Best Foods To Eat For Gut Health

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Bananas: One Of The Most Popular Foods In The World

Best Foods For Gut Health | Dr. Will Bulsiewicz Live Q& A on The Exam Room

This popular and versatile fruit is brilliant at restoring harmony in your guts ecosystem.

Bananas are also heavy in potassium and magnesium, which can aid against inflammation. A 2011 study in the journal Anaerobe even showed that bananas can reduce bloating and help support release of excess weight.

So slice some on your cereal, blend them in a smoothie, or keep them on hand for midday snack attacks.

Follow These 5 Steps To Improve Your Gut Health

Given that we all want to live long, vibrant lives, lets dive into simple ways to improve your gut microbiome.

  • Eat foods for gut health. Specifically, a diverse diet thats rich in whole foods and antioxidants. A diet consisting of different food types can lead to a more diverse microbiome, which is beneficial for your health.
  • Prioritize the Mediterranean diet. There are a variety of reasons to eat like the Mediterraneans do, but mainly because of the emphasis on vegetables, fruits, beans, and legumes. These are high-fiber, gut-friendly foods that promote the growth of beneficial bacteria. Eating a range of fresh, whole foods, mainly from plant sources, is shown to improve gut health.
  • Choose fermented foods. Fermented foods , like plain yogurt, kimchi, and tempeh can benefit the microbiome. They enhance its function and reduce the abundance of disease-causing bacteria in the intestines.
  • Add in prebiotics. Many fruits, vegetables, and whole grains contain prebiotics, but they can also be found on their own. Resistant starch can also be a prebiotic. If eating an unripe banana sounds unappetizing, you can also benefit from prebiotics by eating cooked and cooled potatoes and rice. The cooling turns some of the digestible starches into resistant starches.
  • Increase your intake of probiotics. One of the most powerful ways? Take a probiotic supplement.
  • The Role Of Probiotics

    If microbiota are so vital to our health, how can we ensure that we have enough or the right types? You may be familiar with probiotics or perhaps already using them. These are either foods that naturally contain microbiota, or supplement pills that contain live active bacteriaadvertised to promote digestive health. Probiotic supplement sales exceeded $35 billion in 2015, with a projected increase to $65 billion by 2024. Whether you believe the health claims or think they are yet another snake oil scam, they make up a multi-billion dollar industry that is evolving in tandem with quickly emerging research.

    Because probiotics fall under the category of supplements and not food, they are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S. This means that unless the supplement company voluntarily discloses information on quality, such as carrying the USP seal that provides standards for quality and purity, a probiotic pill may not contain the amounts listed on the label or even guarantee that the bacteria are alive and active at the time of use.

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    Layer In Fermented Foods

    Try to eat fermented foods that contain “live active cultures”, such as plain yogurt, kefir, kombucha, or sauerkraut.

    Yogurt and kefir are great gut-healthy options for breakfast or a snack throughout the day, as you can add some variety with granola or fresh fruit! You can also use fermented foods as a condiment, like topping off a delicious Asian-inspired bowl with kimchi or adding pickles to a delicious burger!

    Why Gut Health Is Important For Your Body And Your Mind

    HEALTHY GUT, HEALTHY LIFE

    The gut is composed of a whole host of microbes that affect your physiology and keep your body and brain functioning as they should.

    As studies tell us, these gut microbes affect the way you store fat, how you balance levels of glucose in your blood, and how you respond to hormones that make you feel hungry or satiated.

    The wrong internal mix can set the stage for obesity and other health issues later in life.

    Scientists have also found that gut bacteria produce neurotransmitters that regulate your mood including serotonin, dopamine, and GABA.

    Researchers have also discovered that a nervous system in your gut communicates with the brain in your head. It also plays a role in certain diseases and in mental health.

    In other words, the wellness of both your body and your brain depend on your gut health.

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    Which Probiotic Supplements Are Best

    There are thousands of probiotic products on the market, with each company claiming theirs is best. Scan the supplement aisle at your local grocer and youre likely to be overwhelmed with options.

