You may already know by now that your gut health plays a vital role in your overall well-being, which means helping your digestive system is an essential part of maintaining practically every other area of your health. And, as you may also know, one of the most important factors of gut health is your diet, which can make or break your gut microbiome. While there are several foods to avoid for digestive health, such as processed, sugary snacks, there are also several ingredients you can include in your daily diet to stay regular and keep things running smoothly.
To discover some of the best foods to eat every day for better digestion, we spoke to health experts Samantha CasettyMS, RD, nutritional consultant siggis and co-author of Sugar shock; Trista Best, RD for Balance One; and Lisa Richards, nutritionist and creator of The Candida Diet. They told us that yogurt, kimchi and berries are three foods you should add to your plate to keep your gut in balance. Find all their expert insights below!
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Yogurt is a probiotic-rich food that’s great for your gut — and kefir is a type of fermented yogurt that you should definitely consider including in your diet if better digestion is your goal. Fermented foods like this are one of the best things you can eat to improve your gut health. “One study showed that eating six servings of fermented foods, such as yogurt, per day led to better microbiome diversity and reduced markers of inflammation,” says Cassetty. “These factors can lower your risk for a host of conditions, including autoimmune diseases, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.” Incredible!
If kefir isn’t your thing, but you still want to reap the benefits of fermented foods, kimchi is another delicious cabbage dish that works great in a range of dishes and can do wonders for your gut health. This spicy fermented food is common in Korean dishes. “The fermentation process requires a lot of good bacteria and they remain in the food when the process is complete,” explains Best. For this reason, consuming foods like kimchi will help restore the balance of bacteria in your gut.
You can mix kimchi into stews, rice, eggs, or anything else your taste buds crave — or you can even eat it on its own. Remember, buying raw and unpasteurized kimchi is your best bet for the gut-healthy benefits, as heat kills the probiotics.
Besides probiotics, fiber is another important factor to consider when it comes to gut-healthy foods. Richards says berries like blueberries contain high amounts of fiber and phytonutrients that act as antioxidants in your body. “Antioxidants work to reduce free radical damage from toxins that lead to inflammation and chronic disease, along with appearance consequences such as those associated with aging,” she says. As for blueberries, they contain antioxidants known as flavonoids, which are plant compounds that “protect these berries and give us similar protection at the cellular level when consumed.” gut. Fortunately, blueberries taste great mixed with yogurt or oatmeal, and they also make a great snack.
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At the end of the day, a healthy digestive system requires a variety of factors, from adequate fiber to adequate water and even regular exercise. is always your best option. When in doubt, however, it’s never a bad idea to include more of these types of gut-healthy foods in your diet!