Just like the bionetwork of a planet, the ecology in our body also puts its diversity as an equal to resilience. The wider the selection of good bacteria we give refuge to, the better does our gut gets its job done in digesting food. Not to mention, its power to keep the odds down that a specific food component will upset our tummy or trigger a detrimental inflammatory response in it.
Top 10 Gut-Friendly Foods You Need to Include in Your Diet
To promote a healthy and varied microbiome inside your gastrointestinal (GI) tract, a couple of things are considered necessary: prebiotics and probiotics. While the former contains ingredients (usually fiber) that our gut bacteria feed on which result in fermentation by-products that our body significantly benefits from, the latter, on the other hand, are fermented foods that provide fresh load of transient good bacteria which help enhance the diversity of microbes in our stomach. Regardless, both play a vital role in keeping our gut healthy.
Some of the prebiotic super foods include almonds, asparagus, bananas, burdock root, cereal grains, chicory root, endive, garlic, greens, Jerusalem artichoke, jicama, kiwi, leeks, and legumes. Powerful probiotics include fermented veggies (i.e. kimchi, sauerkraut, carrots, green beans, beets, etc.), fermented soybeans (i.e. miso, natto, tempeh), cultured dairy and non-dairy products (i.e. buttermilk, yogurt, kefir, cheese, coconut), fermented grains and beans, fermented beverages, and even fermented condiments like raw apple cider vinegar. But the ones that make up our top ten are as follows:
- Jerusalem artichokes. These are rich in hard-to-digest carb inulin which is a complex sugar which microbes find irresistible.
- Leeks. These are an inexpensive source of both inulin and fiber. As you already know, fiberis a type of carbohydrate that the body can’t digest. It basically helps in regulating the body’s use of sugars; thus, helping one’s hunger and blood sugar in check.
- Garlic. Known as a very dense source of inulin, gut bacteria also love this bulb like onion.
- Lentils. Legumes like beans, chickpeas, and lentils are high in fiber which helps in maintaining bowel health.
- Apples. These are rich in nutrients and fiber pectin which certain friendly bacteria are keen on.
- Nuts. Despite its high fat content, nuts are a great source of fiber and polyphenol, too. Polyphenols are a group of chemicals (many of which have health benefits) that are released from food once microbes digest them. Just please try to go easy on the salt.
- Yogurt. Like fermented foods, kimchi, kefir, and unpasteurized cheese, yogurt also contains live bacteria that aid microbes to be the source of more healthy chemicals.
- Extra virgin olive oil. This is also packed with polyphenols that help in producing antioxidants.
- Red wine. This drink has about 100 different kinds of polyphenols that provide our body a distinct chemical feast.
- Dark chocolate. Dark chocos with elevated cocoa content, say at least 70%, offer a wide range of polyphenols. Just avoid the sweet milky stuff to make the most of its contents.