Gut Health: Foods To Eat And Avoid To Keep Your Gut Naturally Healthy
Here is a list of foods that you should consume for a healthy gut. Including these foods in your regular diet will ensure a significant decrease in gastrointestinal issues.
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If you want to be safe from digestive and inflammatory ailments, your gut should always be healthy. The gut comprises a group of digestive organs namely the mouth, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, small intestine, colon, and rectum. A healthy diet can promote the growth of good bacteria in these organs and help break down the food easily for smooth digestion and better absorption of nutrients by the body. But keeping the gut health takes attention and planning. Junk foods, dense and sugar-rich foods and those that cause an inflammatory response in the body can lead to poor gut health. Research shows that gut health is, to a large extent, connected to the overall health and wellness of the body. A healthy gut is usually a sign of a healthy body, where organs work well, and the load on the system is minimal. Weight and other lifestyle diseases also seem to be under control when you have a healthy gut. Some foods help the gut flora remain healthy, others may do exactly the opposite.
Table of Contents
Here are some foods that you should consume for a healthy gut:
When you include these foods in your regular diet, you will notice a visible reduction in problems such as irregular bowel movements, gas, bloating and other gastrointestinal disorders.
Foods For A Healthy Gut
You will be surprised to know that the tasty pineapple contains an excellent enzyme known as bromelain. This plays a big role in breaking down foods into small molecules to make it easy for the body to digest the same. Most of the times, it is the inflammatory enzymes known as cytokines that damage the gut lining and cause problems for you.
However, the bromelain present in pineapple helps your body to secrete less of this enzyme. Therefore, inflammation to the gut lining can be reduced considerably when you eat pineapples regularly.
Raw garlic is a rich source of a compound known as inulin, which promotes the growth of good bacteria in your gut. It is a pre-biotic food that is loaded with essential nutrients such as manganese, selenium, Vitamins C& B6 and allicin. Studies have proved that allicin is very effective in fighting against diseases.
One of the natural home remedies to get rid of a disturbing stomach or common ailments such as cold & flu or any other type of inflammation is to chew a piece of garlic on an empty stomach every morning. Thanks to the disease-fighting compounds present in garlic, you will find immense relief from your gut problems.
3. Bone Broth
If you are looking for a comfort-food that eases your digestive system and can be prepared easily at home, bone broth is a good choice. It is packed with nutrients that soothe your digestive system and help it to fight against all types of inflammation.
Bone broth is rich in compounds such as gelatin and collagen, which are known for their healing characteristics. Also, the amino acids such as glutamine, arginine, and proline present in bone broth help safeguard the gut lining from infections and inflammations. Thanks to these compounds, the lining of your gut is strengthened, thereby improving your immunity to a great extent.
Also Read: Best And Worst Foods For Digestion
You might have noticed that your mother or grandmother would ask you to chew a piece of ginger when you have problems such as gas, bloating and indigestion problems. Have you ever wondered why? Ginger is an essential spice used in most of the Ayurvedic medicines for its healing and anti-inflammatory properties.
Ginger is a rich source of Vitamin C, an element that is important for your overall immunity system. It is also packed with other nutrients such as manganese, potassium, copper, magnesium and more. Eat a piece of raw ginger on an empty stomach every morning to find a visible improvement in your gut ailments. You can also drink ginger-flavored teas for best results.
When you want to keep your gut healthy, you have to include a lot of probiotics in your daily diet. Asparagus is one of the best foods you should consume to promote the growth of healthy bacteria such as lactobacilli and bifidobacteria in your gut. This is because it is a rich source of inulin, the indigestible fiber that protects your gut from inflammations. It is also packed with Vitamin B and immunity-boosting antioxidants, which makes it a must-eat food for good gut health.
If you are a fitness fanatic, you might be familiar with this name. For those of you who don’t know what this means, it is nothing but fermented, sour cabbage. White cabbage, when fermented, becomes an excellent source of fiber and good bacteria that helps to keep the gut healthy.
