Gut Health Diet: What to Eat to Maintain Gut Health
The food you consume nourishes either beneficial or nasty microorganisms. Moreover, given that your gut contains 100 trillion bacteria1, this is a significant disparity.
Your gut microbiota controls your digestion, metabolism, and immune function, among other things, and allowing harmful bacteria to grow may lead to anything from gastrointestinal distress to obesity to mood problems. A diet for gut health may help restore or maintain microbial equilibrium, which can have a significant influence on how you feel.
The significance of a healthy stomach.
The cornerstone of your health is your gut. Everything from digestion to emotion is linked to your stomach in some manner. "We also know that there is a significant relationship between gut health, brain health, and hormones (called the gut-brain axis or GBA)," explains registered dietitian Maddie Pasquariello, M.S., R.D. "The GBA encompasses all of the connections between our central nervous system and our enteric nervous system—connections that are critical to metabolism, immunity, and hormonal health."
If the balance of healthy bacteria to harmful bacteria in your stomach is wrong, you'll notice. Gastrointestinal microbes diversity and abundance are crucial for overall health.
Do you experience digestive issues?
Stomach problems may be visible (for example, gas, bloating, and/or constipation), but this isn't always the case. Occasionally you'll notice more subtle symptoms, such as difficulties focusing, mood changes, and skin problems. These are some indicators that your gut bacteria balance is off:
- Belching excessively
- Heartburn/GERD on a regular basis
- Mood imbalances
- Inability to concentrate
- Learning and memory issues
- Acne or rashes on the skin
- Cravings for sweets
- gaining weight
- Inadequate sleep
- Immune deficiency
So why is this happening? There are many factors that might cause your stomach to malfunction, but one of the most significant is bad eating.
Bad bacteria and yeast thrive on sugar and processed foods (the basis of the typical American diet), but healthy gut flora prefer fibre, particularly prebiotic fibre, which most people don't get enough of. According to national surveys4, just around 5% of the population satisfies their daily fibre requirements.
A gut healthy diet may help you improve your gut health.
Prioritizing gut-healthy meals may have a significant influence on gut flora, assisting in the restoration of equilibrium. Here are a few major considerations:
Consume lots of fibre and complex carbs, which nourish beneficial microorganisms. Prebiotic foods such as asparagus, flaxseeds, artichoke, and jicama are particularly beneficial. "These prebiotic meals are difficult to digest and absorb. Instead, they skip your small intestine and make their way into your colon, where they feed the good gut bacteria, allowing them to produce healthy, energy-producing short-chain fatty acids5 "Vincent M. Pedre, M.D., a board-certified internist, previously told mbg.
"There is also excellent data to show that probiotic-containing and fermented foods, such as yoghurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, tempeh, kombucha, and miso, may support good gut health in combination with an overall balanced diet and lifestyle," explains Pasquariello. You can also think about taking a supplement to assist boost the healthy bacteria in your stomach (here are our top probiotic supplement picks.)
Berries, cherries, plums, beans, almonds, artichoke, and spinach are polyphenol-rich foods6 that may boost the quantity of beneficial Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus bacteria in your gut.
Heather Finley, M.S., R.D., a gut health specialist and registered dietitian, also highlights the significance of consuming a larger range of plant foods. "Aim for 30 different plants every week (from fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and herbs)—or as many variations as you can," she previously advised mbg.
Eating with awareness
Furthermore, remember to chew your meal. Your saliva contains vital enzymes that begin the digesting process. If you don't chew your food thoroughly, your digestive system has to work harder, which may result in bloating, gas, and other digestive issues.
Of course, limiting some triggers might be advantageous as well. According to Pedre, sugar is the greatest culprit since it feeds harmful microbes and causes an imbalance in the gut flora. He also advises cutting down on processed meals, artificial sweeteners, gluten-containing cereals (if you're sensitive), and dairy items (with the exception of yoghurt and kefir). Yet, as with anything else, moderation is the key to living a healthy and balanced lifestyle.