Did you know that your gut microbes are picky eaters? Here are the top foods that your gut bacteria love and you must instantly add to your diet!
Your health and well-being are significantly influenced by the complex community of microbes in your gut. Your gut bacteria facilitate the body's ability to digest food to produce energy and absorb nutrients to preserve overall health. Therefore, it is essential to take care of your gut microbiome. But how? Maintaining a balance between good and bad bacteria is crucial. And you can achieve this balance by eating the right foods. The foods with the highest concentrations of good bacteria in the gut, nutrients to feed that good bacteria and anti-inflammatory compounds are the best for maintaining gut health. If you want to boost your gut bacteria, here are some foods you must incorporate into your diet:
If you love eating chocolate, we have some good news for you. From boosting heart health and enhancing better blood flow to increasing insulin sensitivity, antioxidant-rich dark chocolate has a plethora of benefits. But did you know that your gut bacteria also loves dark chocolate? Regular consumption of dark chocolate boosts the growth of good bacteria in your gut. In addition, good bacteria can convert dark chocolate into short-chain fatty acids, which help the gut lining resist invaders and fight off bad bacteria. However, don’t over-indulge. I recommend a few small squares three to four times a week.
Yogurt is one of the best foods you can add to your diet to boost your gut health. Probiotics, which are living organisms, are abundant in yogurt and help to maintain a balanced and healthy gut microbiome. Probiotics might help you feel better quickly if you are struggling with symptoms like gas, bloating, diarrhea or constipation. If you are lactose intolerant, you can look for dairy-free yogurt options to keep your gut bacteria thriving.
Dietary fiber is a non-digestible carbohydrate found in plant-based foods. Although fiber cannot be digested, it moves down the digestive tract and aids in the digestion of nutrients. Based on its water solubility, fiber can be split into two broad categories– soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Both types of fiber aid in digestion and prevent constipation, which promotes the health of your gut. Eating foods high in fiber also helps you avoid putting on too much weight and developing chronic diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and some types of cancer. Here are some fiber-rich foods that can boost your gut health:
- Dried fruits
- Whole grains
- Apples and pears with skin,
- Sweet potatoes with skin
You must add unripe bananas to your diet because your gut bacteria love them. Because they contain resistant starch, a type of indigestible fiber that encourages the growth of good bacteria when consumed by your microbes, green bananas (the unripe ones) are excellent for your digestive system. Green bananas also contain pectin, which slows the movement of food from the stomach to the intestine. Therefore, unripe bananas can help you feel full, thus helping with weight management.
Antioxidants found in abundance in blueberries may assist in reducing gut inflammation. According to studies, eating blueberries increased the number of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, two types of good bacteria, in the gut. Pectin, a type of fiber found in blueberries, can act as a prebiotic and feed the good bacteria in the gut.
To learn more about how to keep your gut bacteria thriving, book a consultation with Dr. Shah here.