5 Foods You Should Eat to Boost Your Gut Health

5 Foods You Should Eat to Boost Your Gut Health

There are trillions of bacteria living in your gut. Most of these are good for you and help your body digest food, synthesize vitamins, and fight off harmful invaders. However, we tend to live very sanitized lives these days, which can be bad for our guts. Research shows that the rise of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is closely linked to reduced exposure to beneficial microbes like those found in fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, and yogurt. Eating the right foods can boost your gut health and help keep harmful pathogens at bay. Try incorporating these 5 gut-healthy foods into your diet on a daily basis to improve your digestive health!

Bone Broth

Bone broth is a traditional dietary staple that has been shown to boost gut health in a number of ways. First, it’s rich in collagen, an amino acid that can help improve gut lining health and reduce intestinal permeability (aka leaky gut). In one study, people with an impaired ability to digest fats and carbs had reduced symptoms when drinking bone broth regularly compared to a group taking a placebo. Bone broth is also rich in minerals like calcium that can play a role in regulating healthy gut microbiome populations. Finally, bone broth contains nucleotidases, an enzyme that can help boost your body’s ability to synthesize adenosine triphosphate (ATP) — the source of energy your cells need to function.

Fermented Foods

Fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, and kefir are rich in probiotics, beneficial bacteria that can reduce inflammation and improve digestion. In particular, kimchi and sauerkraut are extremely high in probiotics, and kefir also has good amounts. Probiotics can help boost your immune system and keep harmful pathogens at bay, regulate blood sugar, and improve insulin sensitivity. You can also use probiotic supplements, but they aren’t as potent as naturally fermented foods. Studies have shown that regularly eating fermented foods can improve gut health in as little as one week.

Beans & Lentils

Beans and lentils are rich in soluble fiber, which binds with certain nutrients and helps promote their excretion from your body. As a result, beans can help lower blood sugar and insulin levels, which could improve your gut health over time. In particular, soybeans, red kidney beans, black beans, and lentils are particularly high in fiber. Beans are also rich in a type of fiber called lignin, which can help strengthen your gut lining and keep pathogens at bay. Eating beans on a regular basis has been linked to a lower risk of developing inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Dark Leafy Greens

Dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are rich in vitamins and minerals that can help balance your gut microbiome. In particular, these greens are high in vitamin K, which has been linked to a reduced risk of inflammatory bowel diseases. Vitamin K can help promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut, whereas pathogenic bacteria are less likely to grow in the presence of this vitamin. Dark leafy greens are also rich in vitamin A, which plays a role in immune system health and could help mitigate the risk of inflammatory bowel diseases. Quercetin supplements are great alternatives to take when time-poor and unable to incorporate veggies on a consistent basis.

Healthy Fats

Healthy fats like avocados, coconut oil, nuts, and fish are great for your gut health. DHA and EPA, two omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, can help reduce inflammation in the gut. Nuts are rich in vitamin E, which can help regulate certain bodily processes and protect against oxidative stress. Avocados are rich in vitamin B6, which helps your body synthesize serotonin, a hormone that regulates mood and digestion. That’s not all: Healthy fats can also improve your digestion by slowing down the movement of food through your intestines, which can help regulate blood sugar levels and keep you feeling fuller longer.

Conclusion

What’s the connection between gut health and your mental health? Well, when you eat high-quality foods that support your gut health, you’re also eating foods that promote serotonin production, which can help regulate your mood and make you feel happier. Eating the right foods can boost your gut health and help keep harmful pathogens at bay. Try incorporating these 5 gut-healthy foods into your diet on a daily basis to improve your digestive health!

 

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