8 foods to add to your diet for better gut health

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You may have heard of eating more probioticsThe microorganisms that keep your gut health in check, but have you heard of eating more prebiotics? for Those microorganisms? We chatted with experts to analyze what prebiotics are, why you need them, and what are the best prebiotic foods to support your gut.

Why do we need to eat for gut health?

It shows that the food we eat greatly affects our gut health in general Rachel Hartley, RDauthor gentle nutrition. “Just eating and eating in the stomach triggers a series of muscle contractions that move food through the intestines,” she explains. First, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates release digestive enzymes that break food down into smaller and smaller pieces. Some parts are absorbed for energy, Hartley says, and the rest is left to contribute to the gut microbiome, the community of organisms that live in the gut.

She adds that the health of our microbiome affects our mental health, immunity and risk of chronic disease, and the foods we eat can have an impact on stool and the speed at which food travels through the intestines.

What are prebiotics?

There is a big difference between Prebiotics and probiotics. While probiotics, like yogurt or miso, are foods that are fortified with the flora of the small intestine, prebiotics are foods that contain nutrients to nourish those gut bacteria, he explains. Sunny Jain, MDgastrointestinal diseases and sun genome Founder.

These foods contain indigestible dietary fibers that the human body cannot break down and absorb through the intestines like other minerals and vitamins. So, the good gut microbes metabolize and ferment those prebiotic fibers that ultimately benefit us and our gut health, he adds. The compounds strengthen the colon wall, boost the immune system, and may reduce the risk of colon cancer, Hartley says.

“To be clear, the purpose of a prebiotic food is not to provide nutrition to you and your physiology, but to your gut’s commensal microbiome and microphysiology, broadly called gut health,” says Dr. Jain. “By feeding these beneficial gut microflora, we the host are taking advantage of the molecules they release into our gut, such as short-chain fatty acids. If you don’t feed the good gut bugs the prebiotics they need, you could end up with gut leaky.”

So, you’re probably thinking that the foods with the highest calories are best to feed your gut, right? Well, not much. Dr. Jain explains that your gut contains both good and bad microbes, and inflammatory foods like fried foods or high-glycemic foods with simple sugars or high-fructose corn syrup actually act as food for harmful gut microbes. Instead, choose foods that are high in fiber and full of gut-strengthening benefits.

anyway Samir Berry, MDChief Medical Officer at Oshi Health He notes that it is important to remember other factors such as genes, lifestyle choices, and environmental influences. When it comes to gut health, diet is a factor. Can control. Here are the best gut-healthy prebiotic foods to add to your diet.

Best prebiotic foods for gut health


Lentils, legumes and beans fall under the legume umbrella and each provide vital prebiotics for the gut. lentil For example, not only do they contain manganese, potassium, folic acid and iron, but they contain massive amounts 16 grams of fiber per cup, which can aid in digestion and digestive health. Additionally, lentils offer resistant starch that is not digested by the small intestine but can be fermented by gut bacteria, explains Dr. Berry.

leafy vegetables

Your authority may do some help. Leafy greens like cabbage Bring fibre, folic acid, and B vitamins to your plate in addition to vitamin C, and Research It is suggested that leafy greens can increase the growth of healthy gut bacteria.

all grains

Because the fiber found in 100 percent whole-grain foods, such as brown rice, whole-grain bread, and whole-grain pasta, is high, it acts as a prebiotic in the gut, he explains. Nicole Lindell, RDN. And although we love whole grains, oats, in particular, can pack in prebiotics. A bowl of plain oatmeal with fresh fruit and nut butter contains soluble fiber and vitamin E that improves immunity and keeps things moving in your gut. Dr. Berry adds that bacteria in the gut ferment the soluble fiber found in oats, which can lead to beneficial short-chain fatty acids in the colon and can lower LDL cholesterol.

Jerusalem artichoke

Sometimes it is also called CrunchThis root vegetable is high in vitamins, potassium, iron and fiber. But it’s best known for the high amounts of prebiotic fiber found, which can help support health, glucose control, weight management, and overall health. Dr. Perry points out that Jerusalem artichoke is also a high-FODMAP food (oligo-di-mono-saccharides and polyols). He explains that these foods are poorly absorbed in the small intestine and often quickly fermented in the large intestine. Many people benefit from these foods because they support a healthy gut microbiome and provide prebiotics, but others are sensitive and can cause gastrointestinal upset, he warns.

Onions, leeks, garlic and green onions

You may hear about this group in reference to a Low FODMAP Diet Plus dozens of fruits, vegetables, and other sugars. But for those without digestive issues from these foods, they can provide some much-needed prebiotics. in addition to, garlic Contains antioxidants, vitamin C, selenium and green onion They contain antioxidants that can prevent inflammation, contain more fiber than you would expect (5% of the daily ration), and a good amount of vitamin C.

dandelion greens

Packed with inulin fiber and dandelion greens has been shown To reduce constipation, boost the immune system, offer anti-inflammatory properties, and increase good gut bacteria. If you’ve never tried green, give it this one sauteed dandelion toast try recipe.


related to the dandelion family, Research Dandelion is found to be rich in prebiotic inulin, which can improve digestive and intestinal functions and relieve constipation. Dr. Berry notes that dandelion root is often added to processed foods such as fiber bars, gluten-free foods, and some grains. Although this is used to increase the fiber content of naturally sweetened products, the ingredient can sometimes cause unwanted intestinal upset in some people.


Similar to the benefits of other vegetables like broccoli and leafy greens, cabbage It contains a high amount of fiber, vitamin K, vitamin A and iron. Search Show that cabbage (raw cabbage in particular) provides gut prebiotics that can improve gut health.

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