gut health affect mental health?

There’s a link between your gut and your brain, which is sometimes known as the mind-gut connection, the brain-gut connection, or the gut-brain axis.

You might find that when you feel anxious or stressed you experience gut symptoms too, like loss of appetite, stomach pain or diarrhoea. Research has also shown that some digestive conditions, such as IBS and coeliac disease, are linked with both anxiety and depression. Watch out for any gut health signs paired together with anxiety or depression and make sure to see your GP so you can take the necessary steps together.12

9. Why can gut health affect your skin?

If you have an unhealthy gut, it can have an impact on your overall health and therefore your skin. This is due to the balance of your gut microbiota needing to be optimal for skin health. So, if your gut health isn’t the best, it can show up in the following skin conditions:

  • spot breakouts
  • dry skin
  • psoriasis
  • inflammation 
  • atopic dermatitis (eczema)
  • rosacea

We suggest speaking to a dermatologist or trying to follow ways to help your gut health from above.13

10. Can the heat cause bloating?

Most of us love the summer weather, but have you ever noticed that with the heat can come bloating? That’s because when we’re exposed to higher temperatures, the bad bacteria in our gut can expand.

Here’s some tips on how you can help reduce the bloating in the heat:14

  • drink plenty of water
  • keep moving – high temperatures can mean we might tend to stay indoors, but the less we move, our digestive systems often move less too
  • avoid fizzy drinks
  • get plenty of sleep – sometimes when it’s really hot it can affect the amount we sleep, which can then cause us to be sleep-deprived and crave processed foods, leading to more bloating

The final say

Hopefully your burning questions on gut health have been answered and you’re now ready to find ways to improve your gut health or keep it in tip top condition. If your gut health is causing you real concern however, we recommend always speaking to your GP to rule out any underlying issues.


  1. https://www.parkview.com/blog/the-importance-of-gut-health#:~:text=What%20is%20gut%20health%3F,yeast%20in%20your%20digestive%20system 2
  2. https://unbunfoods.com/blogs/latest/why-gut-health-holds-the-key-to-overall-health#:~:text=Two%2Dthirds%20of%20the%20body's,overall%20health%20is%20truly%20impossible
  3. https://www.benefiber.com/fiber-in-your-life/daily-fiber-intake/top-10-high-fiber-foods/ 
  4. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-super-healthy-probiotic-foods 
  5. https://www.hollandandbarrett.com/shop/vitamins-supplements/condition/digestive-health/ 
  6. https://www.everydayhealth.com/fitness/can-exercise-boost-my-gut-health/#:~:text=Can%20Exercise%20Boost%20My%20Gut,%2C%20digestion%2C%20and%20even%20mood.&text=Inside%20our%20intestines%20is%20our,%2C%20fungi%2C%20and%20other%20microbes 
  7. https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/facts/health-effects-of-alcohol/effects-on-the-body/is-alcohol-harming-your-stomach
  8. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/digestive-health/five-lifestyle-tips-for-a-healthy-tummy/#:~:text=In%20some%20people%2C%20stress%20slows,ulcers%20and%20irritable%20bowel%20syndrome
  9. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/irritable-bowel-syndrome-ibs/symptoms/ 
  10. https://www.everlywell.com/blog/food-allergy/signs-of-healthy-gut/ 
  11. https://bebodywise.com/blog/how-to-clean-stomach/ 
  12. https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/the-gut-brain-connection 
  13. https://nowpatient.com/healthy-living-and-wellness/how-can-gut-health-affect-your-skin-and-why 
  14. https://patient.info/news-and-features/why-does-my-stomach-bloat-in-hot-weather

Related Articles

  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • PayPal
  • AmericanExpress
  • ApplePay
  • ClearPay
  • AliPay
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
Copyright © Holland & Barrett Retail Limited, 2024. All rights reserved. hollandandbarrett.com is a trading name of Holland & Barrett Retail Limited,. Registered office: Samuel Ryder House, Barling Way, Nuneaton, Warwickshire CV10 7RH. Registered in England: company no. 2758955. Registered VAT no. 211727395.