Mental health has become one of the biggest health challenges of the 21st century, in large part because brain health begins and ends with the gut microbiome.
Google Trends data has shown large spikes in searches for “gut health” in recent years.
Gut health is a challenge for many people, as it depends on diet, lifestyle, emotions, hydration, and so much more. An unhealthy gut can contribute to several health problems, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and even anxiety.
With that being said, health experts at superfood supplement store Human Tonik have revealed five foods that can contribute to a healthier gut, which may improve your overall health.
Ginger is a superfood that has many surprising health benefits. It can help with congestion, reduce heartburn and even promote weight loss.
However, ginger can also be used to provide relief for an upset stomach and other digestive issues and support a healthy gut.
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Gingerol, a natural compound found in fresh ginger, is packed with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can help restore gut balance. Ginger also helps promote digestion, meaning food doesn’t linger around in your gut for an extended period.
There are plenty of ways to add ginger to your diet. Add chopped ginger to your tea or hot water in the mornings. You can also blend ginger into a smoothie. If you’d rather take supplements, ginger capsules and organic ginger powder can be taken daily to improve gut health.
Bananas are another food that can contribute to improved gut health. Bananas contain a fiber called inulin, a substance that stimulates the growth of good bacteria in the gut. Inulin is a prebiotic that can help develop a microbiome and provide fuel for good bacteria to live in your gut.
Eating inulin-rich foods can help your bacteria perform activities that keep your gut healthy.
Bananas are also a rich source of fructooligosaccharides, which act as a probiotic and promote the growth of good bacteria in the digestive tract, which ultimately helps with digestion.
The carbohydrates in bananas are also easily broken down. The fruit is gentle enough to be eaten if you are suffering from stomach ailments, and it restores lost electrolytes back into the body. Eating one or two bananas a day can seriously improve gut health. It’s also one of the best foods for colon health.
Yogurt is probably the first food you think of when it comes to gut health. Rich in probiotics, which are live microorganisms that keep the git microbiome healthy, yogurt can help with gut issues such as bloating.
Having a proper balance of bacteria in your gut improves digestion and can block dangerous organisms that can cause infections and boosts your immune system. Foods such as yogurt can also help your body absorb vital nutrients from food.
However, not all yogurt is live with probiotics, so be sure to read the label and search for ones that contain live bacteria. High-protein yogurt with minimal sugar is the best.
Lentils are a versatile food rich in nutrients such as iron, B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, and zinc, as well as resistant starches, which are brilliant for gut health.
Resistant starches are carbohydrates that do not break down into sugar and are not absorbed by the small intestine. They pass through most of the digestive system unchanged, usually fermenting in the colon. They then decrease the pH level in the colon to help create an environment where beneficial bacteria thrive.
There are many ways to add lentils to your diet. You can add them to your soup, pasta, and salads. You can also bake them with chicken or fish in the oven or simply serve them as a side dish.
Almonds are high in fiber, which can increase the production of butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid that promotes gut health. Eating a handful of almonds a day can positively affect our overall gut health.
Butyrate is produced by gut bacteria and supports digestive health. It promotes the growth of villi, microscopic extrusions that line the intestines, and enhances the production of mucin, a gel-like substance that coats the inside of the gut and keeps it healthy.
However, it should also be noted that almonds are high fat, so while a handful of almonds a day is recommended for gut health, be sure only to eat them in moderation. Adding almonds to your breakfast smoothies or yogurt is a great way to get them into your diet.
Signs and symptoms of an unhealthy gut
If you’re wondering if you could improve your gut health, the team at Human Tonik has also revealed the signs and symptoms of an unhealthy cut. If you regularly experience any of these symptoms, you could try adding some gut-healthy foods to your diet.
1. Upset stomach – this could include gas, bloating, and even heartburn
2. Unexplained weight changes – gaining or losing weight. An imbalanced gut can make it difficult for your body to regulate blood sugar and store fat.
3. Fatigue – Poor gut health can cause broken sleep cycles, which may cause extreme tiredness
4. Skin issues – Poor gut health can contribute to eczema, psoriasis, acne other skin conditions
This article was published with permission from the superfood experts at Human Tonik. To learn more, check out their website here. You can also try my personal favorite superfood bars from Paleo Valley (on sale now) by clicking here.