Foods To Eat For Gut Health

Believe it or not, you are sharing your body with foreign organisms. Lots of them. How many? We’re talking millions upon millions of microscopic bacteria swimming through your guts and parts of your stomach. The good news is that most of these bacteria are not just harmless, but some are actually quite helpful. They help you break down your food into chemical nutrients that can be more readily absorbed by your body. In fact, you need to have a healthy level of ‘micro-flora’ in your gut to ensure that your body breaks down your food for optimal vitamin absorption and processing.

Here are just some food choices you can include in your diet for optimal gut health.

Repair Tissue With Fruits And Vegetables

Your digestive system’s organs are probably some of the hardest working organs in your whole body. With the exception of your heart, your stomach and your gut are constantly moving, pushing, and working. All this activity can result in wear and tear. Also, lots of stress and an improper or bad diet can result in imbalances in your digestive system. Tears, lesions, and ulcers can pop up in your system.

You can help heal your digestive tract by loading up on fruits and vegetables which are loaded with Vitamin C – a key vitamin that helps the body’s many different tissues heal, repair, and restore themselves. Vitamin C-rich foods like fruits and vegetables are crucial to a healthy gut.

Make Sure Your Digestive System Is Regular By Eating Fiber

Eating foods high in dietary fiber is definitely a good idea. Why? Not only will these foods make you feel fuller longer because they bulk up in your gut by absorbing water, they also help clean out your system. If you’ve been constipated in the past, you would know how important being regular is.

Thanks to foods with high-fiber content like quinoa, unpolished rice, or ground up flax seed, you can become regular. Not only will a fiber-rich diet give you stool firmness and bowel movement regularity, they also soak up fats in your system. Think of eating fiber-rich food as a way of cleaning out your digestive tract from inside.

Yogurt Supports Gut HealthEat Foods That Help Out Your Good Bacteria

As mentioned above, your guts are actually populated by millions of good bacteria. You can ensure that your digestive system retains the right balance of probiotic bacteria by eating foods that aid the health of friendly bacteria like bifidobacteria and lactobacilli in your gut.

Foods like onions, asparagus, garlic, bananas, miso, sauerkraut, and yogurt are especially helpful to your gut’s supply of friendly bacteria. These helpful bacteria help keep your colon’s lining healthy, among other benefits.

You might think that your gut takes care of itself on an automatic basis. The truth is you can play a big role in how healthy your digestive system is. By eating the right foods, you can help your system become more regular as well as boost its protective processes and self-healing. Considering the ever-present threat of possible colon cancer, it is a good idea to start eating the right gut health-boosting foods.

A Healthy Gut Helps Keep You Slim

We’ve discussed previously how important nutrition is to reaching your optimal weight and staying there. If your body is unable to absorb the full range of micronutrients it needs, it will demand more food in an effort to get them. Keeping your gut healthy by reducing your sugar consumption and increasing the foods mentioned above will ensure that your digestive system is best able to extract the nutrition it needs from the healthy foods you offer it.

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8 Responses to Foods To Eat For Gut Health

  1. brownca April 24, 2014 at 11:28 am #

    This is a great article; I try to incorporate as many fruits and vegetables in my diet when I can and that plays a huge role in keeping me regular. I have digestive issues at times; indigestion, cramping, bloating etc. So in addition, I take probiotic supplements with every meal that helps in alleviating a lot of my symptoms.

    Recently I have added L Glutamine to my regimen as well; this is an amino acid that helps repair the lining of the gut and helps to improve ulcers and other stomach disorders.

    However, the thing that had the biggest impact on my digestion was eating smaller portions. Even though that was a difficult change to make, I have experienced a marked difference .

    • DrBruce April 28, 2014 at 9:23 am #

      It sounds like you’ve made very good progress in terms of improving your diet. As you mention, that habit of eating smaller portions can be a challenge to adjust to, but it makes a big difference over time. L Glutamine is a good choice if you’ve experienced uncomfortable digestive system conditions. It’s not often used in conjunction with weight loss because it’s actually associated with weight gain in HIV patients, but there’s no reason it would cause weight gain for most. As always, the best supplements to take depend upon your individual condition – there’s no “one size fits all”.

  2. JGPangi May 1, 2014 at 4:12 am #

    I have had trouble being regular in the past. I wasn’t really concerned (bad, I know), though I did try dietary supplements to enhance my fiber intake. They would usually work for a few days and then I would go back to being irregular. My mother recommended a weekly salt water flush to make sure everything was moving along alright, and visits to the doctor didn’t ring any alarms, so I thought it was normal.

    Ever since my pregnancy started though, obviously I’ve tried to eat healthier, but still with no discernible result bowel-wise. My ob-gyn told me that it was still a fiber intake issue so this time I tried a daily intake of oats and chia seeds. They work amazingly.

    I’m still looking for other foods to help my digestive system along, so I’ll definitely try quinoa and Greek yogurt as well.

    • DrBruce May 1, 2014 at 8:58 am #

      Good to hear the oats and chia are helping. You may want to ask your doctor whether you should add magnesium. He may want you to wait until after your pregnancy, though. There’s more information here.

  3. Terry May 13, 2014 at 2:24 am #

    Are dairy products in general good for a healthy gut, or is it primarily yogurt?
    Terry recently posted…5 Simple Foods for Healthy EatingMy Profile

    • DrBruce May 13, 2014 at 10:22 am #

      The jury may still be out on that one – it seems to depend on both the specific dairy product and the individual. In terms of a healthy gut specifically, yogurt is the most important dairy. Of course, if you drop dairy completely, it’s important to ensure you’re getting enough calcium. It not only helps weight loss but it’s important for bone health.

  4. nicho August 6, 2014 at 8:56 pm #

    It seems that more and more emphasis is being given to gut health today which is a good thing in my opinion.
    for me, flax seed and oats are two of the things that seem to work best for my gut. I also have a high intake of fruit and vegetables.

    As someone mentioned previously, I’m not sure where I stand on dairy. As you said, it must vary from person to person. Yoghurt is great for me but milk less so.

  5. Ruth Davis October 20, 2014 at 4:25 am #

    I always believe that what goes down to your gut will be absorbed by our body. So I made sure that what I eat is something good for my body, otherwise, its bad news. Bariatic Eating

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