Improving gut health is a popular topic right now. Between gut health drinks and probiotic capsules, you can barely turn an aisle in the store without seeing something marketed toward a healthy gut.
Supplements are great, but they can’t replace a diet full of nutritious, gut healing foods. If your meals lack fiber, ferments and healthy fats, this list of the five best foods for gut health will help make your next trip to the grocery store easy!
What Makes Your Gut Healthy, Anyway?
We all have a gut microbiome, which means that we all have billions of bacteria living in our digestive systems. The number and type of these bacteria depend on a lot of factors (diet, genetics, environment, medications), but we all have a balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria.
When there are too many “bad” bacteria, you may feel bloated, nauseated, or “blah.” An imbalance of good and bad bacteria can also contribute to certain health problems (allergies, IBS, obesity).
We need both good and bad bacteria in our gut to stay healthy. The best way to encourage balance is by regularly feeding your body with probiotics (good bacteria) and prebiotics (fiber that nourishes the good bacteria).
5 Gut Healing Foods to Add to Your Diet
All fermented foods (natto, kefir, kimchi, etc.) contain some of the best probiotics for gut health. Fermentation uses bacteria and yeast to preserve foods and give them a tangy flavor. It’s also great for improving gut health because you get all those beneficial bacteria when you eat these foods.
Yogurt is also fermented, which means you get all those good probiotic bacteria I just mentioned. It’s excellent in gut health smoothies or as a daily snack, especially since it contains other vitamins and minerals. Add unsweetened granola or a handful of berries to get some prebiotic fiber!
This one doesn’t get mentioned as often as some foods, but bone broth for gut health is highly beneficial. Not only is it packed with minerals and vitamins, but it’s also believed to have some anti-inflammatory properties. It also contains collagen and gelatin, which support the lining of your intestines.
Whole grains are an ideal source of prebiotic fiber. When the good bacteria in your gut digest this fiber, they create acids that protect against harmful bacteria and feed the good bacteria.
Bananas are another of the overlooked superfoods for gut health. They’re low in sugar, high in fiber and packed with a vital substance called inulin. Inulin is a particular type of prebiotic that helps good bacteria grow and thrive.
Happy Gut, Happy Life
There is a vast amount of research linking gut health to various physical and mental health issues. There is often more than one cause for persistent health issues, so it’s always important to talk to your doctor about any problems you’re experiencing. However, adding more “good” bacteria to your body with gut-healing foods is some of the best self-care you can indulge in!
What is the best time to eat sauerkraut for gut health?
Experts recommend eating at least a tablespoon of sauerkraut in the morning to help heal your gut.
How to heal your gut naturally at home?
In addition to eating gut healing foods, you can also take probiotic supplements and vitamins for gut health. Look for capsules that contain prebiotic fiber and nutrients like B vitamins, magnesium, selenium and vitamin D.
What to drink for gut health?
Kefir and kombucha are two of the best drinks for gut health. Kefir is a yogurt drink similar in texture to a smoothie, and kombucha has a sharp, carbonated taste that many people love.