    If you decide to take a probiotic supplement, here are four factors to look at when you shop:

  • Price. Probiotics vary widely in price, and why spend more than you need to?
  • CFUs . This the total count of all of the bacteria in the probiotic. Theres a wide range here, with brands offering anywhere from 1 billion to 100 billion CFUs per dose. The bigger the number, the more beneficial bacteria you get.
  • Strains. The total number of different types of bacteria in each probiotic varies greatly, and diversity is good. Every expert has a favorite combination, but the reality is that science knows very little about how the various strains interact with the human body. A broad spectrum of different kinds is likely to give you the best chances for success.
  • Expiration Date. Some probiotic supplements get so old that they are literally dead by the time they reach the consumer. Check expiration dates to be sure the product isnt expired.
  • Mood And Brain Function

    The health of your gut microbiome impacts cognitive function and mood. This is down to a two-way relationship between the gut and the brain known as the gut-brain axis.

    Bacteria in the gut modulates the activity of various chemicals in the brain, known as neurotransmitters. For example, its estimated that 90% of the happy hormone, serotonin, is made in the gut,

    Isabel explainsResearch shows that individuals suffering with anxiety, depression and autism tend to have greater imbalance in their gut, with more negative bacteria than positive, compared to healthy individuals.

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    Ways To Improve Your Gut Bacteria Based On Science

    There are around 40 trillion bacteria in your body, most of which are found in your gut.

    Collectively, they are known as your gut microbiome, and theyre incredibly important for overall health. However, certain types of bacteria in your intestines can also contribute to many diseases.

    Many factors, including the foods you eat, can impact the type of bacteria found in your digestive tract.

    Here are 9 science-based ways to improve your gut bacteria.

    Ease Indigestion With Stomach

    The BEST Foods At Costco For GUT HEALTH

    Soothing, aromatic peppermint may help ease indigestion as well as some symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, making it a go-to natural treatment for gastroenterologists.

    Its inexpensive, nonaddictive with little to no side-effects, and its highly effective, says Brian Lacy, MD, a gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida.

    Peppermint oil can be included in many recipes or even tea, but more often is taken as a coated supplement, which allows it to pass into the digestive tract without causing heartburn, according to the National Center of Complementary and Integrative Health. Digestion tip: Taking peppermint oil for at least four weeks has been shown to significantly reduce IBS symptoms. It appears to work as an antispasmodic, smoothing out and relaxing the bowels, according to a study published in 2020 in Gastroenterology.

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    Easy To Enjoy And Make At Home

    Water kefir is incredibly flavorful, making it easy to take advantage of the multitude of health benefits this beverage provides.

    The taste can vary based on many factors but is often described as slightly sweet with a bit of a flat aftertaste.

    To make it yourself, combine 1/2 cup of hot water with 1/4 cup of sugar in a jar and swirl the mixture together to dissolve.

    Next, add about 3 cups of room-temperature water to the jar, along with your water kefir grains.

    Cover and place the jar in a warm area with a temperature around 6885°F and let it ferment for 2448 hours.

    The water kefir grains can then be separated from the mixture and added to a new batch of sugar water, while the completed product is ready for you to enjoy.

    You can drink water kefir as is or experiment with different flavorings like vanilla extract, fruit juice, frozen fruit or mint leaves for a refreshing and tasty treat.

    Summary

    Water kefir is easy to make at home and can be flavored with a variety of ingredients.

    Flaxseed: A Tiny But Tremendous Seed For Your Gut

    Thanks to its wealth of phytonutrient precursors, this powerhouse seed creates the highest content of lignans of all foods used for human consumption. Flaxseed fuels your good gut flora.

    These seeds contain soluble fiber and can help improve digestive regularity.

    Eat ground flaxseed sprinkled on smoothie bowls or salads. But be sure to choose freshly ground flaxseed or to grind it fresh yourself because whole flax seeds pass through your body without being digested.

