Gut health should never be overlooked. Not only can it affect areas of your life like your mental and cognitive health, but recent studies have also found that it can affect things like your blood pressure levels.
A healthy gut is possible, but it may require some adjustments in your daily diet. For example, eating a lot of processed foods and drinking large amounts of alcohol is known to alter the gut microbiome in a negative way.
So when it comes to finding the right ways to eat for a healthy gut, how do you know what to choose? To find out, we asked some experts for their recommendations for eating habits that are good for your gut health. Read on, and for more information on how to eat healthy, don’t miss 7 healthy foods you should be eating right now.
Beans and legumes are great additions to your diet when you want a healthy gut because accordingly Laura M. Ali, R.D.N., a culinary dietitian in Pittsburgh, and they act as prebiotics and provide food for the probiotics inside your gut.
“Chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, and lentils are excellent sources of fiber that works throughout the digestive system and aids digestion by working with probiotics,” says Ali.
When you don’t get enough fiber in your daily diet, you may experience things like bloating, increased hunger, and stomach upset. This may mean it’s time to add more legumes or beans to your meals.
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Besides beans, I highly suggest incorporating more berries into your diet as well.
“Not only is it a good source of fibre, but it’s full of antioxidants and vitamin C, which helps feed healthy bacteria and reduces inflammation in our digestive system. You can mix it with a little kefir in a smoothie for breakfast and you’re a great start to the day,” says Ali.
RELATED: The Secret Effects of Eating Blueberries, Says Science
According to our experts, incorporating fermented foods into your diet can greatly help with the health of your gut. “You should include one fermented food in your diet each day, which can be plain full-fat yogurt, miso, or fermented vegetables like real sauerkraut,” Mary Ruggles, MS, RD, award-winning author of the book, Improving Your Immune System: Build Health and Resilience with the Kitchen Pharmacy.
A recent 2021 study found that a diet rich in fermented foods, such as yogurt and kimchi, increases microbiome diversity, reduces inflammation, and improves the immune response.
Related: What Happens To Your Body When You Eat Fermented Foods
Believe it or not, your gut can be negatively affected by eating too many of the same foods and not allowing food variety in your meals. Research shows that the wider the range of plants we eat, the more diverse our gut bacteria will be, which is a sign of good gut health.
“Make it a habit to experiment with new foods and include a variety of plant foods in your diet,” says Raggles, because the unique compounds in each food provide fiber that nourishes the different types of beneficial bacteria that already live in your gut, and a variety of bacteria strengthen your immune system. “.
When it comes to looking after your gut, making sure you eat enough fiber, drink enough water, and get plenty of rest are all essential to ensuring a healthy gut microbiome and a happy belly.
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