6 Foods That Lead to Healthier Gut and Better Health

  Reviewed
 by Dr. Steve Hruby, D.C.
Reviewed by Dr. Steve Hruby, D.C.

SuperHumans are the toughest, fittest, healthiest and happiest human beings on this planet. My mission is to help you realize your superhuman potential and learn how to live a long, happy and healthy life.

  Fact Checked
 by Rhealyn Tropia, RMT
Reviewed by Rhealyn Tropia, RMT

I’m a content organizer, fact-checker and super mom who ensures content is medically-reviewed, highly accurate, and engaging. My passion is organizing information and ensuring the facts are presented in a manner that is interesting and easy to understand.

foods lead healthier gut better health

There’s this infamous saying that you are what you eat.

We don’t often think about why our health is poor until it becomes really bad. But most of the time we can prevent such problems and any kind of sickness, by taking care of our diet, especially in regards to the food we eat. Through this article, I’ll share with you a useful list of foods that lead to a healthier gut and better health.

You know how important food is for your body, but there’s more to it than simply eating something healthy and being done with it. For example, eating a diet rich in leafy greens, beans and garlic will make your gut healthier, keep you full longer and give you plenty of energy to use throughout the day.

Why is gut health important to our overall well-being, anyway? Have you ever wondered why foods affect people differently?

When we’re not taking care of our bodies, it’s easy to think that we can get away with it, or that there won’t be a huge difference. But when it comes to keeping up with your gut health, it really does make a difference in how you feel on a daily basis. And while that might not seem like a huge deal on its own, it can actually make a really big difference in how you feel overall, and how much you enjoy life.

Let’s do a bit of anatomy: this is because of one nerve that we call the “vagus nerve”. The vagus nerve connects the brain to the gut, and it’s part of the autonomic nervous system. The vagus nerve is the longest nerve in our body. It stretches from the brain to the intestines, and it has different branches that serve different organs. Among other functions, it controls heartbeat, assists in digestion and supports cognitive function.

If your vagus nerve isn’t working properly, you’ll probably experience a wide range of issues including gastrointestinal symptoms. This is why you need to select the best foods for gut health when you are aiming for total wellness.

Now that we know that a healthy gut can lead to better overall health, it can be hard to keep up with all the nutrients your body needs. That’s where the following lists come in.

6 Foods That Lead To Healthier Gut Health

We’ve come to the part where we list down foods good for gut health. While there is a variety of healthy gut supplements on the market, you are fully responsible for what you nourish your body with. A lot of you may sometimes ask “why is my stomach bloated and my back hurts?”, which can be answered by having a closer look into your diet.

According to the Mayo Clinic, a healthy gut contains trillions of bacteria and other microorganisms, collectively known as your “gut flora.” This community is essential for your health, because it aids with digestion and helps you absorb nutrients. In short, it’s important to take care of your gut if you want to live a long and healthy life.

Your gut flora can be impacted by many factors in your life—including diet, stress levels, medications, and exercise. However, one of the most important things you can do is make sure you’re incorporating the right foods as part of your diet.

The next question would then be, what foods are good for gut health, exactly? We’ll hit two birds with one stone as we also address in this section the worst foods for gut health. I hope you find this list useful!

1. Yoghurt and Other Fermented Foods

Fermented foods for gut health are on the top of my list. These are food that have been exposed to microorganisms or yeasts over a period of time. This process results in their natural sugars being converted into alcohol or acids such as acetic acid, lactic acid, butyric acid and propionic acid, which gives them their distinct flavor and smell.

yogurt

The fermentation process occurs when bacteria break down carbohydrates such as starch or sugar without using oxygen from air (anaerobic respiration). The resulting products include alcohols like ethanol as well as various other volatile compounds like acetic acid (vinegar), lactic acid (milk), butyric acid (butter), etcetera.

Fermented foods also contain probiotics which are live bacteria found naturally within our digestive tract that help maintain good gut health by aiding digestion and reducing inflammation.