    Also, know that flaxseed goes rancid quickly. Buying whole seeds and grinding them in small batches yourself as well as storing them in the fridge or freezer is best.

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    Foods That Are Good For Gut Health

    Adding them to your diet can bring relief for digestive woes

    Whether stomach problems such as bloating, constipation, and gas cause you distress regularly or are just an occasional nuisance, youre probably eager to get rid of them.

    Like many other people, you may be tempted to try one of the growing number of foods and dietary supplements whose labels claim they will improve gut health. In 2019, U.S. consumers spent around $5.1 billion on digestive-health products such as antacids, laxatives, antidiarrheals, and other stomach remedies, and that figure is projected to increase, according to the market research firm Mintel.

    But supplements aren’t necessarily the best way to go. With whole foods, the body is better able to absorb and utilize their ingredients, says Kristi King, R.D., a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Man-made versions can be harder to digest.

    Another factor to think about: Supplements are not well-regulated. “That means you cant know for sure if they contain exactly whats on the label,” points out Ellen Klosz, a Consumer Reports nutritionist. “They might even have an ingredient that conflicts with a medication you need to take.” Plus, whole foods contain other nutrients that help with digestive and overall health.

    Tempeh: A Traditional Soy Product Thats Been Eaten For Hundreds Of Years

    Best Foods For Digestive Health

    This fermented soy food is becoming easier to find these days, with more and more eateries offering it on their menus and more stores stocking it on shelves.

    A 2014 study in the Polish Journal of Microbiology showed that this popular protein can increase healthy bacteria, including Lactobacillus.

    Try eating tempeh on sandwiches, in salads, or as a plant-based bacon alternative. Unlike most fermented foods, however, tempeh should be thoroughly cooked before you eat it. And most people find that it needs a lot of seasonings to taste good because plain tempeh can be a bit bitter and very bland.

    As with all soy products, choosing organic is best if you can.

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    Eat A Diverse Range Of Foods

    There are hundreds of species of bacteria in your intestines, each of which plays a specific role in health and requires different nutrients for growth.

    Generally speaking, a diverse microbiome is considered a healthy one. This is because the more species of bacteria you have, the more health benefits they may be able to contribute to (

    6 ).

    Unfortunately, the traditional Western diet is not very diverse and is rich in fat and sugar. In fact, an estimated 75% of the worlds food is produced from only 12 plant and 5 animal species .

    However, diets in certain rural regions are often more diverse and richer in different plant sources.

    For this reason, a few studies have shown that gut microbiome diversity is much greater in people from rural regions of Africa and South America than in people from urban areas in Europe or the United States .

    Summary

    Eating a diverse diet rich in whole foods can lead to a diverse microbiome, which is beneficial for your health.

    Fight Inflammation With Fish Oil

    Fish oil can benefit not only your heart, but your digestive tract as well because the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil tamp down inflammation. To start, you can try to move toward a Mediterranean diet and add fatty fish like salmon, halibut, and mackerel to your diet.

    What doctors and researchers know now is that people with irritable bowel syndrome , one of the most common reasons for visiting a gastroenterologist, may not be consuming enough of the omega-3 fatty acids from fish. In a small study published in 2017 the journal Medicine, researchers looked at the level of fatty acids in 30 Asian women with IBS versus 39 Asian women without the disorder. They found that women with IBS not only had higher levels of depression, but they also had higher levels of unhealthy saturated fats in their blood, and lower levels of healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

    While a study published in December 2020 in Gut Microbes found that six weeks of taking omega-3 supplements induced small changes in the composition of the gut microbiome, supporting the theory that omega-3 fatty acids could have a prebiotic effect on the gut, but more research is needed to understand its role and mechanism in the gut.

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    Increase Your Intake Of Probiotics

    Probiotics are live microorganisms, usually bacteria, that provide a specific health benefit when consumed.

    Probiotics dont permanently colonize the intestines in most cases. However, they may benefit your health by changing the overall composition of the microbiome and supporting your metabolism .

