5 Foods to Improve Gut Health
One of the most common ailments for people, no matter class, ethnicity, gender, or country, is an uncomfortable gut. This can mean gas, reflux, poor digestion, or just general abdominal pain – but stomach problems are more common than you’d think.
But, although common, you shouldn’t disregard treating an uncomfortable gut. This problem can worsen and will make it hard for you to be productive or even move during the day. How can you perform well at work if you are experiencing several abdominal pain? Do you think you can easily mingle with your friends and family at a party if you’re always going to the bathroom?
You should immediately read more to look for solutions the moment you experience an uncomfortable gut to ensure that you can still do more during the day and maintain your overall health.
This might come as a surprise to some, but your gut health can speak volumes about your overall health and wellness. Having an unhealthy gut is also a sign that your body is out of balance. Your gut is where your body gets all of its nutrients and processes waste. If it isn’t in top shape, are you?
We recognize that there isn’t one answer for everyone. Dietary needs vary from person to person, and we’ve kept that in mind while putting together this shortlist. But there are a few things to keep in mind while you’re figuring out what works for you: probiotics, prebiotics, fiber, and fermented foods.
Below are five food products that have been found to improve gut health. They may not work for everyone – for example, those with a dairy allergy or intolerance should stay away from the yogurt and kefir! But each one is a versatile option that can be added to your diet and hopefully get things back on track.
Ginger is at the top of our list because it’s been proven to treat inflammation, migraines, period pain, gut infections, digestive health, and it’s a quick fix for nausea.
People often assume that ginger is an acquired taste. It does have a bit of a bite to it, but that depends entirely on how you choose to consume it, and there are SO many ways!
Ginger tea is a great way to start your day. There’s also been a lot of recent interest in ginger chews, which can be used either as a treat or a way to fight nausea. Ginger is commonly used in Asian cuisine but has also made its way onto mainstream restaurant menus such as Chili’s and dishes range from salads to marinated meats. Even alcoholic beverages – such as a Moscow Mule or Dark and Stormy – incorporate ginger and are great for adding a bit of a buffer to keep your stomach running smoothly on a night out.
For an easy fix, add slices of ginger to several cups of water, and then bring the mixture to a boil. Let the mixture cool down and then drink it, preferably every morning.
Aside from improving your gut health, ginger is also known to lower your risk of diabetes, relieve pain period, prevent heart disease, and curb morning sickness.
Both yogurt and kefir have both been fermented and contain probiotics, though they differ slightly in texture and taste.
Probiotics are the healthy bacteria that live in your gut, and there are countless strains that aid in digestion.
It isn’t too hard to find yogurt to your liking as these days the market is huge. But you will need to do your research and spend a bit of time reading the labels to see exactly what and how many probiotics they contain. They also vary in flavor, sugar content, and milk type (or non-dairy alternatives!).
Kefir is a drink full of probiotics and similar to yogurt, except that it’s smoother and a bit tangier. It’s available in most grocery stores these days but comes in a limited variety of flavors, and they stick to the basics – blueberry, strawberry, plain, vanilla.
Both yogurt and kefir are great options for the start of your day or a quick snack. It doesn’t take much of either to give your gut a jump start.
Whole Grains (fiber!)
Whole grains are such an important part of the daily diet that there’s actually an entire council devoted to educating the public and keeping the market up to standard.
Carbs get a bad reputation because there are so many unhealthy foods containing them; white bread, white rice, processed cereals, etc. But whole grains that haven’t been altered are beneficial when it comes to protecting your heart and providing your body with the fiber it needs.
Fiber not only keeps bowel movements regular but slows down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream and literally cleans your colon.
Examples of whole grains that you can work into your diet are brown rice, oatmeal, whole grain sandwich bread, millet (cereals!), and quinoa.
Kimchi and Sauerkraut are the foods on our list most likely to get readers to make a face. Like yogurt and kefir, they’re fermented, but both have a much stronger taste.
They’re made from cabbage; sauerkraut has been a staple of German food for hundreds of years and is great with meat dishes. Kimchi is also cabbage with added spices and a spicy kick to it. It’s used in Korean dishes but can be easily added to any dish as a side.
Both fermented options are high in vitamins and probiotics and are great for those with constipation.
We’re ending our list with two fruit options! Very easy to find in any grocery store, bananas and apples provide a unique kind of fiber called pectin. It’s easily digestible and binds to cholesterol and toxins to get them out of your body easier and faster.
Both bananas and apples are great on their own, but there are so many ways to consume them – pies, bread, sandwiches, fruit salads. It proves that there’s some proof behind the old “an apple a day” saying. You can even add a few cups of milk and then turn your bananas and apples into smoothies.
Aside from being a very affordable option in improving your gut health, bananas and apples are also packed with essential vitamins and minerals that can improve your bodily functions. These fruits contain high levels of vitamin C, which can boost your immune system and keep you safe from common illnesses and diseases.
While the foods listed above are healthy and tasty when taken on their own, you can take it up a notch by adding them to some of your favorite meals or making unique dishes that use these ingredients. This trick will allow you to enjoy the foods listed in this article and ensure that you won’t ever get tired of eating them!
Thanks for checking out this article, and keep in mind that these are just suggestions! Feel free to do your own research into gut health and find some foods that are tailored to what works for you. Moreover, it’s also important to consult your doctor before eating these foods regularly. You might have pre-existing health conditions that can worsen if you consume excessive amounts of food from this article.