The foods we eat every day directly impact our gut health because they either feed the “good bacteria” in our gut or the “bad bacteria”. In large part whether or not something is good or bad for us is determined by whether or not the foods supplies prebiotics (food for the bacteria living in our gut) or not.
Good bacteria help us digest foods, assimilate nutrients, reduce inflammation in our bodies and generally work to support our health. Bad bacteria do the complete opposite and the damage they do to our gut lining can result in many different conditions ranging from acid-reflux to autoimmune conditions. As it turns out good bacteria like veggies, some fruits, nuts and fats. Bad bacteria love sugar.
There are many foods that are good for the gut but these 7 are good bacteria feeding superstars. Including them in your diet will either directly feed the good guys while starving the bad or provide nourishing substances your gut wall needs to heal.
1) Extra Virgin Olive Oil- This is the creme de la creme of healthy foods. It nourishes the gut lining, provides essential fatty acids and contains a variety of polyphenols (plant based compounds that promote health). Make sure to eat at least 3-5 tablespoons or more per day. You can put it on salads, brush it on roasted veggies or drizzle on top of meals just to name a few ways you can eat some.
2) Sweet Potato- Sweet potato provide something called a resistant starch. These are starches that the bacteria in your gut can digest and turn into health promoting compounds but our own digestive tracts cant do much with. This is a great prebiotic food. Enjoy them roasted brushed with olive oi!
3) Spinach- All leafy greens are great but spinach is exceptionally amazing. It has high levels of protein, iron and Vitamin A and the good bacteria absolutely love it. Have it in a salad or in an omelette.
4) Jicama- Not everyone is familiar with this prebiotic superfood. It is a root veggie from Mexico and can be found in most grocery stores. Slice it up and eat it with salt or with some guacamole. Sooooo good!
5) Avocado- Avocados are a true super food. They have plenty of healthy fats, soluble fiber and an whole array of vitamins and minerals. Make it into guacamole, blend it in a smoothie, or have slices of it over a salad.
6) Blueberries- All semi-sweet berries are good choices. They contain numerous gut health supporting nutrients but blueberries take the cake as the best of the bunch. Eat them plain or mix them in a smoothie. They taste great and are great for you!
7) Broccoli- Much like spinach any cruciferous veggie is great (cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage). They contain compounds that regulate hormones, detox the liver and are excellent prebiotic sources for the gut buddies.
Remember, these are just my top 7. There are many other foods that support the gut and feed the good bacteria while starving the bad guys that contribute to health problems, weight gain and more.