While some of us may be researching ways to lose weight, get glowing skin, and make our bodies feel healthier, accomplishing that may only take incorporating a handful of specific foods into our diets to improve our gut health. Working on building a healthy gut flora is incredibly important because it is connected to everything that happens in your body. I look at it as building a healthy wall that will be resilient against the bad bacteria in our body. It is common to hear that we need to take probiotics to have a healthy gut, but that’s not all we need to balance the good and bad bacteria in our digestive tract. Everyone’s body has different needs as far as nutrition and it’s incredibly important to experiment with your own body and see how these foods may work for you.
Here are foods to add to your diet:
1. Fermented foods like Kimchi, Sauerkraut, and Pickled Vegetables
These foods have gone through a process of lactofermentation which preserve the food and creates beneficial enzymes, Vitamin-B, Omega-3 fatty acids, and various varieties of probiotics. Probiotics can slow down and reverse diseases, improve bowel health, aid digestion, and aid immunity.
2. Ground Flax & Chia Seeds
These seeds are full of soluble fiber, which help promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria. They have a gel forming action when they’re inside your stomach, and this gel coats the small intestine, which in turn can help digestive muscles move food through your gut for nutrients to be absorbed. These seeds can help improve regular bowel movements.
3. Bone Broth
Bone broth contains collagen and amino acids that can heal damaged cell walls in your gut and the gelatin helps to seal up holes in the intestines. Sipping on some bone broth can reduce intestinal inflammation and can help with digestion.
4. Broccoli and Cruciferous Vegetables
These vegetables contain magnesium and vitamins that can help maintain the proper acidity levels in the gut. They are high in fiber and can help prevent constipation. While these vegetables have gas producing affects, you might want to experiment with small portions of these vegetables to see if you can build a tolerance to them.
5. Dark Chocolate
Cocoa and dark chocolate can function as a prebiotic and nourish the bacteria that’s already in your gut. Aiming for 70% organic dark chocolate is the most beneficial to the gut because it will be more rich in minerals that can have anti-inflammatory effects and break down carbohydrates you have consumed. So, go ahead and reach for a piece of chocolate after dinner.
Ultimately, it is very important to incorporate a variety of foods into your diet. We may get caught in certain food routines, but it is very important to incorporate new foods into your diet to create a diversity of healthy bacteria in your gut. Getting creative with the foods mentioned above is a great way to kick off your gut health.
Nataly Perez is a health and fitness enthusiast. She enjoys playing in the kitchen to come up with healthy and easy recipes others can recreate no matter what their lifestyle is like. Nataly likes to show others that even with a busy lifestyle, anyone can find balance by eating foods that are beneficial to their bodies and taste great at the same time. When she is not in the kitchen, you can find her working up a sweat at a cycle or kickboxing class. Follow her on Instagram: @Fitnhealthy_