Gut-Friendly Foods

Of the over 40trillion bacteria found in the body, the majority are in the gut. Therefore, a healthy gastrointestinal system is crucial to an individual’s overall health. Conversely, a troubled stomach can be uncomfortable and cause frequent trips to and from the toilet. Certain foods influence the kind of bacteria found in the gastrointestinal system. For example, some foods help promote the growth of bacteria that aids in free bowel movement and a healthy gut.

Oats, for example, are rich in fiber – which the guts love. Fiber helps stimulate the growth of probiotic bacteria- bacteria that helps digest food. An example of such bacteria is Bifidobacteria. Oats contain soluble and insoluble fiber and allow everything to flow freely through the gastrointestinal tract. Yogurt, just like other fermented foods, in which their sugars undergo processing to form yeast, help promote the growth of healthy bacteria. Yogurts are rich in protein, calcium, vitamins, live culture, or probiotics, enhancing the gut microbiota. Use yogurts to make smoothies, salad dressings, etc. However, yogurts can contain high sugar content and need mindful consumption. Additionally, it is advisable to buy yogurts with live cultures to reap the overall benefits.

 

Woman reading the nutrition label on a container of fresh organic healthy natural yoghurt

Getty Images / Moment / d3sign

The bacteria in our guts love fatty acids and polyphenols found in olive oil. The polyphenols present in olive oil are not easily absorbed by the body and make their way to the gut, where they undergo absorption by gut bacteria. Olive oil also helps reduce disease-causing bacteria while supporting the growth of probiotic bacteria. Other polyphenol-rich foods that may promote gut health include almonds, berries, onions, etc. Another gut-friendly option is bananas. They are rich in fiber, which the body finds difficult to digest. However, some gut bacteria help digest these fiber nutrients, which helps promote their growth. Generally, fruits, vegetables, and fiber-rich foods help promote a healthy gut microbiome.