Who knew that you could eat your way to a healthier gut? Improve your digestion and heal your gut with our list of the 3 best foods for gut health.
Struggling with bloating, constipation, or tummy pain? Your gut might be out of whack. Before popping pills, consider changing your diet and eating habits.
Some foods keep your digestive system running smoothly and feed the good bacteria residing in your gut. Others have the opposite effect. Simple dietary changes, such as filling up on fiber and cutting out sugar, can make all the difference.
So what should you eat to enjoy better digestion and function at your peak? Let’s cut to the chase and see the best foods for gut health!
Fill Up on Fermented Foods
When was the last time you ate sauerkraut, kimchi, natto, or pickles? If you can’t remember, it’s time to do it more often.
Fermented rich are rich in probiotics. These live microorganisms help restore the gut flora and support digestive health. They may also help relieve diarrhea and constipation, improve mental health, and boost immune function.
To reap the benefits, serve pickles, natto, or sauerkraut as a side dish. Replace your go-to snacks with yogurt or kefir. Kombucha, a fermented drink, may help too.
Add Prebiotics to Your Diet
As mentioned above, probiotics are beneficial bacteria that colonize the digestive tract. Prebiotics, on the other hand, feed the good bacteria living in your gut.
Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are all excellent sources of prebiotics. Chicory root, for example, contains inulin, a prebiotic fiber that keeps you regular and protects against diabetes.
Garlic is considered a natural prebiotic as well. This spice promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria and may help prevent certain digestive disorders.
Make sure your diet also includes leeks, onions, barley, bananas, oats, and apples. These foods are chock-full of prebiotics and help increase the friendly bacteria in your gut.
Eat Iodine-Rich Foods for a Healthy Gut
Kelp, nori, shrimps, eggs, and beans are all loaded with iodine. This mineral supports thyroid function, which in turn, may help improve gut health and relieve constipation.
Dr. Todd Watts from Microbe Formulas explains that chronic constipation can be a symptom that is indicative of an individual who has a deficient amount of iodine in their body. Recent studies indicate a mutual relationship between thyroid function and gut health.
One way to keep your thyroid — and your gut — functioning optimally is to fill up on iodine-rich foods. This mineral occurs naturally in seaweed, yogurt, seafood, tuna, and iodized salt.
Cod, for example, provides more than 65 percent of the daily recommended iodine intake per serving. A single cup of low-fat yogurt boasts half of the daily recommended allowance for this mineral.
If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, eat plenty of seaweed, green peas, dried prunes, and lima beans.
Discover the Best Foods for Gut Health
These are just a few of the best foods for gut health. The key is to keep your diet varied and cut back on processed foods. Fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and low-fat dairy should come first on your list.
Experiment in the kitchen with new foods and spices. Choose whole grains over breakfast cereals, eat your veggies, and kick the sugar. These small changes can lead to a healthier gut and protect against digestive disorders.
Interested to find out more? Browse the rest of our blog to see what it takes to restore your gut flora and enjoy optimal health!