    A review of seven studies found that probiotics have little effect on the gut microbiome composition of healthy people. However, there is some evidence that probiotics may improve the gut microbiome in those with certain diseases .

    One review of 63 studies found mixed evidence of the effectiveness of probiotics in altering the microbiome. But the researchers noted that the probiotics strongest effects seemed to be in restoring the microbiome to a healthy state after it had been compromised .

    Nevertheless, some studies have shown that probiotics can improve the functioning of certain gut bacteria, as well as the specific types of chemicals they produce .

    You can increase your intake of probiotics by consuming more probiotic-rich foods, including fermented foods like kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut, and yogurt.

    Alternatively, you can consider using a probiotic supplement. However, be sure to talk with your doctor before starting supplementation, especially if you are taking other medications or have any underlying health conditions.

    How Eating These 16 Foods Could Help Improve Your Gut Health

    The TOP FOODS To Eat To Improve GUT HEALTH | Dr. Steven Gundry

    The secret to good gut health isnt about following a complicated diet or shopping in specialty stores. It all starts with the foods we put into our bodies. These 16 everyday foods contain a variety of fibres that can help nurture good gut bacteria and keep your digestive system healthy. Lets dig in! This gallery is brought to you by Sanitarium The Health Food Company providing you and your family with nutritious breakfast options since 1898. Eat well. Live well.

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    New Research Reveals 2 Surprising Foods That Strengthen Your Gut Microbiome

    New Research Reveals 2 Surprising Foods That Strengthen Your Gut Microbiome

    The gut microbiome is a complex and diverse community of micro-organisms that live in the digestive tract and play a vital role in regulating digestion, immunity, and overall health. Studies now show that certain foods have a beneficial impact on the microbiome and may help to improve gut health.

    Youre already familiar with foods that contain prebiotics and probiotics. Now, a study finds that two surprising types of food may be beneficial for boosting gut health. The results come from two different studies, both randomized-controlled trials, the highest-quality kind.

    Diet And Gut Bacteria

    Right from the start when we drink either breast milk or baby formula, our diet affects our gut bacteria.

    For instance, breastfed babies tend to have better immunity and more diverse gut bacteria than those who are fed formula.

    Vegetarian and vegan diets have also been found to be associated with better bacteria diversity than a non-vegetarian diet.

    Eating probiotics and prebiotics, such as fermented foods, in appropriate doses have also been seen to cause specific changes in the structure of our gut microbiota and benefit our health.2

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    Healthy Gut Happy Human

    In most cases, supplements arent needed to support a healthy gut. They can help, but what you eat is by far the most important factor.

    New York Times columnist Jane Brody sums up good gut-health advice, saying: People interested in fostering a health-promoting array of gut microorganisms should consider shifting from a diet heavily based on meats, carbohydrates and processed foods to one that emphasizes plants.

    If you aim to follow the recommendations in this article, youll be supporting better bathroom habits, a healthier immune response and even a better, brighter mood. Take care of your gut, and it will give you the TLC you need.

    Let us know in the comments:

    • Do you have any tips for good gut health?
    • What do you think are the best foods for gut health?

    Practice Yoga And Meditation

    14 Best Foods for Digestion
    • Yoga is a great way to reduce stress and improve your mental health.
    • Meditation can help you relax, focus and calm down after a long day of work or school.
    • Both yoga and meditation are excellent ways to improve posture, flexibility and strength while also helping you manage stress levels better.

    Make the right adjustments to your diet to improve your gut health

    • Eat more plant-based foods.
    • Eat more fermented and cultured foods.
    • Avoid refined carbs, sugar, and unhealthy fats.
    • Exercise regularly to improve bowel health by increasing the circulation of blood throughout your body and reduces stress levels in the digestive system .
    • Get enough sleep at night so that you dont stay up late eating junk food or drinking too much caffeine after work hours when your stomach is already empty because you didnt have time for breakfast before leaving home on an empty stomach this will only lead to bloating later on!
    • Practice yoga or meditation daily these activities help lower stress levels which means theyll also improve gut health over time!

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