Our gut accommodates a complex community of more than 100 trillion microorganisms which influence our immune function, nutrition, metabolism and physiology. Maintaining a good gut bacteria community has been connected to lesser health problems ranging from arthritis, depression, cancer, heart disease and aging. According to Marisa Moore, RDN, gut health impacts way greater than digestion and a healthy gut is vital to your overall wellbeing. Let’s check out these 6 foods which can help restore your gut health for their nutritional significance.
Pectin, a type of soluble fiber in apples improves blood pressure, cholesterol level, insulin resistance, bowel stability, gut barrier function, and gut health. A study published in Frontiers in Microbiology in 2019 revealed that gut microbial communities can be explicitly moderated by pectin. According to Moore, it’s the fiber in apples that is actually necessary for good gut health.
This popular tropical fruit is known to be loaded with high potassium and two types of fiber: pectin that helps in digestion and, resistant starch that functions similarly to dietary fiber and serves as gut bacteria food. As the banana ripens, it’s starch converted to sugar that is why unripen (green) bananas have more resistant starch, though they taste slightly bitter. However, if you don’t like its bitterness, you can still get numerous benefits from a nice ripe yellow banana.
Beans are one of the most fiber-rich foods that are proven to improve your body’s ability to fight against disease causing agents and strengthen intestinal barrier function. Moore recommends diversify your diets with different types like black or pinto as their nutritional values are somewhat different.
Fatty fish like sardine, salmons, mackerel, herrings and Bluefin tuna are great sources of proteins and omega-3 fatty acids to support gut health. Omega-3 fatty acids, in particular, have been proven to mood regulation, fight against inflammation and cardiovascular health. These fats also have potential to increase gut micriobiome diversity, lowers inflammation in the intestine eventually decrease severity and frequency of intestinal bowel disease symptoms.
Similar to thin yogurt, kefir is a drink made from fermentation of milk using kefir grains which is loaded with probiotics or good bacteria. This nutritionally enrich drink provides vitamin B12, magnesium, calcium and proteins; and has 61 strains of good bacteria and yeast that help sustaining good gut health. No worries if you are lactose intolerant because lactose in kefir is relatively lower than yogurt. You can pour kefir on cereals, use in preparing smoothies or just drink like you drink milk.
As like kefir, this probiotic powerhouse is also made from fermentation of milk with mainly two friendly bacteria known as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria. Yogurt is a great source of sodium, potassium, vitamin B6 and proteins. Health benefits from yogurt range from relieving irritable bowel syndrome to improving digestion but that depends on which type of yogurt you are taking. Added sugar and artificial sweeteners can spoil the beneficial effects of some yogurt products. Greek yogurt, for example, has no added sugar but full of probiotics that can increase number of friendly bacteria in your gut to strengthen your digestive system.