It is hard to believe that our gut can be the key to unlocking 70% of your immune system, but it turns out this may very well be true! When you have an imbalanced or unhealthy stomach- the type where there’s too much visceral fat on top and/or inflammation present- you increase the risk for various diseases. When we eat food (especially processed food), our body has a hard time digesting it. The result is an inflamed colon lining which can lead to leaky gut syndrome. Leaky gut is one cause of autoimmunity because the proteins from these foods can escape into the bloodstream, activating antibodies against them. This post will teach you about some essential foods to improve gut health!
You may be surprised to know that bananas are not only healthy fruits, but they are also amazing prebiotics! Prebiotics are plant fibers that fuel the probiotic organisms that reside within our digestive system. Bananas supply these organisms with plenty of fuel to remain alive and active, thus helping us maintain optimal gut health. They also regulate bowel movement considerably! Bananas can be added to various desserts or even blended with milk for an excellent shake.
Sweet potatoes contain plenty of soluble fiber, which is good for blood sugar balance and feeds the mitochondria (the energy powerhouse) in our body. The more fuel you give your body’s mitochondria, the more energized it becomes, and therefore it can carry out its tasks efficiently. Sweet potatoes are high in Vitamin C as well, which helps to keep the immune system strong!
Walnuts are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants. They have anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Walnuts also improve gut health by increasing the production of probiotics. The omega-3 fatty acids present in walnuts help to decrease inflammation in the gut, while the fiber helps to regulate bowel movements. Lastly, the antioxidants present in walnuts scavenge the harmful toxins that can damage our cells. This reduces the risk of developing various diseases and it also improves gut health!
Green beans are a rich source of prebiotic fibers that regulate bowel movements, help us maintain optimal digestive health, and they also stabilize blood sugar levels after a meal. They have anti-inflammatory properties as well, so when eaten regularly, you will become less prone to inflammation-related conditions such as arthritis and even cancer!
Blueberries are a rich source of antioxidants that scavenge the harmful toxins and byproducts that can damage our cells. One of these toxins is called malondialdehyde which is linked to various diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. Blueberries also stimulate the production of probiotics in the gut. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that keep our gut flora in balance, preventing issues such as constipation and diarrhea. Lastly, blueberries contain anti-inflammatory compounds which can help reduce inflammation throughout the body.
Dark chocolate contains a healthy dose of antioxidants which help us fight the free radicals that lead to premature aging and various other conditions. It prompts our body to secrete more endorphins, thus making us feel happy too! It is a great prebiotic as well- it not only regulates bowel movements but also keeps the probiotics alive in your gut.
High fiber foods generally come with lots of water content- this makes them extremely filling, and you get the feeling of fullness for a longer time. These foods reduce cravings, control blood sugar levels by slowing down the absorption rate and they also help prevent constipation. Green peas are rich in soluble fibers that feed our beneficial bacteria. This in turn, helps to improve gut health and even reduces the risk of developing diseases such as colon cancer.
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that is high in fiber, vitamins C, K, and A. It also contains cancer-fighting phytochemicals and anti-inflammatory compounds. It helps to detoxify the body and improve gut health due to its high content of glucosinolates. These molecules are broken down into isothiocyanates which have anti-cancer properties. Additionally, broccoli helps increase the production of beneficial bacteria in the gut!
Green tea is a rich source of antioxidants that protect our cells from damage. It has been shown to reduce the risk of various diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s. It also helps improve gut health by increasing the production of probiotics. The polyphenols present in green tea help to regulate bowel movements and they also keep the probiotics alive and active. This leads to a healthy gut flora balance and improved gut health!
Oatmeal is great for gut health. It is an excellent source of fiber which helps sweep the colon (and toxins) out. Fiber also feeds the good bacteria in your body. Oatmeal comes with anti-inflammatory properties, and it lowers cholesterol levels as well. You can make oatmeal cookies or simply add some cinnamon powder to them to make a delicious dessert! You’ll be glad you did.
Artichokes are a vegetable that is high in fiber and other nutrients such as vitamin C, K, and B vitamins. They also contain compounds that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Artichokes help improve gut health by stimulating the production of probiotics. They also reduce inflammation and promote healthy digestion. You can steam them or eat them raw!
Maintaining optimal gut health is essential for our overall health and well-being. By eating the right foods, we can keep our digestive system functioning properly while keeping inflammation at bay. Try incorporating some of these essential foods into your daily diet and see the difference they make in your gut health! Everyone is different, and you may need to experiment a little bit to find the right combination of foods that work for you.