What do you need for a healthy gut? Prebiotics and probiotics are often the first words that come to mind. It’s true, these are the nutritional foundations of a well-fed gut.
Your gut needs to be well-fed if it’s going to operate at the highest capacity. When the trillions of microbes are getting the nutrients they need, you’re more likely to have better digestion, better sleep, less inflammation, and a lower risk for a host of illnesses.
Fiber has been identified as one of the best foods for the gut. But not all sources of fiber are created equal, so you need a diverse array in your diet. Eating oatmeal or kale all day every day won’t have the benefits you think it might.
That doesn’t mean that those aren’t great gut foods. They are. It’s just that you want diversity. The more fiber-rich plant-based foods, the better.
Some options that may have some added benefits for your gut which have flown under the radar include:
- Peanuts: A member of the legume family that’s high in fiber and healthy fats. Peanuts also feature resveratrol, a compound with antioxidant properties that can help fight inflammation.
- Broccoli sprouts: Cruciferous vegetable sprouts that are high in sulforaphane. Broccoli sprouts appear to be a better source of sulforaphane than full broccoli.
- Sourdough: The early quarantine baking choice, sourdough can be an excellent option for gut health because it undergoes fermentation. The fermentation can make it a digestive aid, as well as making it a suitable choice for people with gluten sensitivity.
- Seaweed: Salmon is a great source of omega-3, but where do they get it? From snacking on algae and other sea plants. Seaweed is an excellent source of omega-3 and fiber that can help the gut and overall health in several ways.
Eating more plant foods is the best way to cultivate a diverse and healthy population of gut microbes. Select an array of fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and grains to ensure all of the communities of microbes in your gut have what they need.