10 Foods For Improved Gut Health – AFPA

Fruits

Gut bacteria need a stable and friendly environment in which to thrive. The ideal pH in the human colon is between 6.7 and 6.9. To sustain good bacteria and to prevent harmful bacteria from flourishing, the colon needs to be slightly acidic.

One of the easiest ways to maintain a desirable pH balance is to eat fruits high in fiber. The following fruits are highly effective:

Bananas: 

Bananas are highly rich in soluble fiber. They also contain a prebiotic compound that passes through the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract and remains undigested. Only when they pass through the small intestine, they reach the colon where they are fermented by the gut microflora. 

Bananas maintain harmony among microbes in your intestinal ecosystem.Raspberries:

Raspberries are full of soluble fiber. The high fiber and water content in raspberries help prevent constipation and maintain a healthy digestive tract.Pears:

When it comes to our GI health, pears are fiber-dense fruits, and their skin is particularly beneficial. They contain at least three to four times as many phenolic phytonutrients as the flesh. These phytonutrients include antioxidants, anti-inflammatory flavonoids, and anti-carcinogenic phytonutrients, like cinnamic acids. Apple:

Apart from the other health benefits that apples are known for, intake of apples significantly alters amounts of two bacteria (clostridiales and bacteroides) in the large intestine. The balance of these bacteria has a significant impact on your metabolism.Kiwi:

The fiber in kiwi binds and removes toxins from the colon, which is beneficial in preventing colon cancer. They are also dense with nutrients like proteins with almost negligible fat value.Blueberries:

Keeping aside all the mouth-watering pies this fruit yields by its mere presence, blueberries are a major source of the bifidobacteria, which improves gut health. It has an important role in the process of digestion and is an abundant supply of the prebiotics contributing to the healthy bacteria in the gut and colon. No doubt, this one proves to be an essential part of the healthy gut food chart.

Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut (sour cabbage) is a German delicacy made from finely cut raw cabbage that has been fermented by various lactic acid bacteria. It has an enduring shelf life and a distinctive sour flavor. 

A pilot study found that regularly eating sauerkraut can help reduce symptoms of the annoying Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). It has also been noticed to cause a spike in good bacteria.

Sauerkraut contains dietary fiber which aids digestion, optimizes blood sugar, and may even help lower cholesterol. It contains far more lactobacillus than yogurt, making it a better probiotic. 

A serving or two of sauerkraut every few days may help treat ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome.

Tempeh

Tempeh is a traditional Indonesian fermented soy product that’s a popular vegetarian meat replacement. Tempeh is high in protein, prebiotics, and a wide array of vitamins and minerals.

Some studies have linked prebiotic intake with increased stool frequency, reduced inflammation, and improved memory. There’s also evidence to show that drinking tempeh causes beneficial changes in the gut microbiota, the bacteria that reside in your digestive system.

Kefir

Kefir is a healthy drink which originated in Eastern Europe and Russia. Traditionally, kefir is fermented at ambient temperatures overnight. Active fermentation of lactose yields a sour, carbonated, slightly alcoholic beverage. It is an effective antibiotic and helps with a lot of digestive system disorders.

It has a consistency and taste similar to drinkable yogurt, similar to lassi in India. However, like sauerkraut, it proves to be a more powerful probiotic than yogurt. Kefir can contain up to 30 strains of beneficial bacteria and yeasts. Some of the major strains include the lactobacillales – or lactic acid bacteria, which is a good bacteria for our gut.

Broccoli

Broccoli, a nutritious cruciferous vegetable, is a member of the cabbage family. The cruciferous family of vegetables  also includes cauliflower, brussel sprouts, arugula, bok choy, cabbage, kale, collard greens, cress, radishes, turnips, and kohlrabi.

Eating broccoli can help reduce inflammation in the colon and may decrease the incidence of colon cancer, among other cancers. It is also a source of folic acid which increases the appetite. With its relatively mild flavor, versatility, and affordability, broccoli provides an accessible and delicious way to give your body a brassica boost. 

Dandelion Greens

Dandelion greens were historically used to purify the blood, address digestion-related problems, and prevent piles and gallstones. Dandelion greens are rich in inulin and pectin, which are soluble fibers that may help your body feel full longer and assist with weight control.

They might taste slightly bitter, so consider sautéing them with onions, drinking them with tea, or adding them to soups and salads.

Seaweed Jicama

Seaweed is high in fiber [25–75% ]. This is higher than the fiber content of most fruits and vegetables. 

Apart from its contribution to gut health, seaweed contains iodine and tyrosine, which support the thyroid function in our body and repair the damaged cells due to its unique calibre to absorb concentrated amounts of idonine from the ocean.

Flaxseed

Research on flaxseeds suggests that fermentation of flaxseed fibers in the gut changes the microbiota to improve metabolic health and protect against diet-induced obesity. 

The American Journal of Physiology focused on flaxseed’s beneficial properties: 

“Our data suggest that flaxseed fiber supplementation affects host metabolism by increasing energy expenditure and reducing obesity as well as by improving glucose tolerance. Future research should be directed to understand the relative contribution of the different microbes and delineate underlying mechanisms for how flaxseed fibers affect host metabolism.”

5 Comments

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5 responses to “10 Foods For Improved Gut Health – AFPA

  1. As I read through these suggested foods I can’t help but think that these are far from the selections of sweets that seems to be too much part of the North American diet, ie. fast food places, corner stores and many restaurants.

    Like

  2. Good to know that kefir and sauerkraut are more powerful probiotics compared to yogurt. Thanks for posting!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Seems healthy (healthy foods never tend to look so attractive!)

    Liked by 1 person

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