Healthy gut food is essential in nourishing, sustaining, and growing the good bacteria in your digestive tract. These superfoods will serve as the building blocks of prebiotics that would eventually take care of your gut microbes.
There are trillions of microorganisms in your gut – this, we refer to as the gut microbiome. The microbes you find in your system create a symbiotic relationship with one another, and it’s an important part of your overall health.
Feeding them right, and living the right lifestyle, is the key. Taking advantage of the superfoods could benefit your gut. These feature a high density of nutrients that would be best to incorporate in your diet.
In this article, Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute lists down healthy gut food that your body will surely thank you for. Consider what we’ve prepared for you!
Superfoods for gut health
Sadly, getting your hands on these healthy gut food is not easy. There are times when you won’t find some of them conveniently in stores. So in this blog, we’ll enumerate the most common healthy gut food that you can buy anywhere.
From flaxseed to apples, get ready with your pen and paper and take note of healthy gut food for your body:
Healthy gut food #1: Apples
Apples are probably the easiest food to pick from this list. This fruit features pectin, a fiber that serves as a prebiotic. This is good for the good bacteria in your gut.
During digestion, your small intestine doesn’t absorb fiber. It would go straight to your colon, which is responsible for promoting the growth of good bacteria in your system. It also transforms to other helpful compounds that circulate around the body.
Studies suggest that the composition of apples is the reason why it features protective effects in fighting obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Frontiers in Microbiology published a research and it has discovered 100 million of bacteria in this fruit. These bacteria are often connected to improving gut health. So, follow what they say and eat an apple a day!
#2: Leafy Greens
You can never go wrong with leafy greens. From kale to spinach, the fiber they provide is the best for your gut health. Vitamin C, K, and A – these are only some of the nutrients that you’ll get from this source. There is also a study that shows how leafy greens contain a specific kind of sugar that contributes to a healthy gut bacteria.
When you eat a lot of leafy greens and fiber, you allow your system to develop an ideal gut microbiome – this is where trillions of organisms reside in the colon. The folic acid, iron, iodine, beta carotene, potassium, calcium, chlorophyll and sulphur effectively heal the lining of the digestive tract. It promotes a healthier kidney, and a more functional liver. It also boosts peristalsis, which is a powerful prebiotic in the gut.
#3: Lean Protein
It is important to understand how the gut microbiota metabolizes carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Doing so will allow you to give more emphasis on lean meat as a part of your diet. This has an overall impact not only in your genetic expression, but your entire immune system.
Stick to high-quality protein sources like fish, eggs, meat, and dietary products to obtain the nine essential amino acids. Incorporating a decent amount of this in your diet is the key to maintaining a healthy gut lining, and a strong immune system. Give your body the chance to heal and repair itself with this macronutrient.
#4: Chia and Flax Seeds
Chia and flax seeds have gained popularity among people who are on a diet.
Chia seeds, for instance, are the best source of fiber. As a matter of fact, they contain at least 11 grams of fiber for every 28-gram serving. This simple type of carbohydrate is vital in promoting regularity in the body and supporting the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Hence, it could sufficiently feed your gut flora that is important for your health.
On the other hand, flax seeds have been credited for their health-protective properties for many centuries now. These seeds are regarded as prebiotics, or a prebiotic food because of the high-amount of fiber it contains.
When your body breaks down these prebiotic foods, they go down to your gut and provide it with good bacteria. This benefits your gut microbiome by improving your digestion, boosting your immunity, enhancing your mood, and aiding your weight loss. All of these take place, thanks to fermentation that is ideal to the overall health of your gut.
More superfoods for gut health
Healthy gut food #5: Kimchi
Kimchi is a low-calorie, traditional Korean side dish rich in fiber and antioxidants. The vegetables that undergo the fermentation process to make kimchi have enhanced flavor. Mix seasonings such as onions, garlic, chili peppers, salt, sugar and ginger with cabbage and you have a savory delicacy!
Moreover, this fermentation process produces active probiotic cultures which are beneficial to gut health. You can eat kimchi fresh or unfermented, or integrate other vegetables such as radish, celery, cucumber, etc.
As an excellent source of probiotics, kimchi can detoxify your body naturally. This is why many enjoy unlimited samgyeopsal meals from Korean restaurants in different parts of the world. You can incorporate this healthy gut food in your lunch or dinner served with warm rice and other vegetables, too.
