“Your gut is your second brain.”
If you’ve been exploring ways to strengthen your gut, you may have come across this narrative. Yes, it sounds strange. After all, your gut doesn’t regulate your thoughts, feelings, emotions, or movement.
Simply put, your gut and brain constantly communicate, even when you sleep. It’s not actually the gut, but the enteric nervous system that regulates the gut is called the body’s “second brain.”
So, what does the gut do? It breaks down food, absorbs nutrients, and supports your immune function. A healthy gut is responsible for smooth digestion, better mood, and glowy skin.
Unfortunately, around two-thirds of Americans have gut issues that are directly associated with autoimmune disorders and poor quality of life. If you don’t want to be a part of this group, you must maintain a healthy gut system.
Let’s explore some of the best foods for a healthy gut to stay on top of your health.
Why Is a Healthy Gut System Important?
Your gut has microorganisms and bacteria known as gut microbiome. They help break down food, converting it into nutrients essential for your gut’s health.
Gut health is directly linked to your immune system, autoimmune system, heart, sleep, and digestion. An unhealthy gut can cause stress, poor sleep, bloating, fatigue, and a common cold. You may also experience symptoms like heartburn, diarrhea, and anxiety.
Therefore, it makes sense to keep your gut healthy and happy. Gut bacteria are primarily influenced by what you consume, and the right food fuels your gut microbiome.
Your diet must include some powerfoods that fight allergies and inflammation, protect your gut, and keep it healthy and nourished.
11 Best Foods for a Healthy Gut
Are you looking for the best food for your gut? If yes, know there is a range of sources that you can consume to keep your body’s system well and fit.
Let’s explore 11 nutritious foods for a healthy gut:
Yogurt is high in calcium, vitamins, proteins, and probiotics, making it one of the best foods for a healthy gut.
The best type of yogurt to strengthen your gut is Kefir. It is made of fermented milk and contains lots of good bacteria. For better results, get a sugar-free version of Kefir with full fat.
If you’re a yogurt lover, the good thing is that you can consume it daily to improve your gut health. In fact, you can also add fresh fruits to your bowl for a colorful and tasty delight.
The best time to consume yogurt is first thing in the morning.
- Miso Soup
Miso is a Japanese seasoning made with fermenting salt, soybeans, and a fungus, Aspergillus oryzae. The miso soup is rich in probiotics that keep your digestive system issues at bay.
This food for a healthy gut consists of dashi stock flavored with miso paste. For flavor, you can also add green onions and tofu.
If you want to follow an excellent gut diet, we recommend eating miso soup at least three times a week, and the ideal time is dinner.
Nothing can go wrong with bananas. When looking for the best foods for your gut health, always pick these low-fructose fruits. They have a high fiber content and inulin, a substance that enhances the growth of your gut’s good bacteria.
Bananas are also an incredible source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, and fiber. Fiber, most importantly, is food for the good bacteria in your gut.
You can add bananas to your salads or eat them raw — it’s your choice. However, don’t exceed the daily dosage of two bananas. As yummy as they are, they can lead to significant weight gain.
Here is another gut-friendly fruit. Have you heard the phrase, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”? Well, there is some truth to it, especially regarding your gut.
Apples are packed with antioxidants and soluble fiber. These nutrients collaborate to lower the risk of health problems, especially those related to the heart and digestive system. Not only the fruit itself but also its peels are rich in antioxidants.
Apples also contain pectin, a fiber that works as a probiotic in your body. When consumed, pectin reaches your colon to ensure an incredible growth of good bacteria.
Having two apples daily works wonders as long as you also eat the peel. You can consume it anytime in the day.
- Leafy Greens
As you may have guessed, fiber is super important for your gut health. So, how could we exclude leafy greens from this list?
Leafy greens, such as kale and spinach, are incredible sources of fiber and vitamins A, C, and K. These nutrients fuel your gut’s good bacteria, promoting a healthy gut system.
You can consume your favorite leafy greens in many ways. For instance, you can add them to your juices, make soups, or include them in your salads. These veggies taste incredible, anyway!
- Whole Grains
Your gut also needs whole grains to ensure optimal gut and colon functioning. These are the best foods for a healthy gut due to their high fiber and omega-3 fatty acid content.
Some examples of whole-grain foods are:
- Red rice
- Black rice
- Brown rice
If you’re a pasta lover, there is no need to eliminate the only joy in your life to make your gut happy. Instead, replace the refined pasta with whole-grain pasta. Whole-grain pasta is more nutritious and beneficial for your gut health.
Similarly, you can choose brown rice and bread instead of refined ones.
Good news for kimchi lovers: your favorite food is super healthy for our gut!
Kimchi is an excellent probiotic because it is a fermented food. The infamous bacteria lactobacilli, found in most dairy products and yogurt, is also present in this food.
Kimchi also contains lots of vitamins and antioxidants for optimum gut health. So, enjoy it as a side dish or eat it with a bed of rice. Its flavorful ingredients will add a unique touch to every meal.
Almonds save us every time we have an urge to munch something. Unlike your favorite bag of chips, almonds are rich in fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium.
Regarding good digestion, soaked almonds are much better than roasted or raw ones. They are softer and much easier to chew, making it easy for your digestive system to break them down.
Besides everyone’s favorite green vegetable, peas are incredibly rich in vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants, making them one of the best foods for a healthy gut.
Peas also contain a balanced combination of soluble and insoluble fiber. However, it is crucial to keep your portion size reasonable. Around ⅓ to ½ cup of green peas at a time are ideal.
Peas go amazingly with salad, rice, pasta, and even toast. Ensure you eat them fully cooked because raw peas have high antinutrient values, which can cause discomfort in your gut.
Garlic has antifungal and antibacterial properties, making it an excellent food for your gut. It helps control harmful bacteria while balancing the yeast in your body.
Raw garlic in your diet can benefit your intestines by reducing unnecessary inflammation. It can also help you get rid of intestinal worms.
It also works as a probiotic in your gut. It feeds the good bacteria so it can grow to improve your digestion.
You can consume raw garlic with honey using a spoon. If the taste is too empowering for your taste buds, add a few cloves in warm water and reap its benefits.
Ginger is the final addition to this foods for a healthy gut list. Not only does ginger taste great, but it also improves your gut performance.
It is known to soothe the gut lining by increasing the presence of prostaglandins, a hormone-like substance. Prostaglandins fight against any inflammation while elevating the growth of good bacteria in your gut.
The healthiest way to consume ginger is raw. You can also add it to lukewarm water or eat it with your food. Ginger is also a great ingredient in soups and stews.
Having a healthy gut is a blessing. It not only keeps your physical state balanced but also impacts your mental health.
If you often face gut problems, such as inflammation or pain, take strict measures and add the above foods to your diet before your condition worsens.
Start with consuming small portions of each once or twice a week before finally increasing the intake frequency. Be consistent with your gut diet plan, so it pays you back with good results.