We’ve all heard the saying “you are what you eat” and that definitely applies to your gut. Your gut is the gateway to your overall health, so having a nutritious, balanced diet is crucial.
The first step is knowing what to eat and what to avoid. To find out more, we spoke to health experts to find the best foods for a healthy gut and foods to avoid.
How Food Affects Gut Health
When you eat something, your gut bacteria recognize it and use it as information. These bacteria will “tell” the immune system, hormones, and brain how to use information from food, Dr. Amy Shahdual board certified medical doctor and author So Effing Hungry: Why We Want What We Want – And What To Do About Itexplains.
Together they figure out what to do with that food and how best to absorb the nutrients. Food is literally information, and this information is created and distributed by gut bacteria.
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Not only is your gut essential for digestion, but the good bacteria in your gut depend on immunity; 70% of your immune system resides in your gut. Carissa Galloway, RDN, Premier Protein nutrition consultant and personal trainer. “Since your gut is where food is digested, what you eat is the foundation for the health of your digestive system and can give your body a boost or a boost depending on what you eat. A good foundation for gut health includes: a diet rich in fiber with prebiotics and probiotics.
The Best Foods for Better Intestinal Health
Foods containing fiber are best because fiber is one of the most important nutrients for the gut.
“My absolute favorites are leafy greens like spinach, onions because of their special type of fiber (prebiotic fiber), and broccoli because it contains another gut-healthy compound called glucosinolates,” says Dr. “These compounds break down into a compound called indolocarbazole, which helps regulate the microbial structure of the gut.”
Foods to Avoid That Harm the Intestines
If you read the ingredients on a package and it contains additives you can’t find in the kitchen – Doritos is a good example – it’s considered ultra-processed. Shah explains that ultra-processed foods are associated with poor gut health.
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Sugar-sweetened beverages such as sodas and juices
can juice sound Most healthy, processed juices contain zero fiber and are very high in sugar. Dr. Because fiber is essential for good gut bacteria, when you drink too much soda, you’re stuffing yourself with fiber-free, tons of additives and sugar-free foods, says Dr. Shah. This feeds the wrong type of bacteria.
Processed fried meat
There is some evidence that fried meat, especially processed red meat, can trigger the growth of bacteria in the gut that lead to clogged arteries.
Shah explains that it’s best to stick to lean protein sources like fish or plant proteins like beans or tofu. Perhaps there is some recent debate that this advice is limited to processed red meat. everything red meat, but the evidence is still unclear.
Galloway agrees that it’s important to limit red meat intake to maintain gut health. “There are chemical compounds in red meat like l-carnitine that can change the structure of your gut biome. If you’re a red meat eater, aim for no more than one to two servings per week,” she says.
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