Some fermented foods that I suggest you add to your diet would be:

2. Almonds and Other Food Rich in Polyphenols

Almonds and other foods rich in polyphenols may be the key to a healthier gut—and, ultimately, better health.

For decades, scientists have debated whether eating a diet rich in nuts has a positive effect on one’s overall health. The recent discovery of the gut microbiome has added new complexity to that conversation as well as opened up new avenues for scientific exploration.

One thing is certain: maintaining digestive health is critical for your overall health. The microbes that live inside your body are essential for a healthy immune system, but those microbes need to be fed appropriately to maintain that health.

A healthy gut microbiome can benefit you by lowering your risk for heart disease and diabetes, as well as improving cognitive function, metabolism, and even bone density. That’s why it’s so important to eat foods that promote healthy gut flora!

Foods that are rich in polyphenols are:

  • Onions
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Grape skins

3. Vegetables, Fruit, Legumes, and Beans

You’ve probably heard that eating a lot of vegetables and fruit is good for you, and it turns out it’s also good for your gut.

A diet high in legumes, beans, and other plant-based foods leads to a more diverse microbiome, which is the collection of bacteria in your gut. All of these foods are rich in prebiotics, which are nutrients in food that help good bacteria grow. This is important because good bacteria is essential to gut health.

I would recommend the following to be added to your diet right away:

  • Broccoli
  • Raspberries
  • Beans
  • Bananas
  • Apples

4. Olive Oil

Olive oil is one of the main staples of the Mediterranean diet, and it’s no wonder why. Not only is olive oil delicious and versatile, but it’s also incredibly healthy. Olive oil is high in monounsaturated fats that have been shown to reduce inflammation and lower your risk of heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and more.

But did you know that including olive oil in your diet can help promote a healthier gut? A recent study found that consuming extra virgin olive oil may help protect against a condition called colorectal dysplasia. The oil helps prevent the growth of cancer cells in the lining of the colon, which helps reduce your risk of colorectal cancer.

In addition to its anti-cancerous properties, olive oil has been found to improve overall gut health by protecting against pathogens and harmful bacteria in your digestive tract. It helps improve digestion by breaking down food particles so they can be easily absorbed into your system.

5. Garlic

Garlic can lead to a healthier gut, and it’s super simple to do so.

Garlic is one of the most common ingredients in any kitchen. It’s used in all sorts of recipes, from French fries (yes, garlic fries are a thing!) to pasta sauce and pizza. But the fact that it’s so common might be a little confusing considering its strong, pungent taste and smell.

cloves of garlic

The truth is that garlic is one of the few foods (along with red wine) that have been shown to improve your gut health. Studies have shown that consuming garlic reduces your risk of stomach cancer by as much as 30%. 

Why? Because garlic contains compounds called allicin and diallyl sulfide, which help reduce inflammation in your digestive system.

It was recently discovered that these compounds can also lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity, which can lead to healthier blood sugar levels overall and more stable moods.

What’s more, the compound allicin has also been shown to aid in weight loss.

6. Ginger

Eating ginger is one of the best ways to improve your digestive system and keep it functioning at its best. Ginger contains probiotics that can aid in digestion, and it has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce the severity of ulcers and other stomach conditions. 

Ginger also helps to reduce bloating and gas by increasing the flow of food through your intestines. It’s even been used as a natural remedy for nausea in pregnant women or those who are traveling by sea/air.

Conclusion

When people talk about health, they’re often referring to things like getting enough exercise or eating right. But there’s another aspect of your health that’s just as important: your gut. You see, everything you eat—from the simple carbohydrate in a piece of bread to the tannic acid in tea—is digested and broken down by your body’s microbiome. 

Your microbiome is sensitive, and if it falls out of balance—which can happen from stress, illness, or eating too many processed foods—it can throw off your entire system and lead to problems like inflammation and chronic disease. I hope you found the list of foods that lead to a healthier gut quite useful. Feel free to join our Superhumn FREE Facebook group where you can thrive among equally supportive members! Cheers!

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