Thanks to the increased awareness of people today, sauerkraut is more commonly available in supermarkets today than it was a few years ago. Including this in your daily diet will keep you free from digestive ailments, bloating, the formation of gas, etc.
Did you know that the onion, which you use in your everyday cooking, is one of the best foods for keeping your gut healthy and active? It is prebiotic and contains a large quantity of a potent antioxidant known as quercetin, which keeps your gut safe from the oxidative stress caused by free radicals.
Apart from this, raw onion is also a rich source of chromium and Vitamin C. While chromium helps in boosting insulin production, Vitamin C helps in boosting your overall immunity system. Eating a slice of raw onion on an empty stomach may result in bad odor, but it is one of the effective remedies to get rid of problems related to indigestion.
Apple cider vinegar is a magical ingredient that helps in many ways such as boosting immunity, reducing weight, preventing digestive problems, keeping inflammations at bay, etc. ACV is known for its antimicrobial, anti-fungal and anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Therefore, it reduces the yeast content in the human body, which, in turn, reduces the inflammations in the gastrointestinal tract. It also helps the body to secrete digestive diseases and aids the digestion.
Miso is a food item that is made from fermented soybeans. Commonly used in Japanese cuisine, Miso is now available in almost all parts of the world because of its goodness. Apart from fermented soybeans, you will also find rice or barley in this item, which makes it a filling dish. It is filled with nutrients that help in the secretion of digestion juices and the promotion of good bacteria in the gut area.
Though Kimchi is a Korean dish, it is popular in many countries today because of its nutrients. Kimchi is made from fermented vegetables, which help produce live probiotic cultures that promote the good bacterial growth in the gut and keep it healthy. Thanks to the huge presence of vegetables in it, Kimchi is also an excellent source of fiber and antioxidants; therefore, you can include it in your regular diet for boosting your overall immunity against infections.
Almonds help in improving your gut health because they are rich in polyphenols and omega-3 fatty acids. They are also rich in fiber, which helps in improving your overall digestive health. It is highly recommended that you eat soaked almonds on an empty stomach for your body to absorb all the nutrients that these nuts have to offer you.
12. Brussel Sprouts
Brussel Sprouts are not only tasty but very healthy as well. Include these in your salads regularly to get immense relief from many kinds of ailments. The sulfur compounds present in these sprouts help to fight against the toxic H Pylori bacteria in the gut, thereby keeping it healthy at all times.
Before trying foods to improve the overall health of your gut, always get yourself tested for food allergies if any. This will help you understand what foods would suit you and which ones won’t. Food allergies can worsen your already existing digestive problems; therefore, it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to maintaining a healthy body.
While trying out one or more of the foods mentioned above, always opt for fresh foods only. Processed or refined or canned foods are devoid of the nutrients that we have spoken about in the above sections.
1.What can I do to improve gut health?
- Follow a high fiber diet.
- Limit high fat foods.
- Take more probiotics.
- Stay hydrated.
- Eat more lean meats.
- Skip alcohol, nicotine, excessive caffeine, etc.
2. What are the symptoms of an unhealthy gut?
- The symptoms of an unhealthy gut include-
- Upset stomach- gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, etc.
- Skin irritation- conditions like eczema.
- Sleeping problems- serotonin is a hormone that helps improve mood and sleep. This hormone is produced in the gut and the production is effected when gut is unhealthy.
- Unintentional weight loss/gain.
- Constant fatigue.
3. Are pickles good for gut health?
Fermented pickles like sauerkraut and kimchi can act as probiotics and support the growth of good bacteria in the gut. These bacteria help in the digestion and absorption of food and its nutrients.
4. What are the worst foods for gut health?
Fried foods are bad for gut health. You can replace these with baked food if necessary.
Food items that are laden with artificial sugars or fructose are very bad for gut health in the long run.
Eating large amounts of food that is very spicy can also ruin gut health.
5. Does fasting effect gut health?
Intermittent fasting can actually help your gut. It gives your gut a much-needed break from continuous digestion. This leads to a better performing gut later on.