Balanced nutrition is vital for supplying your digestive system with the proper nutrients. Certain foods (mostly processed, high sugar) allow bad bacteria to thrive, throwing off gut health. A diet packed with vegetables, fruit, beans, lean protein, and legumes can provide the essential vitamins your body needs.
Whole grains provide lots of fiber and added nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids. Healthy options include: whole oats, spelt, bulgar, millet, and barley.
Greens are rich in folate, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, and more. Leafy greens help to optimize the ideal gut microbiome environment. Examples include spinach, kale, brussels sprouts, collard greens, and romaine.
Eat More Fiber
If you don’t get enough fiber in your diet, your intestines won’t have enough bulk to work the muscles of the intestines to push things along in a timely fashion. This can result in constipation, or even worse.
Insoluble and soluble fibers undergo fermentation in the large intestine, which means they act as a food source for intestinal bacteria. The bacteria thrive and produce certain gases and acids that stimulate good bacteria production, manage blood glucose levels, support immune health, and more. It’s very important to add enough fermentable fiber to your diet to make your gut bacteria happy. Good thing is, you have lots of choices:
- Chicory root
- Jerusalem artichoke
- Dandelion greens
Extra Support For Gut Health
Take Probiotics & Probiotic-Rich Foods
Fermented foods are made through the growth and metabolic activity of a variety of live cultures. Many of these foods are rich sources of live and potentially beneficial bacteria.
A natural probiotic, yogurt, is a fermented dairy product that is full of healthy, beneficial bacteria. Note, however, that the yogurt container label should say that live organisms are present. It should also be free from added sugars and made from whole milk.
In addition to yogurt and kefir, there are many other probiotic-rich, fermented foods that can help your digestion by replenishing your gut’s healthy bacteria. They include: apple cider vinegar, sauerkraut, kombucha, kimchi, miso, natto – actually, any vegetable can be fermented and eaten. Many of these foods are also rich in lactobacilli, a friendly bacteria located in the gut.
Don’t Forget Prebiotics
Garlic and onions are not only fantastic anti-candida foods, but are also considered to be prebiotics because they serve as food for the beneficial bacteria (probiotics) that keep your microbiome happy. Additional prebiotic-rich foods include plantains, green bananas, asparagus, and legumes.
A diverse microbiome is a thriving one
An active lifestyle including a balanced diet and stress management makes up the foundation of good gut health to ensure your body functions at its best all year round. Add probiotic-rich foods to meals when you can, while focusing on removing and replacing harmful foods. Eating a wide range of whole foods can support the hundreds of species of bacteria in the intestines and populate the microbiome with diverse microbial cells to support digestive health and comfort.