Our gut isn’t given enough credit for the vital role it plays in our overall health and wellbeing. It’s not just food that affects it but also stress and anxiety as well. This is why it’s important we look after it not to mention the 1,000 types of bacteria that it houses, in order to help our body function properly!
The gut helps to strengthen our immune system, extract nutrients from the food we eat and regulate digestion among many other important functions. Give your gut the boost it deserves with these Top 10 Foods for Good Gut Health!
1. Wholemeal bread
Compared to its white counterpart, wholemeal has much more fibre which aids digestion and helps to generally keep your gut in good shape. If you usually have white or brown bread swap it for wholemeal (brown bread is just white bread coloured brown and has no additional health benefits) and not only will you feel better but you’ll notice wholemeal bread tastes that much more wholesome and better too!
2. Wholewheat pasta
Similarly, wholewheat pasta has higher levels of fibre compared to regular white pasta so it’s worth swapping it and reaping the benefits for your gut. Did you know that if you cook pasta and then let it cool down before you eat it, it contains more prebiotics which feed the good gut bacteria? Try it next time you have spag bol!
Famously high in potassium but few people realise that bananas are rich in prebiotics which fuel the healthy bacteria in the gut. They are also known to help calm an upset stomach. Chop them up on your pancakes or just eat with a handful of nuts for the perfect snack.
4. Greek yogurt
Better than any other yogurt because it is high in protein and low in sugar, this yogurt contains a high dose of healthy bacteria. If you have an upset stomach it can be good to have some Greek yogurt to soothe it. Spoon over some granola or mix into korma sauce for a healthy twist on a classic dish.
This lovely green vegetable contains a prebiotic called inulin which promotes good gut health and also has a mild laxative effect. It can be added cold to a salad or cooked and served with a portion of protein for a great gut-boosting meal!
Onions also contain inulin like asparagus but they also have the added benefit of having lots of anti-inflammatory compounds. They encourage the growth of healthy gut bacteria and you’ll get the most benefit eating it raw or very lightly cooked. Cooking it too much strips it of its health properties!
These super little berries contain antibacterial antioxidants that help to fight against causes of gastroenteritis and even combat the causes of diarrhoea too! You don’t have to just eat them out of the packet, why not be inventive and bake them into some muffins or put on top of your porridge?
Speaking of porridge, even oats help our gut in many ways. Their main benefits are that they help to ease digestion and soothe upset stomachs. They contain more soluble fibre than any other grain which means they keep you feeling fuller for longer as they are digested for longer in your body.
9. Brown rice
Although oats are the best grain for your gut, don’t underestimate the importance of getting some brown rice into your diet. It is one of the most nutritious of all the rice varieties and it contains high levels of fibre. The fibre helps to get rid of waste in your body and brown rice also contains selenium which is known to reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Chickpeas, kidney beans, butter beans and lentils are just some of the huge range of pulses that help regulate your gut. They help digestion as they are high in fibre and are also a great alternative to meat if you want a high dose of protein. Most pulses can be thrown into a salad for a quick and easy way to get more fibre into your diet.
Of course there are many other foods that are good for your gut but these are the staples that you should consume and they’re easy to incorporate into your meals. You should notice a better bowel movement, less anxiety and better overall wellbeing. Don’t forget your gut is central to the vitalising of all sorts of functions in your body like helping extract the most nutrients and energy out of your food, protecting you from illness; very strong reasons to look after it so it will look after you!