You probably won’t be surprised to hear that following a healthy diet is integral to your gut health. Even the slightest changes to your meal plan can make a big difference, so it’s undoubtedly worth thinking carefully about your food intake. Below, we introduce some foods that can enhance your gut health, as well as a few recipes that you can put to the test in the kitchen.
Understanding gut health
More than 1,000 species of bacteria live in your gut microbiome. Each of them contributes to your overall health and wellbeing, and the food and drink that you consume all influence the functionality of your microbiome. This is important because your gut microbiome is directly linked to mood, mental health, and immunity, which means that your gut health can impact essentially all aspects of your general wellbeing.
Which foods contribute to a healthy gut?
Diversity is key to a healthy gut microbiome. Therefore, following a diverse diet with a range of vitamins and nutrients is just what your gut needs to thrive. The most important nutrient for your gut is fibre, which can be found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and practically all plant-based foods. Instead of sticking to the same old broccoli and carrots each day, try and mix things up as far as your five a day are concerned. A healthy gut microbiome ensures your digestive tract works as it should and means you’re less likely to fall foul of conditions such as IBS. Some of the following foods will help to boost your microbiome:
Foods such as natural yoghurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, and kefir all contain live bacteria that create a healthy gut microbiome. You can buy fermented foods from your local supermarket, or you can work on your own recipes from home.
You can think of prebiotics as a fertiliser for your gut microbiome. Prebiotic foods are a source of fibre that feed your microbiome and stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria. Fruit and vegetables like asparagus, bananas, legumes, onions, and barley are all great prebiotic sources to add to your diet.
While prebiotics and fermented foods are vital for your gut health, they’re not the only foods that can have a positive impact on your microbiome. Others include:
- Fibre: Serving as the roughage within your gut, fibre makes sure that your bowel movements are consistent and is essential for your general digestion.
- Omega 3: The likes of sardines, salmon, and mackerel all contain omega-3, which provides your gut with essential, healthy fats.
- Polyphenols: Prevalent in green tea, red wine, olive oil, and berries, polyphenols is a plant compound that has antioxidant benefits and helps gut health in numerous ways.
Easy gut recipes to try
Incorporating the right foods into your diet is the best way to improve your overall gut health. As a rule of thumb, you should aim for around thirty different plant-based foods every week to boost your gut health. Here are some ideas to try at home:
- Breakfast: Boost your intake of fibre and probiotics in the morning, as well as fermented foods. For instance, a plain yoghurt with chopped bananas or porridge with berries is an excellent way to start the day.
- Lunch: For something easy on the gut, smashed avocado on toast works really well at lunchtime. To further boost its gut health benefits, switch to wholegrain bread and serve it with a side of sauerkraut.
- Dinner: In the evening, try and include as many plant-based foods on your plate as you can. Consider replacing some of your meat with lentils, and serve up a side dish of mixed vegetables. You can even bake chickpeas in olive oil for a crunchy side option that is packed full of benefits for your gut.
Boost your gut health today
As well as choosing the right foods, Sons’ live bacteria supplements provide your gut with an additional daily boost. Learn the science behind a healthy gut and take your first steps towards improving your general health and wellbeing today.