Ever heard the old saying “you are what you eat”? It is amazingly true. In order to keep your digestive system healthy, it is important to follow a diet that includes lots of nutrients that are good for the gut. Following a gut-healthy diet can help prevent and alleviate many gastrointestinal problems, such as inflammation, irritable bowel syndrome and leaky gut syndrome.
Gut health is very important for your overall health; it plays a role in everything from the way your body metabolizes nutrients and takes care of toxins to how you repair tissue damage. A healthy gut means a more efficient immune system, better mental health and even less risk for certain cancers.
In addition to being healthy for the digestive system, eating a diet with lots of nutrients that are good for the gut is also very important in general. Your gut is home to trillions of bacteria and other microbes that keep you healthy. The right kinds of microbes can help lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, boost immunity and protect against many diseases, including cancer. And, unfortunately, the wrong kind of microbes can cause inflammation and increase the risk for disease.
If you’re looking to start a gut-healthy diet, here are five foods that are good for your gut:
Wheatgrass is a nutrient-packed food that has been shown to improve digestion and nutrient absorption. Wheatgrass juice is also loaded with chlorophyll, which can bind to toxins in the colon and help move them through the body. If you have trouble digesting wheatgrass without gas or bloating, blend it with other foods such as bananas or dates. You can also get benefits from wheatgrass supplements if juicing is too difficult for you.
2. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are a great addition to your gut-healthy diet as they contain alpha linolenic acid, which is also found in flaxseed, walnuts and canola oil, among other foods. This natural fatty acid helps keep your immune system healthy and helps you absorb nutrients in food. Taken as a supplement daily, chia seeds have many benefits for the body, including aiding weight loss.
Flaxseeds are also loaded with alpha linolenic acid and other nutrients. They’re often added to recipes as an ingredient. Flaxseeds are a great addition to any diet, but they can be taken in large amounts if you have high cholesterol or heart disease, as they can decrease the amount of some good cholesterol in your body.
4. Fermented Foods
Fermented foods such as kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi contain beneficial bacteria and can improve your digestion. The bacteria may also boost immunity, help you heal more quickly after taking antibiotics and prevent disease. Try adding these foods to your diet on a regular basis; they might even taste great!
Turmeric is amazing for your gut health and is often used to treat inflammation and other inflammatory diseases. Turmeric is also an anti-depressant and helps with brain function. It also boosts your immune system and can help you recover from colds faster. Try adding it to your morning or afternoon smoothie or sprinkle it over foods such as curry or smoothies to reap the benefits of this powerful spice.
If you have a healthy diet and take care of your gut health, it is important to maintain both your physical and mental health. Gut-healthy foods help keep the healthy bacteria in your gut thriving so that they can work their magic to keep you feeling good; this is especially important if you live with intestinal problems.