Top Foods to Boost Gut Health

Trillions of bacteria reside in our bodies and most of them are found in the intestines. These bacteria are so important for our health and fighting disease. Food affects the type of bacteria that lives inside us and the more diverse bacteria we have, the healthier we are. Therefore, it’s important to eat a wide variety of foods to ensure a wide variety of bacteria.

Eating a diet high in fiber, including fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains, is generally a great place to start. Certain foods, however, are known to boost your gut health and nurture the good bacteria while eliminating the bad. Consider adding these easy-to-find foods to your next shopping list:

  1. Broccoli – We’ve all heard the buzz about probiotics, the healthy bacteria found in our bodies. Broccoli is full of prebiotics, the “food” that allows probiotics to thrive. It’s also high in fiber and vitamins, easy to prepare and delicious!
  2. Mango – This sweet fruit has numerous healthful benefits, one of which is keeping the good bacteria in your gut alive. Mix fresh mango with plain yogurt (high in probiotics) and you have a power snack your digestive system will thank you for.
  3. Garlic – Besides being a natural remedy for the common cold, garlic nourishes the healthy bacteria in our microbiome (the microorganisms in a particular environment, in this case the gut). Versatile and full of flavor, garlic can be added to practically anything.
  4. Cinnamon – A pantry staple that is also considered a microbiome super-spice, cinnamon is known to balance your blood sugar, lower cholesterol and cue your body to burn fat instead of store it. Sprinkle it in coffee, on toast or cereal, in oatmeal or on desserts.
  5. Coconut Oil – Follow the food trends and use this oil for baking, roasting and frying. It contains fatty acids that can kill off harmful bacteria while restoring the acidity levels in your stomach.
  6. Onions – Considered one of the best probiotics, onions pair well with garlic and set the stage for popular dishes of all origins.
  7. Asparagus – Popular in restaurants and home cooking, asparagus is a prebiotic that nourishes healthy bacteria. It’s also a good source of fiber and vitamin B, as well as an inflammation-fighting antioxidant.
  8. Turmeric – Also an anti-inflammatory, this spice can be sprinkled on practically everything without even knowing it’s there! Turmeric promotes healthy gut bacteria and supports good brain function.
  9. Apple Cider Vinegar – Full of beneficial probiotics and amino acids, apple cider vinegar is a must-have in your kitchen. It also relieves acid reflux and aids in weight loss!
  10. Sauerkraut – Fermented foods, like sauerkraut, are trending due to their health benefits. Sauerkraut balances the bacteria in your gut, almost immediately improving digestion. It also contains nutrients that boost the immune system. Easy to use as a condiment, add a forkful to scrambled eggs, salads, tacos, smoothies or sandwiches.