In our journey to wellness we found that not only did we need to know what foods to avoid, but it was also important to learn about the foods that would help us restore gut health.
We want our diet to include good foods that will have a positive impact on our gut health. In general we know that good foods include fruits and vegetables. But, are there also some foods that are good for us that help us restore gut health specifically? The answer is yes.
So, let’s take a little time and talk about what we should be eating that will help us restore gut health.
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When we recognize that we have bad gut health or that our digestive system is simply not working nearly as good as it should, it is time for us to make a change. A change for the better. We need to have a plan that will tell us how to restore our gut health naturally.
That happened to my family recently. Our well-being was drastically affected by our food choices as well as by the daily stresses that we were facing.
It is good to know that we can make choices that will help us feel better. We can make choices that drastically improve our gut health.
If we improve our gut health, we will notice a difference, not only in how we physically feel, but in how we feel emotionally and mentally as well.
What can we do to improve our gut health? The first thing we need to do is avoid eating foods that are not good for our gut health. We shared about the foods to avoid for if we want to improve gut health in this post.
The second step we should take is to start eating foods to that will restore gut health. And, listen, we don’t have to do these steps one at a time. This doesn’t have to be an overnight change.
Yes, we can do them simultaneously. If we want to see a big difference quickly, then that is definitely the route to take.
But for many of us, a gradual change is something we can handle better. Especially if we are trying to change the habits of the rest of our family members also.
Now let’s talk about the positive. What foods can you eat to improve your gut health?
7 Healthy Foods that will Improve your Gut Health
- Flax Seeds or Chia Seeds
- Cooked Greens / Cruciferous Vegetables
- Ginger or Lemon
As you may have noticed. A lot of these foods, such as yogurt, sauerkraut, and kombucha, are fermented. The purpose of eating fermented foods is to restore your gut bacteria to a good balance so that your digestion improves.
An additional benefit is that you’ll be absorbing more nutrients from the foods you eat and you will be improving your overall mental and physical health.
Fermentation takes foods through a process of lactofermentation. This means that the natural bacteria feeds on the sugar and the startch in the food creating lactic acid. This process preserves the food and creates beneficial enzymes, B-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and probiotics. .
Let’s discuss probiotics for just a minute. In simple terms, probiotics are good bacteria and they are very important for gut health. Our body needs a lot of good bacteria to offset the bad bacteria.
A word of caution: When shopping for these foods, be sure to read the package label. Look for fermented foods with:
- no sugar added
- organic ingredients
- Has not been pasteurized
It is additionally beneficial to eat your fermented food with fatty and protein-rich foods. For example, eat a tablespoon of sauerkraut with your dinner. You don’t need a lot of any fermented food at a time. A good rule of thumb with fermented foods is that a little goes a long way.
Don’t be afraid to try your hand at making your own fermented foods. Here’s a very popular and helpful book for making your own fermented foods. I’ll be writing about my experience soon, so be sure to watch for that post.
Eating fermented foods, such as miso and sauerkraut, increases the level of fermenting bacteria in the gut. In addition, fruits and vegetables contain fibers and sugars that can boost the health of gut bacteria.
Cooked Greens/ cruciferous vegetables
Some of these are fine to eat raw, but others are difficult for our body to digest. There are several ways you can add these vegetables to your diet:
- Add greens (spinach is my favorite) to a smoothie to aid with digestion
- Steam or saute a vegetable for 2 – 3 minutes, season as desired
- Roast vegetables in the over (broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts are great this way)
- Cook them on the grill. We cook almost all of our vegetables on the grill. You might be surprised how many things you can cook on the grill and how wonderful they will taste!
Kombucha is a drink that is made by fermenting sweet tea with a culture of yeast and bacteria. You can buy it at the store, or there are kits for making your own.
Eating probiotic-rich foods and taking a daily probiotic supplement can help put good bacteria into our bodies.
Many people love the taste of bitter foods, but did you know they are good for your gut health. It turns out that bitter foods act like a prebiotic in our gut. They are packed with soluble and insoluble fiber. This means that they help to stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria in our gut.
A couple of bitter foods that you could add to your diet are ginger and lemon. Here’s an article that lists many other amazing benefits of ginger.
We’ve always heard that fruit is good for us. Here’s another reason why – they are great for our digestion. Here are some good ones to try to restore gut health:
Let’s not forget about the value of fiber-rich foods such as chia seeds and flax seeds for our gut health. These are great to add to smoothies and salads. Both of these foods aid in bowel functions and we know that is important to our gut health.
Are you ready to begin your journey to restore gut health today? You can start by adding one or two of the foods to restore gut health to your diet today.
Other posts about Gut Health: