Are you trying to heal your gut and manage your weight? The first step is to eat a variety of colorful, nutrient-dense foods! So, what foods are good for gut health? Keep reading to learn more about the best and worst foods to add to your diet:
Probiotic & Prebiotic Foods
Probiotic examples: miso, kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, yogurt, and kefir Prebiotic examples: artichokes, asparagus, garlic, onions, leeks, and bananas
Probiotics are living cultures that add beneficial microbes into the G.I. tract to ensure that the gut’s microflora remains balanced and happy. Be sure to look for labels on products that say something along the lines of “live and active cultures” to ensure you’re getting a strong amount of probiotics. Prebiotics are specific compounds that work to encourage the production of healthy bacteria in the gut. They are the “food” that keeps the healthy probiotic strains of bacteria thriving.
Examples: oats, bran, bulgar, whole-grain bread, wheat bread, brown rice, and quinoa
Whole grains are much better for your body’s digestion than their refined counterparts, such as white rice and white bread. Oats are also a great example of a food that helps to regulate blood sugar levels. These whole-grain foods are also high in fiber, which is the next category of foods that are good for gut health.
Examples: nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, bananas, apples, pears, berries, and broccoli
All these food categories are fantastic for weight management, and fiber is another key to weight maintenance and weight loss. Fiber helps slow digestion and keeps you full longer, so you are less likely to crave unhealthy snacks or binge at night.
Examples: fish, flax seeds, peppers, tomatoes, berries, and walnuts
Inflammation in the body not only leads to a weakened immune system but can also aggravate existing chronic conditions. Eating foods with anti-inflammatory properties helps to calm your body’s natural responses, and Omega-3s found in fish such as salmon are particularly beneficial. Also, green tea is a great source of powerful antioxidants, which can help to reduce inflammation and keep your gut functioning properly.
Worst Foods for Gut Health
All food is good in moderation; however, eating excessive amounts of some of the following foods can lead to worsening symptoms of an unhealthy gut:
- Artificial sweeteners (aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose)
- Processed foods (boxed snacks, chips, cookies, etc.)
- Fried foods and red meat
- Alcohol and caffeine
These foods can disturb and change your gut’s natural balance of bacteria, allowing for bad microflora to grow and overpower the healthy bacteria. Added sugar and salt can also affect your heart health, add to the risk of diabetes, stroke, and other serious health conditions, as well as hold you back from maintaining a healthy weight.
Now you are aware of what foods are good for your gut health, in addition to a few foods that you should only eat in moderation. If you want extra support in your wellness goals, consider our Weight Management Bundle, which includes probiotics, fiber, and berberine supplements to maximize your weight management efforts.