Confused about what to eat and what not to eat for a good gut health?
With so much information online about healthy eating, it can be tricky to be sure about what’s best for a healthy gut. Here are some food suggestions to assist you in having a healthy gut.
Healthy gut foods:
1. Yoghurt: Live yoghurt is an excellent source of so-called friendly bacteria, also known as probiotics. Look out for sugar-free, full-fat versions and add your own fruit for a tasty breakfast. Yoghurt drinks can contain high numbers of bacteria that are good for the gut, far more than you would find in a normal yoghurt. Do be mindful though as they can have a high sugar content.
2. Sauerkraut: This is finely chopped cabbage that has been fermented. This great source of probiotics, fibre and vitamins is best known as a German dish, but versions exist in Eastern and Central Europe. Choose a product that has not been pickled in vinegar, as that doesn’t have the same benefits. It’s delicious served with sausages, and can be cheap and easy to make at home.
3. Sourdough: This is very fashionable at the moment, but there’s a good reason for that. Made by fermenting the dough, it’s more digestible than regular bread and its energy releases slowly. It makes fantastic toast too.
4. Almonds: These have good probiotic properties, which means they are a treat for your gut bacteria – high in fibre, and full of fatty acids and polyphenols. A handful of almonds makes an excellent snack when you’re feeling peckish.
5. Olive oil: Gut bacteria and microbes like a diet of fatty acids and polyphenols. These are found in olive oil. Studies have shown that it helps reduce gut inflammation. Use it for salad dressing or drizzle it over cooked vegetables. Some studies have also found olive oil to be beneficial in easing indigestion problems and can also benefit your pancreas through lowering its requirement to produce digestive enzymes.
6. Peas: Gut bacteria need fibre to flourish, so the more fruit and vegetables you consume the better. Peas are full of soluble and insoluble fibre to help keep your system in balance. Add peas to stir-fries, soups or salads.
7. Brussels sprouts: Much more than a festive staple, they contain the kinds of fibre that good bacteria like and sulphur compounds which help combat unhealthy bacteria such as H pylori. Stir-fry with garlic and bacon for a delicious side dish.
8. Bananas: One of nature’s handiest and healthiest snacks, bananas are full of the kind of fibre that good bacteria enjoy. They also contain healthy minerals and help you feel fuller for longer.
9. Roquefort cheese: Live, runny, smelly French cheese will give your gut bacteria a boost – but it’s important to eat it in moderation. Add it to salads or spread it on your sourdough. Whilst we cannot be ensured that all of the bacteria survive digestion to be beneficial it is believed that other properties help preserve some bacteria during digestion.
10. Garlic: Garlic, with its antibacterial and antifungal properties, can help keep “bad” gut bacteria under control and help balance yeast in the gut. Use it as a flavouring for savoury dishes. The properties within garlic act as a fuel source to allow the bacteria to do their job better which overall improves gut function.
11. Ginger: Fresh ginger can help in the production of stomach acid and it stimulates the digestive system to keep food moving through the gut. Add fresh grated ginger to soups, stews, smoothies or stir-fries. Pour boiling water on grated ginger to make refreshing ginger tea.
Source: KK Publishers