What makes a healthy gut? Signs of good gut health include regular healthy poops that don’t hurt and not too much bloating and gas.
Regularly have an upset stomach? Signs of an unhealthy gut include disturbances such as bloating, gas, heartburn, diarrhoea, and constipation. Not fun!
Roughly 70% of your immune system can be found in your gut, so nutrition is super important for making sure your gut is healthy and fighting fit.
If you keep your gut bacteria happy, they’ll keep you happy. Increased evidence in science is showing a link between gut health and anxiety and depression, and the bacteria living in our stomachs are key players when it comes to mood and mental health.
One way to help improve your gut health, digestion, and overall wellbeing is through the foods that you eat. Maintaining a healthy gut has a lot to do with the bacteria that live there, so eating foods that the bacteria thrive on is a must! Whole foods, a diverse mix of fruit and vegetables, and foods high in fibre are some of your gut's favourite things.
For thorough support in nutrition and gut health, check out one of our nutrition workshops on Yuup.
In the meantime, these tasty foods will help you start your journey to better gut health. Let’s have a look!
Ginger has a long history in medicinal use- and for good reason! It has varied healthful benefits, including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory abilities, and tastes great!
There are many ways to increase the ginger intake in your diet. The simplest way is to add a couple of slices of fresh raw ginger to hot water to make a delicious tea, you can also add a wedge of fresh lemon or a teaspoon of honey (two more gut-loving foods) to the tea for a bit of variety.
Add ginger to soups, salads, dressings, smoothies, and juices for a zesty kick that your insides will thank you for.
2. Sourdough bread
Bread-lovers rejoyce! Did you know sourdough can help your gut feel great?
Enzymes released by the dough as it acidifies basically pre-digests the flour and allows you to absorb the micronutrients in the sourdough bread. This reduces bloating and cramps.
The long, slow fermentation of the natural yeast in the sourdough means that the bread is filled with prebiotics once it comes out of the oven. Consider prebiotics to be like gut bacteria fetitiliser!
If you want to discover more, this introduction to sourdough workshop might just be the ticket!
3. Olive oil
Olive oil has so many uses, and it's great for the gut!
Extra-virgin olive oil reduces the amount of pathogenic bacteria in the gut, which allows beneficial bacteria to grow and have anti-inflammatory effects.
Olive oil is great on salads as dressing, as a dip for sourdough bread, or drizzled on soups and starters!
Kimchi is a Korean dish made from fermented vegetables.
Kimchi is low in calories and is filled with tonnes of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and it's fibre-rich!
The vitamin C found in kimchi can help with your immune system, the choline helps with mood and maintaining your cells and muscles, whilst the probiotics will give your gut flora a boost!
Kimchi is slightly spicy and has a tangy taste. It tastes great with salads, as a side to stir fry, with katsu curry, or on top of rice!
Kombucha is a fermented tea drink that is tangy and has a slight fizz.
Since it's a fermented drink, the fermentation process allows for probiotic microbes to be produced.
Kombucha is low in calories and the distinctive flavour is quite refreshing. You could use kombucha as an unusual drinks mixer, and there are loads of different kombucha flavours to choose from. You could also drink kombucha as an alternative to alcohol as the tangy flavour makes it taste very grown up!
What is bad for my gut health?
Not everyone's gut is the same, and your own personal gut health depends on a number of factors including overall nutrition and food sensitivities.
However, less healthful foods may increase the chances of gastrointestinal problems or can damage your gut bacteria. Here are a couple of foods that may be having a negative effect on your gut: