A healthy gut is a diverse gut. The diversity in your gut helps fight infections, promotes disease prevention, and boosts your immune system. Knowing that a diverse gut is helpful to maintain a healthy lifestyle, the goal is to keep a healthy variety of bacteria in your gut. Reduction of the gut bacteria can happen easily in a Western diet which is low in fiber and high in sugars and fats. This list includes some foods that can be beneficial to help with gut bacteria diversity.
- Chocolate: Specifically dark chocolate and unsweetened cocoa powder can be beneficial to gut health. This is not a chocolate bar found with fats and sugars in large amounts, instead, it would be a small piece of dark chocolate or dark chocolate cocoa milk. It is the cocoa in the chocolate that is beneficial not only for gut health but has antioxidant features too.
- Leafy greens: Kale and spinach are two great sources of leafy greens that can help the growth of bacteria in your gut. Leafy greens are full of vitamins, fiber, and nutrients that can help you keep a balanced diet.
- PRE-biotics: You have certainly heard the word PRObiotic but what about PREbiotic? Prebiotics are the fibers in foods that are non-digestible and aid in your intestine’s fermentation process. Foods that are rich in prebiotics are those with pectins such as apples, chicory root and beans.
- Yogurt: Yogurts naturally contain probiotics. There are certain types of yogurts that have naturally occurring probiotics plus additionally added strains such as Greek yogurts.
- Water: Your body contains around 60% water. This simple drink is important for so many parts of your complicated body. With regards to gut health, water will help hydrate the mucosal linings of the intestines and promote bacterial diversity.
Not only is it important to know what foods to eat, but it is also important to know what foods to avoid that may hinder gut bacterial diversity. Stay tuned for the next gut article on foods to avoid in the four-part gut health series.Tags: health