#6 Olive Oil
Dietary fats, such as olive oil, have amazing health effects. When you extract the oil from olives, it produces olive oil. That’s a direct product from nature itself! It is rich in healthy monounsaturated fats which are resistant to high heat. This makes extra virgin olive oil popular to many because it’s the healthier choice for cooking.
The antioxidants in olive oil give its strong anti-inflammatory health benefits. For example, the nutrients oleic acid and oleocanthal are present in olive oil, which mediate the fight against gut inflammation.
There is a study that showed there’s a lower risk of stroke for people who consume olive oil than those who didn’t. In fact, the Mediterranean diet gained popularity in the same context. This diet may help in weight loss, prevention of heart diseases and type 2 diabetes.
Olive oil is one of the key components in the Mediterranean diet as it can protect against cardiovascular-related illnesses. How is olive oil a healthy gut food, you may ask? It essentially safeguards “bad” LDL cholesterol from oxidizing, thereby, protecting the lining of your blood vessels. This, in turn, aids in avoiding excessive blood clotting.
Ginger is one of the best anti-inflammatory supplements known to man. It contains gingerol that has an inflammatory property which is responsible for supporting digestion. Another component in ginger is zingerone which helps fight gut inflammation.
Filled with antioxidants, ginger is a healthy gut food that can also prevent damage in your body’s DNA. It promotes healthy aging and fights off chronic diseases such as heart and lung diseases.
Even as a drink (ginger can be made into a lemon ginger juice, for example), it helps alleviate pain and improve your immune system. Ginger is so flexible and vital to gut health with its antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory benefits. For example, ginger can help relieve nausea, ease a cold, and support cardiovascular health.
Kombucha is a probiotic food that contains living microorganisms which can help boost the health-promoting microbes in your gut. Your body needs beneficial bacteria to sustain order and stop harmful bacteria to colonize in your gut.
This fermented tea drink is rich in antioxidants which not only helps fight many diseases but also decreases risks of certain cancers. It is considered a healthy gut food because it can lower liver toxicity in your body, consequently, preventing liver damage.
In kombucha’s fermentation, acetic acid (an abundant compound in vinegar) is one of the primary substances produced. Similar to polyphenols in tea, this compound can kill harmful microorganisms detrimental to your gut health.
#9: Whole Grains
There has always been a constant dilemma around grains. White or brown? White or wheat? These are the common questions from people on a diet. Most doctors suggest whole grains as they are better for the gut. Observe at least 25 grams of fiber regularly and you’ll be able to optimize your colon function.
The difference between whole grains and refined carbohydrates (that you usually get from white bread and pasta) is that the earlier contains fiber. They also come with supplemental nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids. When you give your gut bacteria the opportunity to ferment fiber, it leads to short-chain fatty acids. This encourages proper cell lining function in your colon.
People in the low-carb diet community may not be a fan of this, but totally eliminating grains from your system may have some effects on your gut bacteria.
#10: Healthy gut food: Asparagus
This vegetable has a reputation for being a pricey delicacy, and yet it’s worth all the nutritional value it offers. Many cuisines have become even more enjoyable because of it, and the good news is that it is a perfect example of a healthy gut food that could be good for your digestion.
Asparagus has insulin – this is a kind of prebiotic fiber that is dissolved as Eubacterium and Faecalibacterium in the gut. Studies on mice suggest that this could stimulate beneficial microbes that are often present in lean individuals.
There are many ways to eat asparagus. You can boil, roast, grill, or steam it. It goes well with different types of dishes. It is commonly served with poached eggs, pasta, or even in a prosciutto. This is a staple vegetable in French, British, and Italian cuisines, but it is for everyone.
Time for a diet plan with healthy gut food?
Indeed, there’s an increasing number of research highlighting the role the gut plays in a person’s well-being and health. This alone should be a reason enough to start eating healthily.
Pay attention to your gut and enjoy the correlation it has in making you better and healthier. Bacteria and microbes can be beneficial to your body for as long as you cultivate them properly. You know what they say – you are what you eat, and this is true with your gut, too.
Start incorporating these superfoods in your diet. Gradually, you’ll find that adding each healthy gut food in your meals will train your body with proper nutrition. There’s no one-size-fits-all diet plan but you’re the best person to know what your gut needs. Seek help from licensed dietitians and nutritionists to be guided accordingly.
You can simply alter the state of your microbes, based on what you eat, so be cautious! Eat the right kinds of food for your microbes! Your diet is responsible for feeding trillions of bacteria that reside in your gut. Thus, improving your nutrition will do your gut health a big favor.